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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    230

    Default Multiple Queens in Swarm?

    I have a hive that swarmed last Saturday and then swarmed again yesterday. I used a queen catcher to catch the queen of the surface of the swarm as she was running around. In both cases I thought I had missed her and the second time I caught her but thinking back I'm wondering if there was two or more queens in each swarm. After a week of cooler weather, rain, and wind I finally got into the original hive to check for additional queen cells. I found two or three capped cells and at least six open cells, some with the cap still attached. I had reversed my deeps, moved comb around and did everything but cut out cells and this hive still swarmed. Will it swarm with just two queen cells left. The hive was packed with bees and brood but is not overly full now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,809

    Default Re: Multiple Queens in Swarm?

    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

    >Will it swarm with just two queen cells left. The hive was packed with bees and brood but is not overly full now.

    Only the bees know for sure... actually, I'm not sure they know either... but I tend to leave the cells. I'd rather have them swarm than end up queenless. You can open the brood nest with some empty frames (not too many) and that may employ some of those unemployed nurse bees...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: Multiple Queens in Swarm?

    I left the two queen cells, took out two frames of foundation that were not drawn out, one from either side of the hive. I added two frames of drawn comb to give room for new eggs.
    Thank you.

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