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Wandering if anyone has had experience with balled queens during a swarm transfer. This was a gigantic swarm -- we had only a 5-frame, screened bottom nuc box to collect it. The bees were pretty much crammed in there, spilling out. When we got home, we transferred the frames to an 8-frame deep. Once all frames were transferred out of the nuc, we noticed a ball at the bottom of the nuc. When we brushed the bees aside, the queen was on the bottom screen, and looked lifeless.

I thought I had read somewhere that sometimes queens can 'play dead' or go into shock, only to be 'revived' by their attendants. I also read on Beesource that balling can sometimes be an act of protection, rather than aggression. Any info would be appreciated, or advice to prevent in the future (like carrying various sized boxes to collect a swarm).
 

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Have to look carefully, but two queens actually walk over each other 12 seconds in.
That is awesome! I had no idea a swarm could have multiple queens. Would they all be virgins?
 

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That is awesome! I had no idea a swarm could have multiple queens. Would they all be virgins?
Mr. Beeman -- What a great video. Thank you for taking the time to post it, and for taking the time to box out the queen and balling behavior. Very helpful. We took a look in the swarm today, but did not see a queen, though it is packed with bees 2 deep, so it would have been tough to spot her. We decided to throw in a frame of eggs / open brood, just to be on the safe side and to tempt them to stick around. Thanks again for your feedback.
 

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Mr. Beeman,

It has taken some time, but we did notice multiple queens in this swarm. Upon inspection, we noticed another balled queen. She appeared to be a virgin. When we brushed the bees away, the virgin immediately flew away! Meanwhile, there is a very dark, very fat queen laying a very nice pattern. Not sure if this could be the old, original queen.

Incidentally, one of the old-timers in our club mentioned that another beekeeper we know once ran a swarm through a queen excluder. She counted 8 queens in that swarm! Now we know to be on the lookout, and perhaps capitalize on capturing additional queens from swarms.
 
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