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Author Topic: What's happening in the hive after the swarm?  (Read 802 times)

Offline twb

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What's happening in the hive after the swarm?
« on: July 12, 2009, 08:14:06 AM »
We let our obs hive swarm so we could see the process and watch the aftermath.  It has been fascinating so far.  But, in my educational talks I tell people the first queen to emerge goes around and stings all the other queens to death in their cells.  Yet, we just saw two unmated queens running around in the obs hive a couple of days ago.  Plus, the bees are working on more queen cells even while they tear down others. And, I hear another queen quacking in a cell ready to emerge.

So, is this very unusual?  Is what I tell people true and what normally happens?
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Offline JP

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Re: What's happening in the hive after the swarm?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2009, 12:41:53 PM »
Without seeing the set up, I can only assume they are preparing to throw off afterswarms.

At some point, what is left should have a virgin queen that beat her competitors, if there are any.

Last year I removed a small colony from the floor of a play house and caught nine queens. Swarming and fighting was more than likely not far behind if I hadn't caught them when I did.

I had with me five queen catchers/cages, had to put four of the queens together in a small, vented container. One of the four killed the other three.

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