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2 queens in the hive, what to do?

804 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Michael Bush
This was a strong hive with a marked Italian Queen, haven’t been in it in about 2-3 weeks and today noticed the activity declining. So today I get in it, see an opened Queen cell (center of frame), I’m thinking supercedure.
I pull out the next frame and there is my blue marked Queen, fat as ever. I look at the other side, there is a fat unmarked Queen.
I have read about this before, haven’t seen it in any of my hives. Part of me wants to just let nature take its course and when time is right it will be out with the old, but my mind says I paid $35 for that marked Queen and I have a couple hives with feral queens I’d like to replace.
I don’t feel like this marked Queen should be failing already, I intro’d her this spring.
Has anyone had success taking the old queen and introducing her to a new colony?



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I have taken the original queen away in a nuc and she continued to lay well, and went on to overwinter. I also have had the nuc again supersede the queen. It's a toss up, all it will cost you is a lost nuc, and either way will be a learning experience.
Have you thought of a way to get one away?
If I were in your physical shoes this close to winter I would close it up and let nature take it's course as you mentioned. I try not to second guess what the colony is wanting. If this were split season I would consider removing the old queen and a couple of frames of brood and put her in a nuc and see if she has a good pattern still. Yes I've done it successfully and yes she is still laying well. You are in Phoenix so maybe removing her is still possible. I get very conservative at the end of the season and don't go into the brood nest at all after late summer.
On the advice some of my local beekeepers, I took the marked queen and put her into one of my feral hives. I figure if nothing else it will give me a good idea of what I could/should do in the future.
Sounds to me like the makings of a good resource hive for winter. I can't see where you are though so maybe you don't get winter there in which case that wouldn't work.

I'm switching over to almost all multi-queen hives next queens are in bottom brood box with an excluder and the hives share supers. Worked great in my trial run this year even though we had a drought.
Odds are the old queen was failing and they will soon get rid of her. I would leave them to their own devices.
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