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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning to build a horizontal double-wide hive with a central vertical double queen excuder as a divider and am interested if anyone has experience with this cofiguration or if anyone experienced with 2-qeeen hives in general has an opinion to help me wih the followig issues:

The double-queen horizontal hive proposed by Michael Bush has two vertical queen excluders with a deeps-worth of frames between the two queens and clusters for collective honey and collective supering above (triple-wide total).

I am planning to have no central deep and so I believe that the two queens will form half-spheriod clusters on either side of my double-excluder divider (effectively half of a large cluster with its own queen on either side of the divider). I plan to cover the double-wide hive with three 6-frame deep nucs - the central nuc will be right over the cluster and will form the primary super for collective honey.

Am I right? Will the two queens effectively form two halves of one large brood cluster in the center?

Is this configuratio for a two queen hive better than the one MB has proposed? Heat sharing 'should' be better with a single large cluster rather than two seperated smaller clusters (and this should result in decreased honey consumption and hence increased excess honey production, right?), but are there any other problems that could arise? Will this configuration be inherently harder to manage than the one proposed by MB?

Any thoughts or advise for this double queen novice appreciated...

-fafrd
 

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I don't know if it is any better than other two systems that have been tried. What you are describing sounds like the tower system that Penn State has been using. The only problem I have with it is how do you prevent the moisture from getting into the hives on each side of the tower? Other than sounds like a workable system.
 

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Jdpro5010,

You are correct that the 2 queen system I am considering is similar to the Penn State tower system, with a couple important differences:

A) instead of having a central deep super on top of side-by-side deeps for two brood/queen chambers in which there is no communication/holes directly between the two brood chambers (only up into the central super, over, and down into the other chamber), I want to either put holes or slots through the back-to-back inner ‘sides’ (the central divider) with a double vertical queen excluder in between or else I am considering to use a single ‘double-wide’ box with a double vertical queen excluder in the center.

B) to avoid the moisture problem (rain getting into the middle of the lower hive boxes where the single central super joins the half-width migratory covers on either side), I plan to cover the entire double-wide width (32 ½” total width) with three (custom) 10 ¾” wide 6-frame deep supers (32 1/4” total width) with a single (custom) 32 ½” wide outer cover for a water proof surface.

I’m interested in whether the two queens in a single divided hive body will be more effective than the two queens each in their own hive bodies (as in either the vertical configuration or the Penn State tower configuration) and would appreciate opinions from anyone who has experience with 2 queen hives. This idea was inspired by the two queen hive Michael Bush has described on his web page (though I not yet sure how much experience there is out there with this 2 queen configuration).

The other thought driving my idea is to avoid the ‘supers to the sky’ syndrome of the Penn State tower configuration (as well as the vertical 2 queen hive configuration) – by going with three side-by-side 6-frame deep supers rather than a single 12-frame deep super for each level of supering, I should be able to half the total height of the supers (hopefully only 2 rows of supers max), and I should have an easier time managing deep supers as a 6-frame deep super should be as easy to manage as a 10 frame medium super (easier than a 10 frame deep super). Also, I hope to be able to inspect one side of the brood chamber without disrupting the other side too much by shifting the central super to one side and taking off one of the two side-by-side queen excluders (once the outer supers have been removed) - in the Penn State tower configuration, the tower needs to be completely removed to inspect the main brood area and this exposes both brood areas.

The classical vertical 2 queen configuration seems like a nightmare to manage and frankly hardly worth the extra trouble (versus two 1 queen hives), so I am hoping that combining some of the ideas of the Penn State tower configuration with more of a horizontal hive and horizontal supering concept, I can find a 2 queen configuration that is not much more trouble to manage than a typical horizontal hive with supers.

Any thoughts or opinions appreciated.

-fafrd
 
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