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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    GEORGETOWN, FL.
    Posts
    16

    Default multiple queens in one hive

    I had one hive make it through the winter, and at the end of January, found that besides the marked queen that I had purchased in the previous fall, the hive had made another queen. I observed the hive for a couple of weeks, and found that the new queen was being well tolerated by the mother queen and the rest of the bees. I decided to make a nuc with the new queen and some frames from that hive, and they are doing well. Today I inspected the "old" hive, and found the same old marked queen, who appeared on a frame of lots of brood in a nice pattern, but on two separate frames, found two new queens! I had been told that an extra queen is not terribly unusual, but I'm wondering if this hive is unhappy with the old queen (even though she is laying), why they tolerate so many queens, and if I should expect one or more queens to leave at some point. Thanks for any insights on your experiences.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,738

    Default Re: multiple queens in one hive

    They sensed the first queen was failing and replaced her. You took her replacement, so they raised some more. Mother daughter queens are not unusual for a while. Two daughters is unusual for any length of time. I'll bet when you come back you'll just find the mother and one daughter left...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    GEORGETOWN, FL.
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: multiple queens in one hive

    Thanks Michael, that makes sense. In your experience, do the baby queens take off to get mated, and come back to the hive? I'm worried about loosing any bees with a queen leaving, as the hive is rather small in population.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,738

    Default Re: multiple queens in one hive

    >Thanks Michael, that makes sense. In your experience, do the baby queens take off to get mated, and come back to the hive?

    If the hive is crowded at the time I would be worried about swarming. If the hive is not crowded and not growing exponentially, then I would not worry about it.

    > I'm worried about loosing any bees with a queen leaving, as the hive is rather small in population.

    A hive with a small population is not likely to swarm unless you REALLY crowd them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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