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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    fentress, tn, usa
    Posts
    37

    Default Is it common for a queen to switch hives?

    I have several hives that I put queen cells in and hatched queens out of. I saw one hatch out, and marked it. The others didn't hatch the same time and I didn't mark them. Anyway, the queen from the first hive is now in hive number 2 and the first hive is queenless. It has been almost 2 weeks since they hatched out and I haven't found any eggs in either hive. I was just wondering if this is common. Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Denton, TX
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Is it common for a queen to switch hives?

    Sounds like she may have returned to the wrong hive after her mating flight...to me. It's my understanding that this happens. Maybe someone with more experience will chime in on this..I'm curious now.
    9/11/01 NEVER Forget! 343

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,804

    Default Re: Is it common for a queen to switch hives?

    I've had it happen 2 or 3 times to me over the years.

    I think queens fly more times and for a longer period of time than some people think. I think they fly multiple days for mating flights. I've seen evidence of queens flying or at least leaving the hive in some fashion for up to 30 days after egg laying has started from a fresh new queen.

    I would suggest combining your hives into one hive.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,217

    Default Re: Is it common for a queen to switch hives?

    I have a four way mating nuc, and I believe the queens emerged a couple of days ago. I saw a flurry of activity yesterday, two sides were actively fanning with their nasanov glands active. I could see how a returning virgin might enter the most populous side.
    Then I remembered something I saw on Beesource about a queenless hive calling in a queen on return from a mating flight; If I remember right the poster was saying something about virgins, or new queens finding their way into a hive and damaging a bunch of cells.
    So I guess it might happen more than we realize, and our assumption that a nuc's queen died on a mating flight might be wrong - she may have just gone to the wrong home.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    St. Joseph County, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Is it common for a queen to switch hives?

    I pulled a marked queen and some top bars out of a hive to make a split in may. the original hive was progressing nicely with a half dozen queen cells that hatched out. the split didn't have such a good time. the split was moved about 50 feet away from the original hive. when i first checked it, the stupid goats had used it as a climbing toy and all of the comb was broken. wired and rubber banded it back together as best i could and left it. the next time i checked it, the goats had done it again! this time there were only a handful of bees left, no queen, and i figured they had absconded. later, checking the original hive, there she was! I wouldn't have believed it, but i had marked her myself with my daughter's sparkly blue nail polish!

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