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Author Topic: 2 Queens?  (Read 923 times)
Zoot
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Location: Dickerson, MD


« on: September 21, 2006, 08:11:32 PM »

I installed a slatted rack ubove my 4 brood boxes back in August in hopes that it would act as an excluder under my subsequently installed honey supers. When I inspected that hive several weeks ago I observed capped brood and larva in the upper supers as well as below. At that time I had never seen the queen in that colony.

Yesterday I inspected the hive and found a healthy active queen in the upper super (lower ofn the 2) as well as even more brood. I attempted to inspect the lower 4 boxes but the bees were going crazy, extremely hostile, so I suspended my efforts. Hope to try again next week when the weather is a bit more accomodating.

Could there be a queen below too? I did glimpse full frames of brood in the uppermost brood box but it looked older, darker. Could the one queen simply bee traversing the slatted rack?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2006, 01:03:22 AM »

Are you using a top entrance?  Occasionally the bees will invert the hive in the case of too much ventilation or a top entrance putting the brood chamber above the stores.  It sounds as if that is what has happened in your case.  You will need to reorganize the hive to standard configuration by putting the brood frames down to the bottom box which is probably now full of honey stores.
If you fail to reorder the hive the brood chamber will remain on top, as well the bees, and they will starve with the boxes below them full of honey.  Since you're using all mediums this won't be as hard as it would be if you'd used different sizes boxes.
I've run into this a few times.  Next year try laying a sheet of 1/4 inch hardware cloth on the top side of the upper slatted rack.  This should cure the problem.  The queen will hesitate to cross yet the bees can cross the 1/4 inch mesh without too much difficulty.  If the problem presists then you may still need to revert to am excluder in the case of this particular hive.
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Zoot
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2006, 10:05:09 AM »

Brian,

Your theory was one that was advanced by the gentleman who was assisting me me the other day, a master beekeeper and former head of the local assoc. As I mentioned we decided to postpone further exploration into the lower brood boxes due the to extremely hot nature of the hive that day. The only upper entrance was the small notch in the front of the inner cover that never seems to be used much.

I should have mentioned that a few weeks ago I had encountered queen cells in that hive, cells that several days later became capped (with larva & royal jelly). I removed them (because it appeared that the never yet seen queen in that hive was still laying vigorously) at that time but they could easily have been rebuilt I suppose. I will inspect the lower boxes next week and rearrange accordingly.
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