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Many laying queens in one box?

 
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Heartstone
Guard Bee


Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Posts: 65
Location: CO Sligo, Ireland

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:08 pm    Post subject: Many laying queens in one box? Reply with quote

Five weeks ago I removed two frames of brood and honey from a strong hive into a nuc. A week later I inspected them to find both the original hive and the nuc from it had queens. Ok I was lucky, two queens in one hive that ended up in the right places.

However, a week ago I took some frames of brood and honey from the same strong hive to make another new nuc. I inspected them today to find a eggs in the main hive and a queen with eggs in the new nuc. So three laying queens in the same hive over a six week period? Sounds like it goes against all the rules.
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DrMartin
House Bee


Joined: 29 Jun 2015
Posts: 19
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe you got lucky? Sure it isn't laying workers though?
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or queen cells that you didn't notice?
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1495
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit different but in a Perone hive locally we have two colonies with separate comb but brood in both lots. Be interesting to see what happens as both colonies get larger. - Friend Helen picked up a swarm to put in hive but when she got to the farm another had already moved in so not having anywhere to put them she walked them into the hive where they set up home in the opposite corner. Laughing
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think in very large colonies this happen more often than we think. Marking queens provides an unmarked queen blindness and when there are that many bees it can be hard to find a queen anyhow. You definately got lucky but you may have also identified a "trait" within those bees.
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Heartstone
Guard Bee


Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Posts: 65
Location: CO Sligo, Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are not laying workers as I have seen the one in the newest nuc and marked her. The original hive has worker brood of all ages including eggs. The first nuc now has worker brood (over 5 weeks since split).

I have another hive from the same source that at one point last year had two queens.

There were a lot of queen cups but I did not find any capped or open queen cells. It is possible that they were in the process of swarming the second time I made the last nuc and I just got lucky that both queens were still in the hive. Who knows the original hive is so strong there may even be more in there ready to go, but I can't find them.

To be honest with Irish black bees I struggle to see queens so I go on sound and demeanour of the hive as well as the the contents and pattern of the brood to determine if they are queen right.

I had buckfasts for a very short while and the queens were much easier to find.
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not catching a swarming colony. The current leaves with the swarm at the point the queen cells are capped so there isn't a point where the original queen and the new queen are in residence together. HOWEVER, this is a possibility with supercedure. The bees will keep the old queen around until the new queen is mated and laying. Perhaps, you caught the new supercedure queen in both cases so they have never gotten around to kicking out the old one.
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DrMartin
House Bee


Joined: 29 Jun 2015
Posts: 19
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It could be swarming if the weather really took a dive before the cells were capped and the bees were kept in by rain and you've inspected before it's warmed up enough for them to go. Usually though, if they want to swarm and the weather's good they'll be off sharpish.
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AugustC
Silver Bee


Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 613
Location: Malton, North Yorkshire

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DrMartin wrote:
It could be swarming if the weather really took a dive before the cells were capped and the bees were kept in by rain and you've inspected before it's warmed up enough for them to go. Usually though, if they want to swarm and the weather's good they'll be off sharpish.


I think we may be into the territory of hearing hoof beats and thinking zebra there Smile Yes... it "could" but listing unlikely explanations is not always helpful. The queen cell is capped 8-9 days before the queen emerges so the bees would have to hold off for more than a week which is extremely unlikely. With swarms you would also expect to see multiple queen cells on the edge of the comb making them easy to find. With supercedure it may well be a single queen cell secreted anywhere making it much harder to find.
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1495
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think we may be into the territory of hearing hoof beats and thinking zebra there


Off topic I know but people who suffer from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome call themselves Zebras.
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Heartstone
Guard Bee


Joined: 02 Sep 2012
Posts: 65
Location: CO Sligo, Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is possible that it is due to supercedure I suppose. The old queen must still be in good fettle though as there is tons of worker brood in the hive. The bee keeper I got them from tells me that this strain of bees were not prone to swarm but they do tend to supercede more than most. I am going to leave them alone now and let them get on with whatever they are up to.
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DrMartin
House Bee


Joined: 29 Jun 2015
Posts: 19
Location: Cambridge

PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AugustC wrote:
DrMartin wrote:
It could be swarming if the weather really took a dive before the cells were capped and the bees were kept in by rain and you've inspected before it's warmed up enough for them to go. Usually though, if they want to swarm and the weather's good they'll be off sharpish.


I think we may be into the territory of hearing hoof beats and thinking zebra there Smile Yes... it "could" but listing unlikely explanations is not always helpful. The queen cell is capped 8-9 days before the queen emerges so the bees would have to hold off for more than a week which is extremely unlikely. With swarms you would also expect to see multiple queen cells on the edge of the comb making them easy to find. With supercedure it may well be a single queen cell secreted anywhere making it much harder to find.


I only mentioned it because it's happened to me this year! If was an hour or two later then would have gone! I've also had colonies swarm on 1 or 2 cells (see http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/pqn.html) Bees do nothing invariably.
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