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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Larson, Wisconsin
    Posts
    67

    Default Swarm with two Queens

    This is my first year with bees. I started with two 3lb packages in late April and am now up to five hives from splitting one hive and catching two swarms from the first two hives. The last swarm has me confused. I know they came from my hives since I first noticed the swarm while they were still in the air above my garden before landing in a cherry tree in my yard. I have no idea which hive they came from tho. So, last night I went thru the newly hived swarm I caught Saturday to see if the queen was laying yet. I figured if there were eggs, then one of my hives with a queen swarmed. If there were no eggs, the one of my hives that had already swarmed and had queen cells, swarmed again with one of the virgin queens. Well, I found no eggs, but did find two queens. I first I thought the queen was just quick... but nope.... there were definitely TWO queens. So..... is this common, or really strange?

    Thanks
    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Madison Heights VA
    Posts
    396

    Default

    Here is a good link.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestwoqueenhive.htm
    Curtis

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    221

    Default

    I've heard of a hive throwing a swarm with 8 virgin queens.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Windham County, Vermont
    Posts
    246

    Default

    I had a hive swarm with virgins this year. They got ahead of me in their buildup, and evidently the parent queen, clipped & marked, must have issued out first but she got lost in the grass. So the swarmed bees probably came back, and went out again the next day or so when the first queencells were emerging. Three virgins went out together, as I got there just after they hit the trees. There was one large cluster high up in an ash tree, and a smaller fist-sized cluster about 15 feet away in a smaller tree. Within the first hr., the wind blew real hard and the large cluster broke apart while swaying back & forth, and half of them reformed about 3 feet from the intact group. I think one of the virgins was in the breakaway group,too. They stayed like this for 4 days, through showers, cloudy weather, and thunderstorms until finally they left,...each group separately, but all within a few hours on a sunny day. They didn't like my bait hive with lemongrass oil,..it musta been too close to their original location. I guess they went off to various places more to their liking.

    It was another lesson for me to check the hives for cells every week during swarm season.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Larson, Wisconsin
    Posts
    67

    Default

    I see that its not uncommon then. This swarm landed in one cluster on a small cherry tree. I was able to just shake them into a deep super about 10 minutes after they landed. I then took them to the far south of my property so they were about 1/4 mile from the original hive. I'm still waiting for the hives that threw these swarms to make a new queen for themselves. They may have already and just haven't mated yet.... I'll know in another week or so.

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