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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
    Posts
    463

    Default Multiple queen swarms?

    How often is this encountered? I got a swarm off a pine tree today using a pool skimmer stick with a bucket taped to it. I dumped them through a QE, found a queen, caged her and figured I could sit back and watch the swarm settle in. I sat back and watched them ignore the caged queen, and wad up elsewhere, so I shook them into another box, found another queen...this one they stayed with. I found three queens, and there may have been four the way they behaved...
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Lumpkin County, GA
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    Sorry, I have no idea but your signature line cracked me up!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,603

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    I don't know how often it happens, but it has happened to me 2 or 3 times in the past. One actually flew into my yard into some empty boxes I had stacked, and separated by night fall into two separate box stacks. One had the old mated queen with the remains of a paint spot, the other was a virgin and took a couple weeks to start laying.
    “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
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,530

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    It happens more often than we realize. Most swarms are just dumped into a box or hive body without a QE.
    This year I will use a QE on every swarm.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Washington, Knox
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    If you listen to Don the FatBeeman podcast on http://somdbeekeeper.com/, Don states that it is a regular occurance to find more than one queen in a swarm. If I rememebr correctly, he states the queens do not kill other queens until after they have been mated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,881

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    They have been documented since at least Huber's time:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/huber.htm#o...dsprimaryswarm

    "We watched this queen a long time, but not aware that she would lead out a colony, we left the hive for a few hours. Returning at mid-day, we were greatly surprised to find it almost totally deserted. During our absence, it had thrown a prodigious swarm, which still clustered on the branch of a neighboring tree. We also saw with astonishment the third cell open, and its top connected to it as by a hinge. In all probability, the captive queen, profiting by the confusion that preceded the swarming, escaped. Thus, there was no doubt of both queens being in the swarm. We found it so and removed them, that the bees might return to the hive, which they did very soon."--François Huber, 6 September 1791, New Observations on the Natural History Of Bees Volume I
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    I have read about a multi-queen swarm being placed in large box, after a few days the box was opened to find several nests being constructed separately.
    "Nature does nothing uselessly." Aristotle

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    Fairly common when there are a lot of hives in the area. Working at H&r last year there was a swarm in the queen yard , The guys went after it and found over 30 queens. some how one can trigger several queens at a time all them phermones... may be like women in the house syncing up theirs!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,106

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    Lucky you
    Now you get to makes splits and queen them
    Hope they mate

    See you next Thurs.? .

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,952

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    I had a small ( maybe 3 cups ) swarm today. I didn't look for the queen, just added frames to the empty box they landed in. Your post makes me wonder how many other swarms there were.
    Did you get some swarmy genetics from someone?
    Hehe!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    I really didn't think these were my bees, but dunno. I had looked through our hives and did not see any signs= major change of honey/nectar or population change, missing marked queen. None of those aforementioned swarms stuck, but today there is another swarm, same neighbor (this is really costing me some honey) that I put into a 10frame. Lots of bees. I've put several empty boxes around my yard, all with q-tips of lemongrass oil, but not much comb, and no action for swarm collection. Got some learning to do I suppose. The swarm today was ten feet from an empty ten frame box...

    This swarm I plan to keep locked up for a day, screen bottom and a little bit of syrup.

    @TommyT- i missed the meeting again hope it went well and maybe see ya next week on the other side of the sandbar at Marineland.

    @gmcharlie= I've got three daughters.
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    LaGrange; Oldham County; Kentucky
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    How does one dump a swarm through a Qe? New here, second spring after my first winter

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,603

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    Attach a Qe to the bottom of a deep box, and dump and shake a swarm through it into it's new home box. This traps the queens above the Qe in the deep box.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    LaGrange; Oldham County; Kentucky
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    Yes but what do you do once you've separated the queen?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    cage her
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,881

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    It always seemed to me that a yard gets the swarm fever on the same day. Usually there are several swarms at once and you see one shrink and the other grow over time. I think they often combine. I don't think all the bees really know if they are with their queen or just some queen or their swarm or just some swarm...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,470

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    Ray, I was thinking that if the swarm had multiple queens they would not be mated yet and the virgin queens could get through a QE.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    @MichaelBush- that makes sense...it would be nice at times if they followed a textbook....

    @shannonswyatt- I do believe you are correct. At the time it seemed like a good idea to capture and cage the queen, assuming she was mated, in order to get the swarm to stay put. This particiular yard is rather urban, so having swarms abscond is a bit of an inconvenience. All efforts to keep them put are usually attempted...this particular event was a 'new to me' one and we ended up loosing them all.
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,922

    Default Re: Multiple queen swarms?

    The number one bit of information I recall on this issue was the video of skep beekeeping that was shared last year on this site. sorry I don't have a link to it. It showed them capturing primary swarms. then it went on to show how secondary swarms developed in which each swarm contained multiple queens. These where additional virgin queens swarming form the skeps as I understand it.

    Things to be aware of that I noted for myself.

    Swarming does not mean risk of additional swarms have passed.
    A queen introduced to a hive does not insure that all other queen cells are destroyed and that no other queens will mature and swarm.
    Pheromone levels in a queen may effect how many queens will cohabitate and that virgin queens are more likely to tolerate the presence of other queens. Possibly only other virgin queens.

    When a swarm only has virgin queens. having several of this woudl increase there chance at ending up with a healthy mated and productive queen out of at least one of them.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

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