« Last post by tjc1 on Today at 06:44:44 PM »
I just got done dealing with my observation hive doing just that. They were in swarm mode, noisy and a large ball of bees, football size, hanging outside of the hive. I did a split and moved the queen to a nuc. about 10 days later this hive swarmed and it left the area. I could hear queens piping at this point. A week later it swarmed again and it landed in one of my traps, my wife watched it swarm. I could still hear 3 distinct queens piping. That night my wife and I opened the observation hive to reduce it down to one queen. I had 4 queen cages available. Once it was open and the bees were disturbed enough that they stopped tending the queen cells, while I was removing queen cells as fast as I could with out damaging them, the queens were getting out of their cells on the table and in the hive. I ended up with 10 queens. I marked every one. I put one marked queen back in the hive after taking out all but 2 frames out, to do a through search for any remaining queens. Late that night I saw an unmarked queen in the hive and never found the marked queen. About 5 days later she started laying. 2 weeks later, so many bees were dieing off that this hive started failing and within a couple of days it was dead.
Wow - that's quite an event to have seen! I had the same experience of checking on a frame of swarm cells to have them all start hopping out at the same time. I've also read somewhere about the bees holding the queens in the cells until they are ready for whatever.