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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I have heard of this before, but never had it myself... until now. I had a strong hive that swarmed on me despite all my efforts to prevent it, they made queen cells as expected, all was good so I did not bother them too much. This hive had excluder at all times. Fast forward to today where I found 8 frames of brood in my honey supers and 8 frames of brood under the excluder, both with their own queens, based on timing they are both post swarm sisters. I guess one of them managed to get into the supers before becoming too fat and stayed there. I guess the "bottom" queen pheromones are not strong enough to reach the third deep box (I run all deeps). Anyway this is not something I want, so I took her and couple of frames to a nuc, but my question is- will my "upstairs" bees make a new queen now that they are "queenless"? What do I do if I find that they are making queen cells up top in few days?
Is there a correct way to manage this situation? I did not want to split the whole top box off as I do not want too many 10 frame colonies, I prefer to have fixed number of full size colonies plus any number of 5 on 5 nucs.
BTW I noticed interesting behavior- when building a nuc for upstairs queen I added another frame from downstairs and they started fighting right away... Why don't they fight in the big hive?? They both use bottom entrance even when they have the top one.
Thank you for advice!
 

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One option would be to take out a good sized nuc with the upper queen, leave the excluder where it is. The upper bees may or may not start cells. Watch for and destroy them if they do. As brood emerges it will rapidly be filled with nectar and the top box will become honey supers again (admittedly with a bit of darkening from having a round of brood.
Now you will be back to a single deep brood box.

I had a similar situation after doing a Cloake board round of queen cells. What had been the second deep brood box got repurposed. In my case they did not start cells. I did move out the frames with the most brood on them and replace with undrawn foundation in the outer positions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Frank, that seems reasonable. I did not want to remove too many frames from there because I run 9 frame supers and they are extra wide- the honey area around brood is easily 1kg of honey per frame, so I did not want to lose that, I'm still planning to extract that honey (hopefully), they would have messed up my nuc anyway, so I will just monitor for queen cells for few days. There may be some in the second box as I saw some brood in there as well, but I don't want to lift those heavy boxes too much, so will check only top super. In the worst case I get another queen, not the end of the world... :)
 
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