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Queen out of nest?

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Joined 2013-08-04

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Hi

I have buff-tailed bumblebees nesting in my garage under a wooden plinth.  On top of the plinth is a spool of cable with an inner diameter of about 4 inches and I noticed yesterday that there were about 30 small dead bees inside it.  This morning I noticed a huge live bee amongst the dead one.  As the live bee is the largest I’ve seen I’m assuming it is the queen.  I tipped the spool on its side to allow the live bee to get out as she did appear to want to climb up the inside of the spool.  After this the live bee walked around a little and then went into the nest through the route all my bees have been using.  I still have a few bees flying in and out of the nest.  Was this really the queen that I saw and if so why was she out of the nest?