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My wife and I were working in one of our outyards this week. My wife was having trouble finding the queen in the strongest hive (four deeps full). She had gone through the second box without finding the queen and started on the bottom box. I wanted to shake some bees for a weak hive I had at home so I started double checking the #2 box. I found an opened queen cell with the trapdoor still attached and announced that we had a virgen queen. A few minutes later she spotted a marked and numbered queen on the wall of the #1 box. At this point I decided that since I needed bees I would shake some from the box I was in. I dropped one of the frames in the process and ended up with half a frame of young bees on the ground. While trying to herd them into the swarm box I found another queen on the ground, this one with a white dot and no number disk.

Going back to my records, I had thought this hive to be queenless in July and had given them a frame of brood from the only hive I had in that location that had a marked but not numbered queen. Appearently the bees accepted her even though they already had the numbered queen they were given in late May. Now in September they built and raised a singe queen cell, which they have allowed to hatch. Now I think I know why this hive is so strong.
 
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