2 Queens in one hive- What fun!
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  1. #1

    Default 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    Today while inspecting one of my hives, I found two queens on one frame! I believe this to be a mother/daughter coexisting together. I recognize the mother queen, because I found her almost every time I inspected over the past year and she's a fun "redhead" so I remember her especially. Her daughter appears to be a blonde. Who knows how long they will be co-queens, but I always get a kick out of seeing this.
    2queens.jpg
    Beekeeping Instructor / Live Bee Removal / San Diego, Ca / 90 hives. Check out my new book: Queenspotting

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Placer County, CA
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    442

    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    Oh wow, and right next to each other too!
    On my 5th year with bees, 2 hives.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Bordeaux, Aquitaine, France
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    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    Great picture. How did they react to each other?

  5. #4

    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    The double queen hives really intrigue me. You have taken that to a whole new level...

  6. #5
    Join Date
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    Lee\'s Summit, MO
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    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    Very cool. Had that in my OB hive last year. Watched them for about 6 weeks. They got along fine and would be next to each other on occasion as well. I never saw them fight or pay any special attention to the other. The daughter was huge, the mother was much smaller and painted. The mother was clearly less nimble on the comb and disappeared suddenly. Never found the body and it was during the winter so the dead were piled up in a dump area I have in their exit tube. The daughter started laying nicely but she apparently never did her mating flight and laid nothing but drones. Long story short neither made it but I successfully introduced a Bweaver queen in there who I saw this very morning. She had her rear left leg torn off by some bees in the intro so I call her Ilean but she's a trooper.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  7. #6
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    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    Nice pic! I've had 2-queens happen, but never seen them nose to nose.

    "I-lean" ....
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    Here's mine. The two didn't do anything remarkable but the older (marked) queen was dead about two weeks later.

    Attached Images Attached Images
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  9. #8

    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael H. View Post
    Great picture. How did they react to each other?
    They were hanging out next to each other quite a bit. No signs of fighting. No signs of recently hatched queen cells. The new queen was definitely laying. I wasn't able to confirm if the old queen was still laying.
    Beekeeping Instructor / Live Bee Removal / San Diego, Ca / 90 hives. Check out my new book: Queenspotting

  10. #9
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    Feb 2014
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    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    Pretty cool when they coexist side-by-side. You'd think that would be a beneficial survival trait... allowing a laying queen to exist even during supercedure.

    Neat pics from GNDH and Ravenseye, thanks for posting!

    During the right time of year I think I'd be tempted to do a split if I found that circumstance.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    Wow that is cool, and they are even talking to each other.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Concord, VT,USA
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    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    During year-one my mentor held up one of my frames and said, "here's your queen". I was viewing the opposite side of the frame as he spoke and noticed my marked queen there. He said that in 50 years of beekeeping that he'd never seen that before. But some research on my part indicated that it wasn't uncommon. This happened during the fall just before I buttoned them up. There was only one queen the following spring. Guess they worked it out.
    7 years; 3 colonies.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Kenton County, Ky
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    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    Hi I live in KY ,last year I looked at a hive and stoped counting after I had seen 13 queens got bees in mouth becuse it was hanging open so wide good luck with ,grab one and a two frams and give the red head a new home. lol its time! pink bee man

  14. #13
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    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    The most I have seen is 3 in one hive, 2 is pretty common.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  15. #14
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    Feb 2014
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    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    I caught a colony late this year (mid-September) in the middle of having queens emerge after swarming. I was entirely ill prepared, but I ended up with several cells and probably 15 loose virgin queens I bet I pinched another 15 queens or cells as well. All I had was an empty ziplock bag, so into the bag they went. I cut the cells out and left a virgin behind. The bag was a melee... queens all balled up with each other stinging and biting...
    The one left in the hive never mated and neither did her sister (I tossed the bag of loose queens into another colony that needed a queen). It was interesting that they fought the queens that were loose and started feeding one that was trying to get out of her cell (one that was in the process of emerging when I placed the cell).

    Obviously totally different than having multiple laying queens.
    Last edited by jwcarlson; 01-22-2016 at 02:03 PM.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    I had that happen one time as well. I had just cracked a hive open and I felt pretty good about finding a queen with my inexperienced eyes. Then I saw another, and another. I only saw 7-8 and I was catching them as quickly as I could. I was too new and couldn't tell if they were mated or not. Capped queen cells everywhere with queens cutting their way out. Swarm issued later that day that I never saw. A few weeks later I had a queen in there laying. None of the queens I caught we're successfully bread in the nucs I put them in. Quite a humbling but learning experience.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Wilmington, Delaware
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    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    Great picture! That's just what I needed to see as a blizzard is about to bury my hives in snow. Thank you!

  18. #17

    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    My first year hive, started from a package, had two queens. I did some stupid things that I would never do now, fearing swarming and loosing my good queen. The hive got huge and aggressive (the amount I was messing with them didn't help). They came through their first winter queenless. I got them a new queen and they are still kicking it.
    6 years-8 hives-T
    brooklyn-queen.com

  19. #18
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    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    Great pictures! Nice to see when it's too cold to get inside the hives.
    "Sometimes the best action, with bees, is no action at all."

  20. #19
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    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!

    My dog canary
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  21. #20
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    Jul 2013
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    Mirabel, Québec, Canada
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    Default Re: 2 Queens in one hive- What fun!




    I've seen it happen, though rarely. This case, I believe, was with an introduced mated queen and queen cell. Might have been requeened with a queen cell, which took a long time to start laying (or I just didn't see the brood during the inspection), which led to the introduction of a mated queen, that ended up getting chewed up a bit before finally being accepted. Both queens are obviously not from the same stock. We'll see what it gives in Spring...

    Multi-queened colonies are interesting. I plan on toying with them a bit next year.
    www.apisrustica.com Bee Breeding: Canadian nuclei & queens
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