1. Look for the largest bee. The queen bee will almost always be the largest bee in the colony. Sometimes drones can be as big or even bigger than the queen, but you can tell them apart by thickness. The queen bee will be longer and narrower than any of the other bees.
2. Check for a pointed abdomen. A bee’s abdomen is the lower part of its body, near the stinger. Honeybees have blunt abdomens, but the queen’s abdomen will have a more pointed shape. You can easily tell the queen apart this way.
3. Look for a bee standing with splayed legs. Worker and drone bees have legs that are directly under their bodies--you won’t be able to see much of their legs if you’re looking at them from the top. The queen bee has legs that splay outward, making them much more visible.
4. Look for a stinger without barbs. There is only one queen bee per hive. If you find more than one bee that might be the queen, gently lift each bee up by its thorax (the middle of its body). Hold them under a magnifying glass and inspect its stinger. Workers, drones, and virgin queens will have barbs on their stingers. The queen bee’s stinger is smooth and un-barbed.
5. The queen will often be circled by her workers.
Queen Spotting Game
Below are two images that have a queen in each, using the hints above, try and find the queen! When you think you've found both, scroll down to see if you're right! The first 2 are fairly simple, while the final 2 are a little more difficult! Good Luck!