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Do I have a queen?

We often get asked, how do I tell if I have a queen, because I can't find her?

If you cannot find your queen, don't worry, we rarely see her anyways. The best way to tell if she is ok, is by looking for signs of her. If you have eggs in the bottoms of cells somewhere in the hive, then it's a pretty safe bet that she is alive and well. Remember, eggs hatch into a little “C” shape larva after only 3 days, so if you see eggs, then the queen has been in area in the last three days.

The eggs are tiny, so maybe you are having a hard time finding them. Don't worry, with a little observation, you can still ensure the queen is in there and laying.

Look for the larva; the little “C” shape slug looking larva at the bottoms of the cells. These are much easier to find and although seeing them the first time you check the hive doesn't guarantee your queen is still in there and active, seeing them every time you check does mean she is ok. After the eggs hatch at 3 days, they will be uncapped, in their larva stage for about 7 days before the bees come along and put a cap over the cell. So, if you see open cells with “C” shaped larva in the bottom EVERY time you check your hive, then all is well.

(picture shows "C" shaped larva in uncapped cells.)

When to worry?

When all you see is capped brood or nothing at all in the cells as far as eggs, larva or brood, then you have a problem. Call a professional if you need help with what to do next.

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