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Author Topic: Have any of you experienced finding multiple queens in a swarm?  (Read 401 times)

Offline Ben Framed

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Have any of you experienced finding multiple queens in a swarm?
« on: December 12, 2019, 12:04:05 am »
Have any of you experienced catching multiple queens in a swarm? There are many reports form reputable beekeepers who not only say it is possible but have experienced as much! I will give a list of just a few. Barnyard Bees, New River Honey Bees, HONEYBEE HIGHWAY, JustBeecuz, schawee, Liz Jones, 628DirtRooster Bees, and Scott Benack Bee Removal just for starters. I am thinking that I talked to Joe May also about this but my memory is cloudy. But regardless, David at Barnyard bees caught 9 in one swarm! Schawee caught 6 and etc.
Phillip Hall

Offline cao

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Re: Have any of you experienced finding multiple queens in a swarm?
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2019, 12:29:07 am »
Some where on this site it was talked about this spring.  I had trouble getting several swarms to go into the box this spring.  I typically found 2 or 3 queens in those swarms.  I think there was one that had 4 queens.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Have any of you experienced finding multiple queens in a swarm?
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2019, 05:54:51 am »
I have not found multiple queens in a swarm, I don?t look through the bees to see if there is more than one.
I have had several swarms that refuse to go in a box. I wonder if that is an indication of a swarm having more than one queen? 
I think the next time it happens I will try to shake them into an open box and look for queens.
Jim Altmiller

Offline Nock

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Re: Have any of you experienced finding multiple queens in a swarm?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2019, 08:02:53 am »
I?ve never seen a swarm yet :sad:

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Have any of you experienced finding multiple queens in a swarm?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2019, 08:35:02 am »
>Have any of you experienced catching multiple queens in a swarm?

Often.  It's very common.  Here is one likely cause:

"On the fourteenth, the fifth young queen appeared, and the hive threw a swarm, with all the concomitant disorder before described. The agitation was so considerable, that a sufficient number of bees did not remain to guard the royal cells, and several of the imprisoned queens were thus enabled to make their escape. Three were in the cluster formed by the swarm, and other three remained in the hive. We removed those that had left the colony, to force the bees to return. They entered in hive, resumed their post around the royal cells, and maltreated the queen when a duel took place in the night of the fifteenth, in which one queen fell. We found her dead next morning before the hive; but three still remained, as one had been hatched during night. Next morning we saw a duel. Both combatants were extremely agitated, either with the desire of fighting, or the treatment of the bees, when they came near the royal cells. Their agitation quickly communicated to the rest of the bees, and at mid-day they departed impetuously with the two females. This the fifth swarm that had left the hive the thirtieth of May and fifteenth of June. On the fifteenth, a fifth swarm cast, which I shall give you no account of, as it showed nothing new."--Fran?ois Huber, New Observations on the Natural History Of Bees Volume I

http://www.bushfarms.com/huber.htm#letter9

Another thing I have observed is that often two swarms hanging in the trees will merge over time as one shrinks and the other grows.
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Offline Barhopper

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Re: Have any of you experienced finding multiple queens in a swarm?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2019, 09:18:16 pm »
I found three of what I determined were virgins in a small swarm this year. None of them made it to bred queens. We tried all three with the swarm bees and they attacked every one. Not sure what I should have done but evidently I did it wrong.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Have any of you experienced finding multiple queens in a swarm?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2020, 03:01:20 am »
The most number of queens I have caught running around in a hive ripe to swarm was 7.  Not counting the momma (8) who had left some day(s) before.  Was all about timing. Poor weather had kept them in the box and I just happen to be there cracking the lid that morning just as the dawn of a nice day was breaking the horizon.  I can only surmise that the bees had the queens contained and ready to multicast swarm.  Then my disturbance caused them all to get loose and the result was and extended inspection and extensive manipulation .. !!!
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Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Have any of you experienced finding multiple queens in a swarm?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2020, 06:51:07 am »
I assume, that eventually these swarms still send out scouts, move into housing of some form, then the queens battle it out amongst themselves.
Do you suppose sometimes both battling queens get damaged/poisoned. One dies, but the other becomes a damaged, semi-productive queen? It is a question I have often wondered. Like deciding which contestant becomes king through gladiator combat. One dies, and the other reigns severely impaired and brain addled.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Have any of you experienced finding multiple queens in a swarm?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2020, 08:15:36 am »
The most number of queens I have caught running around in a hive ripe to swarm was 7.  Not counting the momma (8) who had left some day(s) before.  Was all about timing. Poor weather had kept them in the box and I just happen to be there cracking the lid that morning just as the dawn of a nice day was breaking the horizon.  I can only surmise that the bees had the queens contained and ready to multicast swarm.  Then my disturbance caused them all to get loose and the result was and extended inspection and extensive manipulation .. !!!

Thank you very much for sharing your findings and experience about this interesting, (to me), subject Mr C. Will you be kind enough to answer another question about your informing find?  Where any, or all of the new queens yet mated?  Anxiously awaiting your answer.
Sincerely thanking you again. Thanks to each of you.
Phillip
« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 11:35:39 am by Ben Framed »

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Have any of you experienced finding multiple queens in a swarm?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2020, 12:35:34 pm »
All virgins.
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Have any of you experienced finding multiple queens in a swarm?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2020, 12:46:45 pm »
All virgins.

Thanks.

''the result was and extended inspection and extensive manipulation''

What did you do as far as the manipulation part? 
Phillip

Mr HP, let me rephrase it. What do you recommend doing in such a situation of finding several virgin queens in a similar manner or set up?
Thanks,
Phillip
« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 01:40:49 pm by Ben Framed »

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Have any of you experienced finding multiple queens in a swarm?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2020, 06:19:27 pm »
I Nuc'd them all, completely dissembling the hive, and relocating the nucs to a separate location.
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Have any of you experienced finding multiple queens in a swarm?
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2020, 06:25:36 pm »
I Nuc'd them all, completely dissembling the hive, and relocating the nucs to a separate location.

I like it.  Turning one hive into 7-8 more. What a good deal!  Did the virgins all get mated? Did you lose any on the mating flights?

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Have any of you experienced finding multiple queens in a swarm?
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2020, 12:32:48 am »
... No
... Yes

The queens were caged and put onto nucs made up from bees and resources from the swarm ready hive.  The nucs were transported and set out in a mating yard, 20 minute drive away.  3 days later the cages were reset with a mini marshmallow.  Rainy weather prevailed but a few nice days in, 12 days later (15 days from making the nucs), 5 were laying the others were missing or dead in the grass out front.
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Have any of you experienced finding multiple queens in a swarm?
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2020, 01:13:19 pm »
... No
... Yes

The queens were caged and put onto nucs made up from bees and resources from the swarm ready hive.  The nucs were transported and set out in a mating yard, 20 minute drive away.  3 days later the cages were reset with a mini marshmallow.  Rainy weather prevailed but a few nice days in, 12 days later (15 days from making the nucs), 5 were laying the others were missing or dead in the grass out front.

Mr Claude you have been very generous with the sharing of your time, knowledge, and experience ever since you joined beemaster. I thank you.
Phillip Hall