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Author Topic: Multiple queens and a hive.  (Read 554 times)

Offline Ben Framed

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Multiple queens and a hive.
« on: January 12, 2020, 03:50:45 pm »
Does anyone know why there may sometimes be more than one laying queen in a hive?
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: Multiple queens and a hive.
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2020, 04:54:02 pm »
Sure I can, as soon as you tell me why some calves are born with 5 legs.   :angry:   :cheesy:

Mother nature is never exact.
"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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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Multiple queens and a hive.
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2020, 06:22:34 pm »
Usually it's a seamless supersedure.  The old queen was failing and they raised a new queen who is now laying.  Eventually they get rid of the older queen.
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Multiple queens and a hive.
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2020, 06:32:24 pm »
Sure I can, as soon as you tell me why some calves are born with 5 legs.   :angry:   :cheesy:

Mother nature is never exact.

 :happy: According to one of our vets a calf can be born with more than four legs because of recessive genes this is called
Polydactyly. Sometimes the extra leg or legs are smaller which is called polymelia. So there is your answer on calves.  Even though mother nature is never exact, I am wondering if someone here may know something about the queen bee question. I really doubt that the two issues are related. Perhaps someone else may know the answer to the queen question who has more experience in beekeeping than myself, (or apparently you).  :tongue: :cheesy: lol
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 Ben Framed

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Re: Multiple queens and a hive.
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2020, 06:33:00 pm »
Usually it's a seamless supersedure.  The old queen was failing and they raised a new queen who is now laying.  Eventually they get rid of the older queen.

Thank you Mr Bush
Phillip
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 Ben Framed

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Re: Multiple queens and a hive.
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2020, 06:52:22 pm »
Usually it's a seamless supersedure.  The old queen was failing and they raised a new queen who is now laying.  Eventually they get rid of the older queen.

Thank you Mr Bush
Phillip

Please bare with me Mr Bush as I am seeking to learn. Does this usually occur in the early season, or does it make a difference? The reason for the question is I am wondering why the queen just simply does not swarm. Unless she simply is not physically able to swarm?
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 van from Arkansas

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Re: Multiple queens and a hive.
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2020, 07:23:13 pm »
Mr. Ben, in Spring, I see hives with 2 queens, yearly.  Every year I see this about April or May at the latest.  I think double queens, in Spring, is more common than most realize due to the fact when a queen is spotted, most beeks quit looking and never realize there are actually 2 queens.  I believe  Mr. Bush, with his vast knowledge base, explained this very well.  There are YouTube videos showing 2 queens on a single frame, at the same time, same proximitie.  I cannot say wether both are laying, I do not know that answer.
Blessings
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Multiple queens and a hive.
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2020, 07:26:39 pm »
Thank you Mr Van.
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 van from Arkansas

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Re: Multiple queens and a hive.
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2020, 07:59:23 pm »
Mr. Ben, you have directed us to a much more complicated question regarding multiple queens.  That begs the question of feral queens and hive take over, consider if you will the following:

Due to the fact that I raise uniquely colored queens, Cordovan, I can distinguish between my queens and local queens: either feral or domestic.  For simplicity, I will refer to both feral or domestic as a common queen.

Upon inspections in Spring or early summer I have discovered a common queen in a hive almost every single year at a ratio of 1:10.  Stated another way, my carefully chosen Cordovan queen disappears and is replaced by a common queen in one of ten requeened hives.  Supersedure is what most beeks would guess, however the time frame is not always possible.  Another possible explanation is a common queen was present in the hive requeened.

Although one cannot exclude error, rather one must also consider the careful removal of a queen, then 2 days later replacing with a Cordovan, then 5 days later while looking for eggs, BINGO: a common queen is present and laying.  This unique issue has presented itself several times causing me to question the appearance of a feral queen hive take over.  This issue is compounded by the fact most queens are commonly colored so a beek would never know if there was a feral takeover.

I am not equipped to study such a question of feral queen take over, I can only speculate.  Certainly africian queens are known for this issue.  Cape honeybee queen/workerbee specialize in hive takeover and destruction, I might add.  But this is specific to South Africa and off subject.

Blessings
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Multiple queens and a hive.
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2020, 09:34:42 pm »
Mr. Ben, you have directed us to a much more complicated question regarding multiple queens.  That begs the question of feral queens and hive take over, consider if you will the following:

Due to the fact that I raise uniquely colored queens, Cordovan, I can distinguish between my queens and local queens: either feral or domestic.  For simplicity, I will refer to both feral or domestic as a common queen.

Upon inspections in Spring or early summer I have discovered a common queen in a hive almost every single year at a ratio of 1:10.  Stated another way, my carefully chosen Cordovan queen disappears and is replaced by a common queen in one of ten requeened hives.  Supersedure is what most beeks would guess, however the time frame is not always possible.  Another possible explanation is a common queen was present in the hive requeened.

Although one cannot exclude error, rather one must also consider the careful removal of a queen, then 2 days later replacing with a Cordovan, then 5 days later while looking for eggs, BINGO: a common queen is present and laying.  This unique issue has presented itself several times causing me to question the appearance of a feral queen hive take over.  This issue is compounded by the fact most queens are commonly colored so a beek would never know if there was a feral takeover.

I am not equipped to study such a question of feral queen take over, I can only speculate.  Certainly africian queens are known for this issue.  Cape honeybee queen/workerbee specialize in hive takeover and destruction, I might add.  But this is specific to South Africa and off subject.

Blessings

Excellent information Mr Van. I did not observe more than one queen last spring, but I believe that the possibility was there. I did not know to look for more than one queen. Last season was my first overwintered season, let me add, I did experience a take over of one of my barnyard queen bee hives by a dark feral queen. Allow me to explain. Late the previous fall I had made splits from my feral hives which I had accumulated from cutouts. I purchased 4 more queens form David at Barnyard Bees that first fall (2018) and made splits. My feral queens were dark as you described, though very gentle, yet dark in color. The queens from David were a beautiful blond color. To avoid any confusion of which hive had what, I had marked each hive. I went as far as to mark the location of the cutout and date of the cutout on each box top. I did the same with the barnyard queen splits. I was very cautious to wait until warm weather to look inside as I did not want to take the chance of chilled brood. I was very conservative about opening the tops to soon. The blond queen was no more and a dark queen was happily laying when I did open the hive where the barnyard queen should have been. I do not find any empty queen cells, apparently the cell that she came from had been cut down by the workers. And the temperatures was to cool for a swarm  to survive without nectar coming in. It is probable that I had two queens in that box and not realizing this failed to look further once I found the dark laying queen.

Now that I have been watching Mr Coolbees progress concerning his late season, and I say late season because his queen cells were made, developed, just prior to the winter solstice, though his temperatures at his location are similar to (early) spring here, (before a flow). Taking in consideration that the bees WILL raise new queens in the cold weather and will make successful mating flights as proved by Alan and his wonderful bees, I am wondering if the older queens on some occasions, will hold off swarming until the weather is right, in the meantime sharing a hive with the new mated queen in such temperatures as Alan described?
« Last Edit: January 12, 2020, 10:56:15 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.

Offline CoolBees

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Re: Multiple queens and a hive.
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2020, 01:05:29 am »
You raise an interesting point Phillip - one I had not thought about. It's as if you are suggesting that bees will "pre-meditate" a swarm by creating the 2nd (or more) queen, and keep them in the hive until weather allows swarming. This would mean that the bees are thinking weeks, even possibly months, ahead. ... not entirely out of the question.

The answer should be simple enough (to me it seems). During spring splits, move each queen from each hive into nucs. Inspect the parent hives in 5 or so days. Any hive found to have eggs, has another queen. ... just a thought ...
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Multiple queens and a hive.
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2020, 04:51:32 am »
Quote
You raise an interesting point Phillip - one I had not thought about. It's as if you are suggesting that bees will "pre-meditate" a swarm by creating the 2nd (or more) queen, and keep them in the hive until weather allows swarming. This would mean that the bees are thinking weeks, even possibly months, ahead. ... not entirely out of the question.

Yes Alan that is what I am suggesting or theorizing. Maybe not so much as the bees are pre-meditating swarming but preparing new queen cells when the temperatures and conditions are getting right and nature gives them the ok signal that it is ok to make new queen cells. We have already established in another topic that drones sometimes do overwinter as testified by numerous experienced keepers here including OldBeavo, Mr Van, and Mr Bush and others. And also that bees do develop drones along with queen cells as you found in your hives recently in the dead of bee winter, The Solstice.  How many drones will a virgin need to mate with in order to become properly fertilized? These conditions should include temperature, pollen collection, (or pollen substitute collection), and nectar (or feed). In the winter and early spring in my area pollen and nectar are out, but pollen sub and feed are in play as with David at BarnyardBees and Joe May. The theory goes even deeper and has been on my mind since I posted the topic (Drones this late?) and all related topics that I have started since, asking many questions, along with asking patience with me from whom I ask the many questions. I can not prove this theory is valid. I do think it may make room for some interesting thoughts and possible conversation either now or in the future. It may even ADD to answers already given, (I am really reaching now), as to why some hives may have multiple mated queens in a swarm? Who is to say that this can not happen, (queen cycles inside a hive),  maybe even several times during winter if temperature fluctuates and feed and pollen sub are available? Am I Reaching? Yes. So is this possible? Again I say yes, or at least maybe? As Mr Bush stated  in another topic, mated queens are not concerned with killing virgins. Thus each winter cycle of queens, one new victorious mated queen per cycle could theoretically be added to a hive? 


The answer should be simple enough (to me it seems). During spring splits, move each queen from each hive into nucs. Inspect the parent hives in 5 or so days. Any hive found to have eggs, has another queen. ... just a thought ...

Good point Alan and their is an upside spinoff to that theory also. If there is only one queen in that hive, and we remove her,  then you will most likely, come up with many emergency queen cells in the hive where you removed the queen from. I suggest you have plenty of equipment readily available, because you should have plenty queen cells for splits which is a good thing for a person seeking to expand their bee yard? 😁. This would be one way of doing it for sure!
Blessings,
Phillip 
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 10:27:49 am 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.

Offline MikeyN.C.

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Re: Multiple queens and a hive.
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2020, 03:03:03 pm »
Are u refering to usurpation ?

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Multiple queens and a hive.
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2020, 05:33:25 pm »
Are u refering to usurpation ?

Sorry Mikey, I am not sure what you are asking, but I will take a shot at it.  I do not think the new queens are trying to take over illegally. Simply an act of nature that might have not yet been explored, at least I have never heard anything on this?  I do know there are expert beekeepers who have claimed to having as many as nine MATED queens in one swarm. The theories they give as to why so many MATED queens are present, just do not totally add up. I say this respectfully. 
Phillip
« Last Edit: January 13, 2020, 07:17:26 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.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Multiple queens and a hive.
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2020, 06:17:50 pm »
> Does this usually occur in the early season, or does it make a difference?

I have seen them at all times of the year except very early in the spring before there are drones flying.  I don't think any of the older queens make it through the winter when there are two.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin