Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras
    Posts
    67

    Default Two Queen Colony

    If I want to ensure that I have a strong hive being replenished with new brood, would it work to put an excluder between two deep bodies and have a queen in each one?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: Two Queen Colony

    It would work to have a solid vertical separator, with two hive halves having entrances pointing in opposite directions. That's the safest. Pointing in the same direction, is the less safe, but it works. The excluder will go over the solid separator. Look at Lauri's posts. Him and Mike Palmer have done very thorough discussion on this topic.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Two Queen Colony

    What is behind the idea of having the entrances pointing in opposite directions? That would have the affect of them actually being separate colonies. My thoughts are to have a single colony and keep the brood replenished. Being a new-bee, I'm just wondering how much strain it is on one queen to keep two deep bodies full of brood.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,462

    Default Re: Two Queen Colony

    Aram is referring to nucleus colonies. Yes, the total strength of a double nuc...including both queens, would do what captain wants.

    But, captain...are you looking to boost colony population and thereby honey crop by keeping two laying queens in each single colony? There's lots written on two queen hives. How I've done it...

    Split the colony in the spring...in Honduras I don't have a clue what that means. When the first flows start I guess. Elevate that split above the inner cover with the escape hole closed so the bees can't communicate between colony and split. Split has to have entrance to rear of hive. Give split a new queen.

    Allow the new queen to establish her broodnest...2-3 weeks time. At that time, replace the inner cover between the two queen-right units with a queen excluder. You now have a two queen colony.

    You can run the two queen colony like that, adding supers to each unit as needed...too much lifting and swarm management needed, in my opinion. Or, you could allow these units to grow in population until the main flow starts, and combine...dispatching the old queen. This is a modified two queen system that will boost the colony population, re-queen the colony, and increase honey production. It will also increase the chances of swarming if you're not diligent in your management.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,462

    Default Re: Two Queen Colony

    Quote Originally Posted by captaintat2 View Post
    Being a new-bee, I'm just wondering how much strain it is on one queen to keep two deep bodies full of brood.
    Not a strain at all. Some are able and some are not. I regularly have colonies with broodnests of 10, 12, and 14 frames of brood. The following season...same queen...same results.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Two Queen Colony

    Michael, Understood. There are only two seasons in Honduras, summer and summer and summer with rain with lows in the upper 70's. My thought here was to put the supers all on top of the split to avoid lifting the deep to access the lower super. Or would this cause conflict in the hive of the bottom bees trespassing through the upper split to store honey in the super? I am considering to clip the wings of the queens to avoid swarming. All of our bees here are Africanized and the seem to be famous for swarming and absconding. I do like your idea of building the colony and then removing the old queen, makes a lot of sense to me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,462

    Default Re: Two Queen Colony

    Africans...all bets are off. Isn't the temper of an African colony directly proportional to the population? I would think swarming and absconding would defeat your attempts to build large powerful colonies. Do you have access to european queens? Could you use this management to boost the colony and re-queen annually, maintaining european bloodlines in your hives?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Two Queen Colony

    I really don't know the answer to those good questions as I'm just getting started. I'm not sure that I would be able to import bees from the states to get European queens or if they are available here. Perhaps my strategy should be geared towards smaller colonies,(one deep and one super)? In my research I saw mention of queen wing clipping to avoid swarming and absconding.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads