Natural Beekeeping

Top Bar ApiRevolution has begun! Lets make some Top Bar Hives and let them be pesticide free on their own natural comb! Che Guebee is a rebel bee fighting for the survival of the Biodiversity we all depend on and which is seriously endangered by deforestation and mono-crop agriculture!

Monday, May 5, 2014

2 Queens in the same hive

I decided to split my hives and took out the old Queen from the first hive and place it into a new empty hive with house bees, 3 combs of capped brood and 2 combs of honey.

After a few days I saw no activity and decided to open for quick inspection. The hive had only a handful of workers and the old queen laying new eggs. But most of the capped brood seems not doing well (cell caps falling in). Then I realized that I forgot to shake 2 more extra combs of bees from the mother hive to ensure many house bees end up in the new split (stupid mistake).

So I decided to shake some more bees from the mother colony. When I opened the hive I saw newly laid eggs in their cells which made no sense to me. Newly laid eggs stand erected in their cells.
I looked at the second comb and I saw a Queen. This hive had 2 queen all winter and I cant understand why they let the old queen be present? I know which is the old queen since that one came with colony I bought from a conventional beekeeper and she is marked and has one wing cut off.
The old Queen was split last year in May so they never went into swarm mode.

Could it be a virgin queen flying back from her mating flight into a wrong hive since another colony of mine came out of the winter without a Queen? Is this maybe their Queen? (Impossible to answer).
Top Bar Hive Colony

2 comments:

  1. Last year, I had two queens for awhile, though I'm not sure how long because they weren't marked. I know there were two queens because they superseded, but I never had a break in the brood cycle. I can't remember where I heard it -- either from Chris Harp or in a lecture by Mike Palmer, but apparently, hives with two queens are quite common. I never realized that the old queen could hang around quite so long, though. That's so cool -- one learns something new about bees every day!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I think its more common with two queens in a hive then we think. If you learn to know the bees you see that they are optimizing everything. Why should they for example kill the old queen before they had evaluate the new queen? Its about life or death. Why didn't have two queens until the new one is in full production and so on?

      Bees want to use the hole beehive. If its very big and the queen couldn't produce as much eggs to grow the colony as big as it fills the hive, why didn't have two queens?

      Because the most of the beekeepers think queens always kill each other as with swarmcells they never look for the second and if the eyes fall on it they didn't see it because they didn't expect it to be there.

      I think its more accidentally beekeepers see the second queen.

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