Finding the Queen
Method 1 - Visual Inspection
This is the "normal" method for locating a queen as is performed during a routine inspection of a colony. A space is made by removing two combs and each subsequent frame is examined for the queen.
Remove the Roof, Crown Board, any Supers and the Queen Excluder from the hive. Check the underside of the Queen Excluder for the queen.
Remove the first frame and carefully check both sides for the queen. If the queen is not found, gently shake or brush all of the bees back into the brood box.
Place the empty frame at the side of the hive.
Repeat the process of looking for the queen with the second frame.
We now have a 2 frame working space in the brood box that will be used to our advantage to locate the queen.
Loosen the 3rd frame and angle it towards you without removing it from the brood box. The space in-between the 3rd and 4th frame is the "dark side" of the 3rd frame. Look carefully for the queen here. Carefully remove the frame and having checked the dark side, check the other side in case the queen nips around the edge of the frame.
If the queen is not found on this frame, carefully place the frame back inside the brood box and close it up to the side wall of the hive. This maintains our 2 frame working space and helps to prevent the queen nipping across onto this frame.
Repeat Step 5 and 6 for the next frame paying careful attention to the dark side of the frame.
Continue the process until all frames have been examined for the queen. If on completion the queen has not been located, the process can be repeated but now in reverse order starting with the last frame examined.