Never say never.
Never say never.
Another update. Checked to see if the Italian queen cell had emerged and found that it had (I had moved this frame up into the top Italian side super for easier access.) I haven't looked through the brood nest for eggs yet.
But looking through the supers I found a frame that I had moved up into a super in mid December had an emerged queen cell on it! Doh! I caused it! The virgin queen would have being the one who killed the Italian queen. Also, I had already removed a queen cell of this same frame, 10 days after I had moved it into the super. So I don't know how I missed this other queen cell.
In regard to the frame I notched from the Carniolan queen, they have made one queen cell on one of the notches, and it is sealed. So I have moved this cell (in the four frame box it was in) and set up a Nuc.
Update for those who are interested:
After a couple of weeks I checked the Italian side and found another queen cell on the edge of a frame, in the middle of the old broodnest (which now was completely full of lots of capped pollen and honey). No other brood at all, no empty space, except around the edges. Just the single queen cell with a larvae that was just about ready to be sealed. I moved this frame up so I could check it easier.
I also checked the Carniolan side and saw the queen.
A week later I checked the queen cell and it was empty and starting to be torn down.
A couple of weeks later I checked the Italian side again and there was still no sign of eggs.
Since then I hadn't checked the hive until this Saturday.
The last couple of weeks I noticed a lot more young bees doing orientation flights in the later afternoon, but many of these bees have different markings, literally half the abdomen (back end) is Carniolan and the other half a light Italian marking.
So Saturday went into the hive, without smoke as usual, and they were MEAN. Also they had glued up everything with propolis. This is a totally different hive! They must definitely have a new queen. Looking like the virgin queen must have gone into the Carniolan side. I didn't get into the broodnest. So haven't seen what she looks like. But found a few frames up the top with decent areas of capped drone cells.
So it looks like I'll be getting them to make a new queen now!
The Nuc actually made two queen cells on the frame that I had notched. They now have a nice Carniolan queen that is laying like crazy.
I have done this using a carni and itialin queen as well but the set up was different. I sat them up in april with the carni in the bottom super and the italian it the top two supers and there is is only one word to discribe that-PROLIFIC. By june the bottom box had no honey or pollen, just brood, and the italians lower box was 8 frames of brood and the top box was 6.5. It's no wonder that when the blackberries and clover flow turned on I did 7 standards of honey on her. But even the regular double queens are good too. I ran a lot of DQ's through the 90's but not so much in recent years since doing pollenation but now that I'm stepping back from pollenation and going back to honey production I might do a lot more DQ's again.
Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC
Is there any advantage to doing this set up with two new packages? Both carnies. Would a person be better off with just installing in two hives? Thinking about strength for next winter. Not worried about honey this year.
Two queen hives can be a little tricky. If you only have 2 packages, run them as individual hives. Worry about the fancy stuff when you have mastered the basic stuff. I know of one commercial stationnary beekeeper who runs all his honey producing hives this way and he says most years it pays off to have 2 queen colonies but some years it is not worth the trouble.
Besides if you want two hives for winter, start with two this spring.
I have seven hives. Just wanted to try something new.
thoroughly enjoyed this thread. i have a hard enough time tryin g to keep up w the hives i have, but may have to try this
If starting with packages I would put in a partition and let them get to a few frames of brood each. Ideally they should be similar in size and amount of brood when merged. This is because the queen with the most brood is preferred, so when there are similar amounts of brood there is no obvious drift. Otherwise the queen who has less brood may not survive.
When wintering I would divide them again, as one queen may be left behind an excluder as the cluster moves to stores. Also again, preference will be given to the queen who starts laying first and the other one may not survive going into spring.
TNT: Go for it.I thought if these were your first two hives the benefit would not outweigh the risks. That is one nice thing about this hobby/profession, there are many things to learn, many methods.
Now there's three queens!
A few weeks ago I found that there appeared to be two broodnests on the one (old Carniolan) side. One in the bottom box and one in the second super, with only two frames of brood in the first super that was in-between them. I didn't see any queens as they were still a big testy, so I moved the top (second) super to the other side to see if there were actually two queens.
Well they made queen cells in that box and today I saw the new virgin queen. She hasn't started laying yet.
The bees were much nicer today as the Autumn flow has started.
So I did a much thorough examination of the broodnest on Carniolan side. Well in the first super I found the old Carniolan queen (who is marked)! She is still alive!
Then in the brood box I found the other queen! She is definitely from the original Italian queen, as she is mostly an orange colour with only a bit of a black tip. So the two queens have been coexisting in the same boxes for up to three months.
I've now made another split and moved the Carniolan queen so she doesn't get killed. I prefer her workers!
Now that's the third split from this hive this season.
Thanks for the updates Matt. Very interesting thread.