Multiple Queens
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Thread: Multiple Queens

  1. #1

    Default Multiple Queens

    So I had made a split in late April. It was doing really well but they lost their queen in May. They had and still have PLENTY of bees they are 2 mediums strong and drawing out a 3rd. However, I let them make their own queen and on May 29th I checked in on them to see how the queen cells were doing and found over 12. I ran out of time so I came back on the 30th and found several capped the werent capped the day before so I cut out all but 3 cells to err on the safe side.

    If my math checks out they should have emerged around June 6th or 7th. Today (June 10th) I checked in to see if the queen was laying and found the 2nd brood box mostly honey bound and the first box had a fair bit of honey but I could not find any eggs anywhere. As I was about to close up the hive I hear some piping and see a dark queen having her leg pulled by several bees. I watched this happen again with 2 light colored queens as well. Thoroughly confused I caged up one light colored queen by herself. Afterwards I witnessed a light colored queen on the front of the hive enter the hive entrance.

    So there are atleast 2 queens still in the hive. 1 is caged in a cool, dark place right now. I was under the impression that once a queen emerged they would rid the hive of other queens. Is this not true? Secondly what should I do with this caged queen? Am I safe to make a split with her?

    Dark Queen: https://i.imgur.com/WRZwQbg.png

    Light Queen: https://i.imgur.com/H4aMFHw.png

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,022

    Default Re: Multiple Queens

    Too soon for the queens to be mated and laying eggs. The one in the cage is probably still a virgin and you caught her while she was doing an orientation flight. You could try making a split with her but it may be too late. If you do, do you have another yard you could take her to?
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    St. Charles, MO, USA
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Multiple Queens

    If one queen doesn't kill the other, they will most likely swarm and probably very soon. The workers will pull on or be aggressive to virgins for a number of reasons including: trying to drag one out to swarm, not liking the scent of the virgin and thinking she is a foreign bee, trying to keep virgins separated so they can swarm.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Multiple Queens

    I do have another yard I can move the split to. So I will attempt a split tomorrow. Since she is a virgin queen should I still leave her in the cage with the new bees for 3 days or so or release her directly?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,022

    Default Re: Multiple Queens

    She has been caged in the same hive, direct release. If she has been out of the hive, or you are using a different hive, smoke them and then direct release. Virgins have very weak pheromones until they are mated so are usually just ignored in my experience.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Multiple Queens

    So I made the split and they didn't attack the queen immediately after I put her in so that's a good sign I suppose. So now my question is what is the approximate timeline for queens after they emerge from the cell at day 16? It seems that my previous knowledge of that is where my mistake was made.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Dayton, TN
    Posts
    164

    Default Re: Multiple Queens

    Like JW said. You can direct release with no problem. I direct release virgins all the time with no problem. I actually prefer to direct release because I can inspect the queen for any deformities and mark them for better ability to keep track of what is happening with mating queens.
    Andy

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,022

    Default Re: Multiple Queens

    You need to give her at least two weeks before not seeing eggs could be a cause for concern. I like to give them three weeks and then look for larvae which are much easier to see.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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