Some weeks back I combined a hive to the top of another because it wouldn't stop robbers, and today I went into the hive to check it out and by golly I have a queen in the top, under a deep full of honey and a queen in the bottom under honey. I combined with newspaper.
They appear to living in peace, all of em. it's been almost a month since I combined them.
This hive was stacked six high but I took a super of honey and laid it on another hive that appeared to be getting crowded. It now has two deeps and this super. It's top box has emptied clean cells which looks like the bees have now moved lower. But they are bringing in stuff so it might get filled back up within the next couple of weeks.
This hive is the one that is hard to describe as far as activity around the entrance is concerned. The bees are feverishly bringing in hugh pollen balls and hopefully nectar. They come in and shoot out quickly.
I checked the floor by sweeping it with a feather to see if there are any wax chips or mites on the floor and it was clean.
This is the darndest thing I've ever seen.
It's not unusual for two queens to coexist for a while. By winter there will probably only be one. If this was early spring I would predict that the two might make it until the honey flow drops off.
Is there any brood? Are there two areas of brood? You could combine the brood boxes (put them above one another without a super intervening) and it would probably be easier for the bees to maintain the heat.
I don't worry about bees carrying pollen. They are not robbers.
Yes Micheal there are a couple frames of brood at the top where the queen is, separated by honey and brood in the bottom with that queen.. I figured it would be down to one queen by now.
I think I'll leave it alone for now. In other words, I think I'll let them winter in these positions and take my chances. It's the only way for me to learn different things.
Oh and I moved a stand this afternoon that wasn't getting hardly any fall sun. I moved it a little over four feet keeping the same direction and as soon as it was reset on the new stand, six bees fanned their smell at the entrance. Then it ceased. Then some lost bees found the entrance and they fanned their smell at the entrance before entering the hive. LOL
I guess they're telling the others about the new location.
I've been reading Laidlaw on Queen breeding which led me to try and understand queen rearing in a queen right colony. Every time I think I understand it I have to go back and reread his explanations to be sure it really is possible.
This leads me to ask the question, can you (and would you) intentionally set up double queen colonies with the queen separated by an excluder. If the whole point is getting a queen that lays strongly wouldn't 2 queens be better than one? I thought this impossible but it Laidlaw can raise queens in a queenright colony, couldn't you sustain two brood nests in the same? sorry for the simplistic question, what is it that I am missing?
I have seen a hive that uses 2 brood chambers, side by side, a queen excluder over them and large common supers over that. If I visit again, I'll try to get some pictures. He has gotten ove 100# of honey while 60 would be average for his other hives. It must be a bear to manage! About the 2 queens separated by a super of honey. That super acts like a queen excluder. She won't pass it. (Though I'm told russian queens may break this habit)
>This leads me to ask the question, can you (and would you) intentionally set up double queen colonies with the queen separated by an excluder.
Yes you can. Yes I have. If you search on here you should find several discussions in the last year on the subject. My opinion is that it is a fun experiment and if you're a hobbiest with some time on your hand you should try it once, but it's more labor than just running two one queen hives and the two one queen hives will yeild the same amount of honey anyway.
Once I "accidentally" created a two queen hive. Here is the story: I ran out of queen excluders but put on two medium supers anyway (on top of two deeps). The queen got into the 1st super and started a lot of brood. When I got an excluder I discovered the problem, but couldn't find the queen and put the excluder on anyway. In the process I unintentionally switched the top super and the brood super - so the hive stack looked like:
Super with brood (and orig. queen)
Super with nectar/honey
Deep with brood (no queen)
Deep with brood (no queen)
The bees in the lower deeps raised a new queen, she mated and started laying. Meanwhile the orig. queen continued laying and her workers made swarm cells. There were a LOT of bees in the hive. I finally caught on to what was happening and split the hive three ways: orig queen, new queen and a separate nuk with the swarm cells. Don't know if this would work to intentionally create a two-queen hive, but maybe worth an experiment.
It will work but usually the point is to build up a large population EARLY so buying a queen to put in the other half is common. One of my problems is how fast they build up. First, you have to prevent swarming and second the hive gets really tall and third it's a bit frightening to work a hive that has that many bees in it. Especially if you're a newbie, which I was at the time.