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Two Queens In Hive

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djg 

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I came back from hoilday 12 days ago and found and marked a young Queen in one of my hives. I was surprised to see no sign of the old (also blue-marked) Queen, but assumed that some sort of supercedure had occured and that my inexperienced elder son had not noticd the QC when he was inspecting in my absence.

I was away over last weekend and checked again last night - astonished to see the old Queen AND the smaller, faster version just one frame apart in my rooftop National brood box !

I am planning to extract the younger Queen and 3/4 workers in a Butler cage tonight, keep them in a quiet dark place and then getting a pint of nurse bees from an under-powered hive into an Apidea, feed them fondant and leave them for a couple of days and then introduce the younger Queen, with the intention of overwintering in the breeding nuc (or a proper nuc, if they kick on).

Any other suggestions, beeks ?
 

admin 

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When you fill the Apidia dont go mad on the number of bees you use.
Shake the frames first to get the older bees off that could return to the old hive,then remove the younger bees into the Apidia.

If you overstock the box then there is a good chance they will bugger off.

Why cage the queen and why leave her behind when filling if the bees already have her pheremone on board from the hive you could take from?
You could swing the odds in your favour if you remove her with some of her bees instead of using bees from another hive.
 

oliver90owner 

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As usual, gave a little thought before answering. The thing I would ask is why are they superceding?

Now, the bees usually know best, as the saying goes; you are now going to remove their choice (the young queen) and intend overwintering in a 'breeding nuc' if that is all she will accommodate to.

I think she should make a 5 or 6 frame nuc, as long as she is mated - which may be a problem should you be disturbing her at mating time.

That apart, what will be happening to your main colony, now left with a queen, which the work-force had presumably deemed as innefficient, ailing, or failing? There may be more supercedure cells built, or it may even precipitate swarm cells this late in the year (OK, still only mid August).

That thought about carefully, I would not remove the young queen, but the old one; thus taking any risk with the small split, not the main colony.

Regards, RAB
 
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As usual, gave a little thought before answering. The thing I would ask is why are they superceding?

Now, the bees usually know best, as the saying goes; you are now going to remove their choice (the young queen) and intend overwintering in a 'breeding nuc' if that is all she will accommodate to.

I think she should make a 5 or 6 frame nuc, as long as she is mated - which may be a problem should you be disturbing her at mating time.

That apart, what will be happening to your main colony, now left with a queen, which the work-force had presumably deemed as innefficient, ailing, or failing? There may be more supercedure cells built, or it may even precipitate swarm cells this late in the year (OK, still only mid August).

That thought about carefully, I would not remove the young queen, but the old one; thus taking any risk with the small split, not the main colony.

Regards, RAB
Thought I'd read that a superceded queen and her daughter can live in peaceful co-existance for a while and that come the spring the older one has normally gone? If that is the case, would it not be best to allow nature to take its course?
 

Mosquito 

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I would leave them alone.
If they were going to swarm they would have done that by now.
I had 2 Queens in one hive for about 2 months a few year ago.
The old queen just disappeared just before winter.
 

oliver90owner 

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Monsieur Abeille,

I am planning to extract the younger Queen and 3/4 workers in a Butler cage tonight,

My response was to the above; I, too, would leave them to it, but that option seems to be already cast aside.

As an aside, please can you just quote the relevant part - copying previous posts, in entirety, is simply a waste of space and serves no useful puropse. If as you seem to have done - answered the original poster - then why did you not insert that in it's entirety? urther, I was not suggesting anything otherwise, so I can not see any useful connection between your post and mine.

Regards, RAB
 
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Monsieur Abeille,

I am planning to extract the younger Queen and 3/4 workers in a Butler cage tonight,

My response was to the above; I, too, would leave them to it, but that option seems to be already cast aside.

As an aside, please can you just quote the relevant part - copying previous posts, in entirety, is simply a waste of space and serves no useful puropse. If as you seem to have done - answered the original poster - then why did you not insert that in it's entirety? urther, I was not suggesting anything otherwise, so I can not see any useful connection between your post and mine.

Regards, RAB
Hi Rab. My post was intended as more of a question follow-up to yours, and apologies if it gave the impression that I was disagreeing with you (after re-reading I can see how it would). I'm all too aware that my lack of experience stops me from making many informed recommendations!
 

djg 

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Thanks for your extremely constructive responses.

I will hold off any hasty action (pesumably they have co-existed for a fortnight already, without coming to blows) and take on board the advice to "listen to the bees" and remove the (marginally) older Queen to overwinter in the mating nuc (with young bees, as suggested).

Any more bright ideas out there ?
 

MJBee 

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I have a colony with 2 queens. They have been living and laying quite happily since 3 June. It is in a Commercial brood box and has 9 frames of wall to wall brood:hurray:

I plan to leave them to it and see how long they both survive - both are marked so it is easy to check who is who.
 

karl moss 

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Two Queens

I have had two queens living in the same hive, i left well alone and they sorted it out themselves, as they always do
 

MuswellMetro 

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I am planning to extract the younger Queen and 3/4 workers in a Butler cage tonight, keep them in a quiet dark place and then getting a pint of nurse bees from an under-powered hive into an Apidea,

sorry, i disagree, they want to supercede if you have mother and virgin daughter on adjacent frames so let them sort it out they know best
T
The bees think the queen is poor, she could start laying drones and you end up a dead colony by spring, and a just the small nuc that has a 5O% chance of overwintering

leave them and do an early split in spring
 
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Finman 

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So simple. kill the older.

This summer, a month ago, I noticed that the hive made queen cells. I thought that whe nI moved the hive to another pasture, the nw queen was crushed. I took a new laying queen to intoduce.

I found eggs and larvae in lowest and in uppermost box. Strange. I found a queen and squeezed it. I put another laying queen.

When I lifted boxes back, I noticed on the ground a third queen. Later I will see what is going there.
 
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djg 

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Again, thanks for the positive responses.

I am relectant to kill a the old Queen (a new Buckfast queen I bought earlier this year and which has laid in a good pattern with good-tempered and productive bees thus far).

So, to re-set the question : Why not remove the old Queen into a mini-nuc and see how things progress in the original hive and whether the old Queen continues to be productive? There is plenty of sealed brood in the hive to replace any young bees I remove.
 

Poly Hive 

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I can understand your reluctance but the bees are telling you they are not happy with her.

All that can be done here is to listen to the bees.

However as she is effectively doomed anyway you can if you want pop her into a nuc and if it survives well and good and if not well you have sacrificed some bees and brood to no useful end.

PH
 

Skyhook 

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However as she is effectively doomed anyway you can if you want pop her into a nuc and if it survives well and good and if not well you have sacrificed some bees and brood to no useful end.PH
This is more of a question than a contradiction- if he puts the old queen in a nuc and she fails can he not recombine? (as I type, I', guessing the answer is- it depends what time of year) :confused:
 

djg 

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Old queen now in nuc with 1 frame brood (almost emerging), 1 frame mostly stores with some brood, one frame drawn comb with some stores. Fingers crossed !

New queen in old hive looking bigger; although drawing out the two new brood frames of foundation should consume whatever food comes in for the rest of this year.

Thanks for all your feedback on this thread.
 

djg 

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Another conundrum from this mother/daughter experiment

I moved the hive (new queen mentioned earlier on this thread) and the nuc (old queen on 5 frames) a month ago to a friend's garden in London NW6, since building work was planned on that side of our roof where these colonies were located. Both on OMF. Both quite strong. Went to inspect for the first time yesterday. It was chilly, sunny but there was little flying activity at noon.

I opened the nuc first and noted that it was extremely light in stores. Bees happy enough. No brood - old Queen past it ? Since I had only applied Apistan to this nuc, I took off the Apistan, gave them a good dusting with icing sugar and tidied up a bit.

A few minutes later and I was in the hive, which was a little feistier and very strong in stores. I also spotted a couple of "ghost bees" with a coating of icing sugar.

Putting 2 and 2 together, I suspect that this means that the hive is "silent robbing " the nuc, which is 10 feet away.

Now that the weather seems to have turned, can I simply feed fondant to the nuc and hope that it will not get stealth-raided in the colder weather by its neighbours (no obvious signs of battles by the nuc entrance), or do I just have to move the Nuc (a lot easier than moving the hive) back to my rooftop, some 8 miles away, avoiding the builders etc and feed it there.

Does my diagnosis sound right ? What would you be inclined to do ?

djg
 

oliver90owner 

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My first question might be: Was the queen there? No brood, previously rejected. I would move the nuc and feed fondant, if she is still there.

Regards, RAB
 

Poly Hive 

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To be blunt.

Leave well alone.

It is far far too late in the year to be messing them about. In fact I am rather surprised you were going through them at this time to this extent. If you hadn't, and really you shouldn't, then you would never have known anyway.

It's too late now to mess them about. Heft and feed by all means but dinna disrupt them?

I will just add it is not unusual but it is happening for a very good reason and if you want a decent colony in the spring then you are well advised to listen to the bees, which is what reading the colony is all about. I have heard of a sup going on for some 15 months...

PH
 

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