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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Posts
    8

    Default two queens in a small swarm?

    This is my second posting, but I've been reading and learning from your discussions for several years now.

    I picked up a small swarm August 19th. It was not much larger than a couple of softballs, hanging about seven feet off the ground in a small tree. On the sidewalk beneath it was a small cluster of bees. There were also a fair number of dead bees scattered around on the street next to the sidewalk. I brushed the ground cluster into a small cup and as I feared, the queen was there and alive. I put her in my catch hive and then got the cluster from the tree, too. The next morning I transferred them into a nuc. The queen was dead on the bottom of the catch hive. I put her in a jar of alcohol.

    I kept this nuc separated from my other three hives since I was concerned by the number of dead bees. I kept a casual eye on it, expecting it to die out over a few weeks. It didn't die. It seemed to be doing quite well. I looked in yesterday and there were capped and uncapped brood on three frames!

    So...what's happening? Two queens in the swarm? or maybe more likely, two small swarms in very close proximity?

    Has anyone else had this experience?

    Jeff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,787

    Default

    I got a swarm about 3 to 4 weeks ago in my backyard. It had 3? queens in it. I didn't know it was multiqueened until I looked a day after boxing it. The bees were balled tightly into 3 balls in different places in the box. I figured it was multi queened, so i poked thru one of the balls and sure enough they were keeping a qeen in there. I tried to cage her but she kept going back into the ball. Then when I kept after her, she flew off. The other 2 balls I just left alone. A week later, I had one laying queen in the box. I've heard and now witnessed that there are swarms with multiple queens in the fall of the year.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

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