Beemaster's International Beekeeping Forum

BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER => REQUEENING & RAISING NEW QUEENS => Topic started by: So-apiary on May 23, 2021, 05:01:03 pm

Title: Thoughts on raising a two-queen colony?
Post by: So-apiary on May 23, 2021, 05:01:03 pm
I have a horizontal hive, about 4 feel long, with an entrance at each end.  I started a package a couple of weeks ago in one end.  I currently have no other bees.  Now I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to start a second colony in the other end.  I can divide the hive body into thirds using two vertical queen excluders and use the middle as a honey super shared by both colonies.  I've read about this being done with Langstroth hives, and it sounds good, but I'd be interested to see if anyone else has tried it and what pros and cons they ran into.  Has anyone else with a long hive tried this?  If it would be a terrible mistake to do this, someone please stop me!
Title: Re: Thoughts on raising a two-queen colony?
Post by: Bob Wilson on May 27, 2021, 06:11:08 am
I have three long langstroths, 4 feet long with deep frames. There is a problem with sharing the hive body, excluding the queens to separate ends.
It is true they can share the box, although you can just put a partition in the middle, and treat them as two separate colonies with an entrance at each end. There are also times to share space with queen excluders, such as a weak hive or queenless hive over a strong one, but space is quickly going to become your problem. After the first season, and maybe during, the colonies will be too large in too small a space and will swarm. Your hive is basically three standard boxes in a row. Divide that in half, and you have only a box and a half to contain a gowing colony, and that is assuming your box has deeps. Even worse if it is medium framed.
Your other post says this is a package. It may not get bigger than half your long hive. On the other hand, you are in north Ga. and I am in middle Ga. Our main flow is coming to an end, but I imagine you still have a couple of weeks of growth before summer.
A second issue will be cluster movement in the winter. With the food in the middle, the bees will need to cluster there to feed, and the queens will be excluded at each end and freeze.
I hope this helps.