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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm an idiot. My hive swarmed several weeks ago on May 7, and I haven't seen any eggs since. Six days ago I still saw no eggs and the bees were just filling all the cells with nectar (maybe I missed some), so I decided to combine it with the hive next to it and set the 2 deeps on top with newspaper. Luckily I put an excluder between the boxes. Low and behold today above the excluder was a bunch of eggs and a queen (what should have been the queenless hive).

The box below the excluder had eggs too, so I unsplit them back to the original arrangement. Then looking down I saw a queen just wandering around the ground. No idea where she came from, and hoping I put her back in the correct hive.

I'd have saved some time and aggravation if I was just patient and waited a few more days before combining.

Would the hive have eventually killed 1 queen in that situation? They seemed to be doing fine with 2 queens divided by the excluder. I think the queen above was a daughter from the queen below, or maybe a sister. Would that make a difference?
 

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I have had a few 2 queen hives in the past, a mother / daughter type of thing where their pheromones are so close together they other bees must not be able to tell them apart.
 

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It is a fairly common practice to run 2 queen hives. They do not have to be mother/daughter, but it certainly helps to have excluder and a super or two between them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It is a fairly common practice to run 2 queen hives. They do not have to be mother/daughter, but it certainly helps to have excluder and a super or two between them.
It's common? What are the benefits or risks?
 

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2 queens produce double the amount of brood so the hive grows twice as fast and can produce huge amount of honey. I can see the advantage in the apiary where the space is limited (to place a new hive). However the inspections are more difficult, plus the hive may grow too tall. I tried it just for fun, but decided against it, I prefer working with smaller hives or nucs, large superhives are just too much trouble during inspections.
 

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I had a 2 queen hive this spring, and I think it had 2 queens all last year but I never caught it. It was a package last spring.

63943
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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I have had 2 queen hives, they grow very fast, and you get more than 2 times the honey.
At some point the "extra" bees are foragers. the nurse bees, the guard bees, the water hauling bees, the pollen bees, etc.
with 2 queen the population gets really big, I had 1 queen in 2 deeps on the bottom, then excluder then super then second excluder then top deep with second queen. Ideally you get 30 frames of brood just before the main flow.
re do the stack with all 3 deeps on the bottom. then add supers. It would get tall, be tippy and unruly. I normally needed a ladder for the top 3 supers. The bees would not care about the 2 queens, once laying and slower they tended to just co exist, often but were there in the spring. In the spring you pull a 10 frame split, once the queen mates do it over.

My first book was "the hive and the honey bee" it had a chapter on the 2 queen method, i somewhat followed it, and it did work.

now I often put a newly mated queen on top in the same fashion, then when she has 10 frames of bees, remove the bottom deep for a split, equalizing the 2. starting point is a strong 20 frame hive and an 3 or 4 frame NUC. works best to add the queen just when the bees start the super on the main hive, AND have an upper entrance. they "act" separate unlit the whole thing just becomes one. I have a couple deeps with a round hole in front for doing this manipulation. did 2 this year have a couple more to do.

GG
 

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I was talking about two queens in the same brood box without any excluder between them, not a two queen hive set up to run two separated queens.
 

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I was talking about two queens in the same brood box without any excluder between them, not a two queen hive set up to run two separated queens.
Yes, that would be mother/daughter situation and it would be temporary most of the time. I believe the older queen would get harassed by the new one and eventually she would leave the hive. I have not heard/seen 2 queens laying in the same box for the whole season, it may be possible, but certainly uncommon.
 

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I have seen mother and daughter laying inches apart and I have seen what I believed were sisters doing the same. Some experts say ten percent or more of colonies have more than one queen.
 
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