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Author Topic: Question about queens and swarms.  (Read 301 times)

Offline Royall

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Question about queens and swarms.
« on: March 09, 2014, 11:54:40 PM »
About the time I think I'm understanding things a little better I get confused all over again :? I've watch a lot of youtube and read a lot here on the forum. I was under the impression that when a new queen emerges from the cell, she is the queen that will leave the hive with the swarm. Then I read or watched something that said the bees attending the old queen would hold back food to her so she would trim down to a point so she would be able to fly and lead the swarm. Which is correct?

Offline Moots

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Re: Question about queens and swarms.
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 12:09:19 AM »
About the time I think I'm understanding things a little better I get confused all over again :? I've watch a lot of youtube and read a lot here on the forum. I was under the impression that when a new queen emerges from the cell, she is the queen that will leave the hive with the swarm. Then I read or watched something that said the bees attending the old queen would hold back food to her so she would trim down to a point so she would be able to fly and lead the swarm. Which is correct?

My understanding...The primary swarm, the first thrown of by a hive in the season and typically the largest almost always (I'm sure there are exceptions) contains the existing swarm.  Weather permitting, I think they swarm about 7 days or so before the new queen cells hatch.  The new queen, will go around destroying the other queen cells before they can hatch.  I think she does this before her mating flights, but I'm not certain.  Hives sometimes throw off additional smaller swarms, these  often contain an unmated new queen.
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Offline sc-bee

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Re: Question about queens and swarms.
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 12:32:16 AM »
Old queen leaves with the swarm. Often this happens soon after the queen cells in the parent hive are capped. It will take another 7 days or so for the cell to hatch and then sometimes two weeks before the new queen is mated and laying. Then may take a little longer for the new queen to come up to speed. During this additional time it takes the new queen to  set up house the old queen heads a new colony. Later she is usually superseded.
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Offline Royall

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Re: Question about queens and swarms.
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 01:55:16 PM »
That is the way I was thinking it worked but then got talking to my beek friend (he's still pretty green too) and he got me really confused, which is getting easier to do as I get older  :-D

One last question for now.... is there ever a time when there are 2 queens in one hive?

Online buzzbee

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Re: Question about queens and swarms.
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2014, 02:55:45 PM »
That is the way I was thinking it worked but then got talking to my beek friend (he's still pretty green too) and he got me really confused, which is getting easier to do as I get older  :-D

One last question for now.... is there ever a time when there are 2 queens in one hive?
Yes
Sometimes for whatever reason the old queen is unable to fly and bees will leave when a newly hatched queen emerges. Most times it is a mother/daughter queens,but I have read about sister queens coinhabiting a hive. But how do you really know unless the old queen was marked or they were genetically tested?
 We have seen swarms with multiple queens , but in swarm season wh's to say two smaller swarms couldn't have merged? We think we may know,but the bees could always teach you something as they don't read the same books.