As we all know, finding the queen can always be a roll of the dice, I can try and give you all the great pointers that others have tried to give me, that usually doesn't help, or just conceded that sometimes it's quick and sometimes its a hair pulling experience. Today I was able to capture a pic of something that probably happens more often then we realize and can be a significant setback to the hive depending on how you handle your equipment.
But for the back story, A few years back I was making splits. This was before I was grafting, so finding the "sacred" queen was always must. But I had a three deep hive that I had gone through twice, probably had about an hour invested in it looking for the little girl. After giving up and starting to putting the hive back together so I could move on, I bent over to retrieve the inner cover out of the grass. A small group of bees was on the lid doing their thing, when by chance, out of this group walks the Queen!!! When I removed the inner cover, I'm not sure if I even looked at all, just a simple shrug of the shoulders as there were not many bees, and then a flop in the grass. It was only by chance she managed to stay on for the hour in the grass and not get lost or damaged.
So as I was inspecting tonight, I noticed A queen on a lid and thought I would share the great pic of her and proof of the location on where they can actually be at times! Regardless of the books and where you may think she is, always check everything before you lay it down!