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Author Topic: 2 queens in my strong hive  (Read 1268 times)
derrick1p1
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« on: May 13, 2008, 07:40:36 PM »

I'm lost here,...so if you have any recommendations...please let me know.

I entered this hive thinking I'd just need to adjust some frames.  This hive started off the spring weak.  Then got strong, fast.  I opened up the brood chamber and moved boxes to help prevent a swarm.  They've drawn comb and filled up supers very very fast with a strong population.

Today this is what I found from the top down:
 top super full of ripe honey--found a hole on the corner that they have been using as another entrance.
 next super mostly capped honey, but found some open brood;
 next super full of capped honey with no brood;
 next super was half drawn, no brood
 next super packed wall to wall with open brood and capped brood and swarm cells!
 bottom deep full of capped brood and open brood.

I could not find the queen/queens? as this hive is full and hard to find the queen.  I did not see eggs, but getting late in the afternoon, so I easily could have missed them.

Sorry if not enough info here....trying to keep it relatively short.  Any suggestions?  Should I be splitting here?

Thanks,
Derrick

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I won't let grass grow under my feet, there will be plenty of time to push up daisies.
Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2008, 10:09:02 PM »

Split.  Now.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm
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Michael Bush
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derrick1p1
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2008, 11:31:03 PM »

Thanks Michael.  I hope it's not too late.  Learning lots this 2nd year, and enjoying it.  I will be doing a split asap (tomorrow am).  Thanks for all of your help.
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lovelyembalmer
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2008, 12:38:03 PM »

Before we lost the 30 hives( now we have 10) we had a mother/daughter hive. mother was in the brood box w/ queen exculder and daughter was in the supers with a upper entrance. Called the inspector for our area and he had never seen this happen. Said that maybe the mother was getting to old and still laying and raised a daughter to take her place.  All the bees took care of both the queens.  We split the hive.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2008, 08:07:04 PM »

Was it a fairly tall hive, lovelyembalmer?  I inspected my hives yesterday and found that my largest hive (6 boxes tall) had brood in the very top box, which is an anomaly to me since I have yet to see a queen in any of my hives lay higher than the third box (I run an open brood nest).  Because this inspection was just to see if there was a need to add boxes or harvest, I didn't go all the way through the hive to find out if there was only 1 or 2 queens.  It was in the back of my mind though.  The hive needs split anyway and I plan on doing that as soon as my frames decide to get here.

Anyway, just curious.  Thanks.
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lovelyembalmer
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2008, 10:29:28 AM »

Yes it had a brood box and about three to four supers.  We don't go much higher because it is hard to maintain and it takes so long to go through just one hive.  The inspector also said he had heard about that happening but never seen it. so he was excited about coming in to help inspect that hive.

Check through out the whole box, even if you don't find two. a rack of eggs and brood will produce a queen for the new box.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2008, 11:08:07 AM »

This situation was on my mind a lot last night.  I was thinking that maybe this happens due to a swarm gone wrong.  I don't know what your weather has been like but around here, it's been rainy, overcast, and a little cooler than I would expect for this time of year.  That said, I wonder if the hive produced a swarm cell, and the new queen emerged at a time when the weather was crummy, the hive though ready to head out for a new hive may have been held  up due to the crummy weather and was waiting for a better opportunity to leave.  This opportunity may have been so long in coming that they decided to heck with it.  The new queen and the old queen may never have gotten into a battle royal because one or the other went way up into the hive and was tricky enough to not get wacked when coming to and from mating flights.

I maybe stretching it, but I'd be interested in some other thoughts.

Regardless, I am going to be splitting this hive and 4 others as soon as the weather breaks.  We're supposed to be getting another long stretch of rain so I am not sure when this will get done.
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lovelyembalmer
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2008, 11:14:27 AM »

Ours had a queen excluder between the boxes.  That helped with separating the two queens and an upper entrance, which is probably where the new queen came in from her virgin flight.
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poka-bee
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2008, 11:39:34 AM »

I'm new but in nature anything can happen!  Bassman your theory makes sense. As Whinnie the Pooh said "you never can tell with bees" grin  Jody
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derrick1p1
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2008, 05:12:58 PM »

This sounds exactly what happened to my hive.  Thanks for letting me know you've seen this too lovelyembalmer,...I thought I might have been out in left field to think this may have happened.

I think they "swarmed", but ended up in the top most super.  I've not seen (although I'm only in 2nd year) a queen go past a super of capped honey (much less 3).  I think the swarmed queen used the upper to "escape" detection, mated and returned here.  I split this hive yesterday.  The population throughout this 6 super (plus a deep) hive was just booming.  Actually, I started getting intimidated half way through because of such large numbers and the loud "roar".

Odd thing is, I didn't need any eggs or the queens, but brood at various stages in both the deep and upper super.  I'm curious as to what I will find when I go back in in the next week.

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I won't let grass grow under my feet, there will be plenty of time to push up daisies.
lovelyembalmer
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2008, 07:45:02 PM »

That's great!! It's not often you get to see that happen. Smiley
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