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Queen Spotting

I love how textbooks always show queens with a photo that looks something like this:

http://ucanr.edu/blogs/bugsquad/index.cfm?tagname=queen%20bee


Seriously?!?! Usually, when I spot my queens, they're scooting out of sight or hiding under a bunch of bees. Often, a quick flash of an abdomen or their different way of walking is how I spot them.

Just for fun, I thought I'd give you a real-life "Where's Queenie?" kind of page to help hone your queen spotting skills. I'll update this page periodically so that there will be new challenges.

P.S. I've deliberately picked photos that were kind of challenging. If you scroll down to the end of each batch of photos, there will be an answer key.

Photos added 6/12/2016: 


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10


9. If you can't see her, don't feel bad. It's a terrible photo.
You can just barely see her abdomen in this one. I found her on the ground after a bear attack.

8. Same queen on the ground

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5


4

Hint -- the following queens are all virgins, so they're smaller and harder to spot than mated ones.

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2

1


 Answer Key for 6/12/2016: 

11

10

9 - Sorry, this one may have been too hard. All you see is a bit of belly under a pile of bees.
The coloring is different, though, from the workers. Workers tend to have a more banded coloring, whereas queens are more solid in their coloring. Often, it's just a bigger patch of color that catches my eye.
8 -- This is the queen's hiney.
Notice how the legs are different on her.

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6

5

4

3

2
1

5 comments:

  1. had the hardest time with number 2 but got them all

    ReplyDelete
  2. They are easier to spot in pictures when they (and all the workers/drones) are not moving. ;-) In fact, I've found the queen in some of my pictures after the fact that I didn't find when looking in the hive!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! Yes, it's definitely easier to find queens when you 100% know they're there and can't scooch around the bar!

      That's so interesting that you find them afterward in photos. I'm kind of curious about what you notice first. What breaks up the pattern for you?

      For me, it's usually the opposite. My first year, I photographed every single bar during inspections so that I could search on my computer later. Despite hours and hours of looking, I never found her once that way. It sounds crazy, but I kind of rely on all the bees buzzing about. For me, the way the queen moves is so different from the other bees that her motion is what usually grabs my attention. Go figure.

      Delete
    2. Most of the time, I'll just be looking at the picture and say, "there she is"! Generally, I find the large spot on her back stands out to me and then the shorter wings making her belly more visible.

      During inspections, some queens seem to stand out more than others by slow walking (kinda like what you see), or unlike the picture with the marked queen above, all by themselves on part of the comb. But, most times I don't find her. That's okay - Michael Bush says you shouldn't spend time looking for the queen because it just takes up time, but if you happen to spot her, that's just gravy.

      Delete

Thank you for your comment! I can't wait to hear what you think!