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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. I've got a booming hive that wintered really well, and even after doing a split it's still cast a few swarms. I've captured two of them. The swarm from today had two queens in it - for now the ball is hanging tight and setting up shop in a spare nuc.

But now I've got questions...

1) I'm thinking of snagging one of those queens and grabbing a few frames of brood/bees from the strong hive to create another nuc. I'm concerned that she may not be mated though - would this matter? I'm hoping she'll mate anyhow but I also know there's a window where she goes on mating runs then stops.

2) I'm concerned about the old hive now. I know for a fact it's now produced a minimum of three queens, probably 4...what is the standard practice on cracking open the origin hive to inspect for a viable queen and overall health after casting so many swarms? I'm thinking of leaving them alone for a week, then looking. Thoughts?

Thanks for any input, it's been a wild spring for me here in Decatur GA!
 

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The old queen likely went with the original swarm. The other two swarms had virgin queens in them. The original hive should have a virgin in it also. That is what the books say. When I had a hive swarm like this it swarmed itself into oblivion. When it was all done I had two swarms that I captured. Both of them were virgin swarms. Both queens mated, one not well enough and the swarm failed. The other one made a nice hive. So unless there was another swarm that I did not find, the end result was 1 hive. It can take two weeks for a virgin queen to start laying.
 

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Chances are both the queens in the secondary swarm are virgins, so one will fall demise to the other eventually.
I'd check the original hive to see if there are more queens, or queen cells preparing for another secondary swarm. As Dave said, on occasion a hive will swarm itself into oblivion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Chances are both the queens in the secondary swarm are virgins, so one will fall demise to the other eventually.
I'd check the original hive to see if there are more queens, or queen cells preparing for another secondary swarm. As Dave said, on occasion a hive will swarm itself into oblivion.
As luck would have it, I was able to snag another swarm (from a neighbor and another colony) this afternoon, so hopefully between this one and my two others I'll be able to cobble together a few solid colonies leading into the main flow.

Thanks for the suggestions, I'll have a look at the main hive day after tomorrow and see what is going on. I sure hope they're done swarming...
 
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