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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Crazy thing happened while my wife and I were eating dinner on the back deck watching our new bee hive. We're so sad :)

I little background first before I say what happened. This is a NEW bee hive with frames with no comb only foundation on them. This is a 1 day old swarm that was caught by my bee farm buddy who gave it to me. I transffered it to my new hive about 1 day ago, so there should be any new larve born yet.

While we were watching the hive all of a sudden we saw a large trail of bees start walking out of the hive and in front of this parade was a queen bee and she was walking up the front of the hive. I didn't think this was the queen at first because when I transferred the hive she didn't look the same the 1st day her abdomen was very large and bright orange, but today it was normal color italian bee color with the black and yellow stripes. I didn't think this was the queen at first because it didn't look the same as yesterday. But then she fell off the hive onto the ground. I just kept watching to see what happened maybe thinking it really wasn't the queen, maybe it was just a drone. But the abdomen still looked a lot longer than a drone. After about 5 min the hive just started going crazy and buzzing and bee coming out flying all around and abnormal amount of worker fanning the entrance. And on the ground my queen is still walking around, never tried to fly. eventually she walked up the hive frame. Still not sure this was the queen, and started thinking maybe that it was a new/extra queen.

But if this was a new swarm there should only be one queen in it right? Could a second queen have swarmed with the main queen if there were multiple queens in the old hive?

My first ever hive last year died off becuase it was too late before I realized there was no queen. And when I timed the possible event 5-6weeks when my bees were dieing off it was about when I installed my new hive after transporting it. So to prevent another colony from dying of a lack of queen I put my face screen on to put the queen back into the colony. By this time the queen was on the bottom of the hive stand and she was starting to get a pile of workers on top of her and fanning her. So at this point this MUST be the queen if they were protecting her! So I scoop her up and put her next to the entrance and I don't think I've seen a bee move so fast as she did to get back into the hive. About 2 min later the massive hysteria taking place in and outside the hive settled down and everything seemed back to normal after 5 min.

I'm hoping that the queen, being in a new hive for only a day is still learning her way around and some how made a mistake and took a wrong turn and didn't know how to get back into the hive. Everyone says the only reason queens leave a hive is for a mating, but if this is a new swarm the queen should be the already mated queen from the original hive right?

Hopefully she doesn't do that again!!!!!!! If anyone has heard of this before let me know. Or if you think my reasoning is sound let me know that too, so I can stop worrying if I need to open my hive and see what's going on. Since they've only been in it one day I don't want to disturb them, I feel like the less I open it the better off they bee. ;)

Thanks,
Eric.,.
 

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A swarm can have multiple queens in it. Especially if it is a secondary swarm. They will be virgin queens. It can also happen where you have the old queen and some of her daughters, though this is not very common. Normally the old queen will leave with a swarm when the queen cells are capped in the old hive.

Possibly the one you saw go out of the hive was going on her mating flight or was the loser of a fight with another queen. That would also explain her inability to fly if another queen has been tearing at her wings.
 

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it would be rare for a mated queen to swarm with another queen, as they swarm before other queens emerge. Once a virgin emerges she goes on the hunt to destroy any other queens within the hive.
However, It is possible that you have an after swarm, in which case the queen may have been trying to go out on a breading flight, and may have been a bit disoriented. It is all speculation.

Watch and see what happens
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll keep watching, today they seem to be calm and organized. Workers coming and going like normal. I will give them a couple more days before I open up the hive and check on how they are doing, give them some time to drawout some comb and see if the queen is laying any eggs.
 

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I've gotten swarms that have multiple virgin queens in them. I've also gotten one swarm that had the older queen and a virgin in it. So, yes, a swarm can have more than one queen in it. Oh, yes, I do think your reasoning is sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If she does happen to be an additional virgin queen or additional newly mated queen then the hive will kick her out a second time. No matter what I think putting her back in the hive just ensures that if she was my one and only queen I saved my hive a lot of trouble and if she is an extra queen and she comes out a second time then the bees know better than I do. I'll post how they are doing wednesday when I open the hive for the first time since I added the swarm to their new home. Wish them luck!
 
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