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Author Topic: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....  (Read 333 times)

Online Ben Framed

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Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« on: April 18, 2021, 11:18:23 pm »
I had a strange happening today. I had one of my own hives swarm; I know it was my hive that swarmed because some bees were still active and leaving one of my better hives where I had an old queen marked red. I retrieved the swarm and sure enough there she was with the red mark; Now the strange thing is I found two more unmarked queens. I marked them this years color of white and placed them in the swarm box along with the marked queen, each of the three in a queen separate queen clip. I learned from you all here last year, swarms with multiple queens are usually virgin queens. So, advise please. Do I retrieve the two virgins tomorrow and set them up in mating nucs?
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2021, 11:39:45 pm »
Another question for this same situation. There were several drones in tis shebang. Is it possible that these two virgins are no longer virgins, could they have been mated on the swarm flight? I have not heard this question before and I am curious to the possibilities? Your thoughts?
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Nock

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2021, 12:05:15 am »
Interesting question. I don?t know. I would though make up some nucs tomorrow for them.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2021, 07:56:28 am »
Phillip,
What you have is probably 2 or more swarms that combined together. One is a primary swarm from your hive and either a secondary swarm with 2 virgins or you may have 3 primary swarms that combined together.
If you had bad weather that kept your hive from swarming until the new queens were ready to hatch, they may bee your virgin queens that got out of their cells during the confusion of swarming.
No matter which situation it is, you definitely can make up 2 additional nucs with the un marked queens.
Jim Altmiller

Offline cao

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2021, 10:59:45 am »
I would bet that during the confusion of swarming that the two virgin queens escaped and joined the swarm.   Since you have them in clips, you can check if they are virgins by setting all three clips with queens spaced out on top of the hive.  You should see a difference in bee activity around the queens.  The virgins are usually ignored for the most part(unless they are the only queen in the box).  I would set up a couple mating nucs and leave them locked down for a little while or move them away from the swarm to prevent the bees from drifting back.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2021, 11:24:26 am »
Thanks for the good information friends. Y'all are probably right. Now, since I know that the old mated queen is no longer in the original colony, and most likely the virgins came from the same colony, I suppose there is a slight chance the OC may be in trouble. Especially if there was only two virgins there and they are gone. I will follow your advice and place these VCs' in mating Nucs. If it happens that I find the OC is hopelessly queen less, I can always add one of these queens back to the original, and the other to the new swarm hive replacing the old red girl, (once they are mated and the dust settles)... Thanks for your responses. 
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2021, 11:49:26 am »
>  Since you have them in clips, you can check if they are virgins by setting all three clips with queens spaced out on top of the hive.

Cao I know your right about the virgin queen test. Before you brought that to my attention I was thinking of putting them in mating nucs, restricting the entrances with a piece of queen excluder and see if they started laying in a few days, attempting to differentiate if these queens may have gotten mated on the swarm flight lol. Thanks for saving me the trouble. 😬
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline iddee

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2021, 12:08:26 pm »
I have read in the past that virgins are mated in swarm flights, but the question is mute. Set the 3 queens up in 3 nucs and you will have mated queens and eggs in all 3 in 10 days.
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2021, 12:22:37 pm »
I have read in the past that virgins are mated in swarm flights, but the question is mute. Set the 3 queens up in 3 nucs and you will have mated queens and eggs in all 3 in 10 days.

True, curiosity more than anything for the question. Thanks iddee
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2021, 01:13:25 pm »
Update, All three queens were equally sought after and tended to by the attendant bees so I assume the virgins were mated. Plus their abdomens were quite a bit more swollen today. They did not have that (wasp) look. I had the nucs set up already and just transferred all. Thanks to all who responded. 
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2021, 04:43:18 pm »
Sounds like you caught 3 separate swarms that mixed together. How many hives did you have before they swarmed?
We?re any other queens not marked?
Jim Altmiller

Offline FatherMichael

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2021, 05:24:01 pm »
That was a great problem to have!
41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2021, 06:40:35 pm »
Set them up in separate boxes and wait 10 days.
See who has eggs. including the original hive.
If original is queen less, the you can add any of the three that have queens.

If the original hive is queenless, and a nuc has eggs, then if you wish to increase hive numbers, just transfer a frame with eggs back to the original and let them form a new queen.

Lots of options.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2021, 07:32:03 pm »
Sounds like you caught 3 separate swarms that mixed together. How many hives did you have before they swarmed?
We?re any other queens not marked?
Jim Altmiller

That is possible Jim but all of the other 22 hives queens are marked as well. That is what leads me to think they probably came from the same hive. One other thing that I noticed in the last few days, drones were galore buzzing this hive before the swarm. This is really reaching, but Is it possible they anticipated the events that followed?
« Last Edit: April 19, 2021, 07:53:13 pm by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2021, 07:40:55 pm »
Set them up in separate boxes and wait 10 days.
See who has eggs. including the original hive.
If original is queen less, the you can add any of the three that have queens.

If the original hive is queenless, and a nuc has eggs, then if you wish to increase hive numbers, just transfer a frame with eggs back to the original and let them form a new queen.

Lots of options.

Thanks oldbeavo. I set them up in three different boxes just before lunch.✔︎
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2021, 07:41:40 pm »
That was a great problem to have!

Yes it is, thanks!
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online The15thMember

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2021, 08:07:04 pm »
One other thing that I noticed in the last few days, drones were galore buzzing this hive before the swarm. This is really reaching, but Is it possible they anticipated the events that followed?
I personally notice a lot of drone activity in my colonies that have queen cells up and are waiting for queens to emerge or in hives that have virgins waiting to mate.  I think it's possible they were hanging around because of the smell of the virgins.   
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Offline iddee

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2021, 08:44:44 pm »
What ever gave you the idea males would gather where a lot of nearly grown females were congregated?   :shocked:  :cheesy: :cheesy:
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Swarm with one mated queen and two virgins....
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2021, 09:42:16 pm »
What ever gave you the idea males would gather where a lot of nearly grown females were congregated?   :shocked:  :cheesy: :cheesy:


Haa haa!  :happy:   I am glad I wasn't drinking hot coffee! lol. I busted out laughing at that one. Thanks iddee! I dont know why I even ask that one.  :wink: 

One other thing that I noticed in the last few days, drones were galore buzzing this hive before the swarm. This is really reaching, but Is it possible they anticipated the events that followed?
I personally notice a lot of drone activity in my colonies that have queen cells up and are waiting for queens to emerge or in hives that have virgins waiting to mate.  I think it's possible they were hanging around because of the smell of the virgins.   

I think you are right but don't tell iddee, No telling what kind of wisecrack he will come up with next! He just side swiped me lol. :shocked: :cheesy: :wink:

Thanks y'all for the answers and the laugh too!
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.