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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Auburn, NY
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    Default Do emerging queens really duke it out??

    I was in my hives this past weekend with a wonderful young woman who thought I was being a sexist pig when I told her that when there is more than one queen, they cat fight. I reassured her that yes they fight and the winner rules the hive. But then I started thinking about it. Is this one of the myths that is perpetuated over and over until its believed or is this really true? Has anyone ever seen it? Documented it??I do know some people on here once in a while post they see two queens and assume its mother daughter. ??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,401

    Default Re: Do emerging queens really duke it out??

    Yes, it is quite true - not a myth. The first virgin to complete her emergence, after her wings and exoskeleton harden a bit, goes through the hive, searching for other queens and queen cells. They have a battle cry they use to help them to locate each other, it's called queen piping. If she locates other queen cells, she will destroy them. Sometimes, if unemerged queens are near emergence, they will also reply to the battle cry, with their own muffled battle cry from within their cells.

    Whenever there is more than one queen present in a hive, they will fight to the death. The only known exception to this, is that when a mother queen has been superseded by her workers, her daughter will sometimes coexist with her for a short while.
    - - - - - -

    Consider this:
    The bees, nearly always, create more than one queen cell, whenever they are raising queens - for the various reasons they would do this.

    Since the majority of colonies are headed by a single queen. Where have all those other queens gone?
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 07-08-2014 at 12:55 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Do emerging queens really duke it out??

    I stayed up most of the night one night watching two virgins run around in my observation hive. They would meet and look surprised and run for their lives. That went on until I went to bed. But in the morning there was only one of them left...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
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    981

    Default Re: Do emerging queens really duke it out??

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I stayed up most of the night one night watching two virgins run around in my observation hive. They would meet and look surprised and run for their lives. That went on until I went to bed. But in the morning there was only one of them left...
    I just bought an observation hive because of what you had to say about yours. Now I'm starting to wonder if I'm in for some sleepless nights.

    It HAS to be better than watching television. Game of Thrones, but a reality show.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,341

    Default Re: Do emerging queens really duke it out??

    > Now I'm starting to wonder if I'm in for some sleepless nights.

    Of course, but they are interesting nights...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Auburn, NY
    Posts
    494

    Default Re: Do emerging queens really duke it out??

    Thanks for the info. Seems like this is in fact a truth.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Palos Verdes, CA, USA
    Posts
    65

    Default Re: Do emerging queens really duke it out??

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoebee View Post
    I just bought an observation hive because of what you had to say about yours. Now I'm starting to wonder if I'm in for some sleepless nights.

    It HAS to be better than watching television. Game of Thrones, but a reality show.
    In the Game of Combs, you win, or you die.
    What on earth have I gotten myself into?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,629

    Default Re: Do emerging queens really duke it out??

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan. NY View Post
    I was in my hives this past weekend with a wonderful young woman who thought I was being a sexist pig when I told her that when there is more than one queen, they cat fight. I reassured her that yes they fight and the winner rules the hive. But then I started thinking about it. Is this one of the myths that is perpetuated over and over until its believed or is this really true? Has anyone ever seen it? Documented it??I do know some people on here once in a while post they see two queens and assume its mother daughter. ??
    She didn't disbelieve you, she was shocked and offended that you referred to fighting queens by saying "they cat fight". To answer your question, yes, well documented and often observed.
    Mark Berninghausen To combat Ebola, please consider supporting http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Do emerging queens really duke it out??

    Actually, they "bee fight". I don't know how they would "cat fight".
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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