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2 queens in one hive


WOW 2 queens

go to 12:25 also this lady is great only 3rd year.


She is well articulated and informative

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I like her logic with 2 queens living happily in a hive so why disturb a good thing. That is a good clip @Martydallas and thanks for posting it mate. Cheers.

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From my experience, the best strategy during swarm season is to do preemptive swarm control splits. That is split you do before the bees make preparations to swarm. Normally if you do it correctly, there’s no need to look into the hive again for another 4-5 weeks. In that time your split has most likely produced a new queen. After 5 weeks it may be necessary to do another preemptive swarm control split & so on. You are basically keeping one step ahead of the bees.

If I do find that a colony is preparing to swarm, I’ll remove all of the brood, plus some bees, except for one frame that contains only young larvae. Then replace the brood frames with drawn comb preferably, if available. Foundation is my second choice. Place the single brood frame in the middle. Then I’d take a look in a weeks time to make sure that the urge to swarm has passed. It normally has because, from experience, that strategy seems to be the best strategy for that situation.

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Preemptive swarm splits only work if the weather permits. We experienced freezing weather then extremely warm in one day and the bees started swarming all over my area. More over I agree with you.

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Hi Martha, the strategy works anywhere where bees are likely to swarm, regardless of intermittent weather. It’s worth noting that bees take around 14 days to prepare for swarming. I’m taking what you said literally, when you say “extremely warm in one day & the bees start swarming all over my area”. Do you mean extremely warm in one day, then around 14 days later they start swarming, or basically straight away?

The thing I do at my place when the nights are still really cold is: I don’t checkerboard the brood. I keep the brood I retain together in the center, flanked by fresh foundation or freshly drawn comb on either side. I also keep the entrance reduced.

When the weather is extremely cold at times, it’s hard for us to imagine a colony preparing to swarm, however they do & they are preparing to swarm.


have you ever seen two queens in one hive Jeff? And what happened? I have heard that occasionally two queens can live side by side happily.

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Hi Jack, I can honestly say that I’ve never seen two queens in one hive. Not to say that it hasn’t happened. Because my queens are unmarked, I usually find one queen, then stop looking. From what I read on this forum, 2 queens can co-exist for a while. The way I understand it is a supersedure queen can work with the old queen for a period before the old queen gets knocked off.

I wouldn’t be thinking along the lines of a 2 queen colony. All a colony needs is one good, young freshly mated, naturally selected queen. I’m reaping the rewards of such queens right now.

My steam knife is just about ready for me to commence decapping. cheers


Hi all great video, I have seen 2 queens in hives before Jeff is correct it is probably a supersedure queen the bees will keep them apart for a while but eventually they will meet and fight until 1 is dead. The problem with this is the victor can be injured also. Personally I would have disposed of the marked queen and left the hive to do their work.


No JeffH the first day of warm weather they swarmed so by your explanation the bees were getting ready when the hives were to cold to inspect as it was in the hi 40’s F. I’m adding this tidbit to my knowledge base. :smiley: Thanks!

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Hi & you’re welcome Martha. The migratory lids that I use in conjunction with a hive mat allows me to see when a colony is about to get ready to swarm. As soon as I see a buildup of bees in the lid space doing nothing except hanging there, that’s when I do my preemptive splits. Also when I see every honey frame covered with bees to the outsides, I’ll also do preemptive splits on those hives during swarm season.

You can get away with brood inspections during cold weather in spring because every frame has a good covering of bees on them, as long as we’re quick. You wouldn’t want to shake bees off brood frames, then leave that frame standing in the open for any length of time.

We did this swarm capture one week before winter. The frame of brood we used was uncovered for maybe 45 minutes with no adverse effects.

That was before I saw the light (thank you @Dawn_SD) & started saying “bees emerging”.

Jeff- bees hatch :wink:

I don’t care for the precise semantics so much as the poetics (I don’t even care if poetics is an actual word either)


No Jack, I agree with @Dawn_SD. The eggs hatch after 3 days, then about 18 days later, the bees emerge. Once explained, it didn’t take too much common sense for me to realize that I was calling it wrong for nearly 30 years.

It’s like around my way, most people refer to Paperbark trees as “Tea Trees”, myself included, until I came to understand that some Leptospermum species are Tea trees & they look nothing like paperbarks. I googled Tea Trees & clicked on images. There wasn’t one Paperbark tree to be seen. I had to break a 40 year habit & call them Paperbarks & not Tea trees.

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Hi Jeff,
There is no way I would put foundation frames in a swarm just before winter!!!. I would kill the queen and unite the swarm with another weak hive and do a split in spring. Still creating 2 hives but less stress on swarm and a stronger hive in spring.
Your winters are milder than ours down south but better to have 1 strong hive than 2 weak hives

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I saw that in my hives when making sure they had food after cracking the tops. I missed the boat from lack of knowledge!

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Hi Glen, I agree. I guess an unwritten disclaimer would be that every strategy is climate dependent.

Having grown up in Granville, I doubt if any colonies down there would issue a swarm a week before winter anyway. I’m still not sure if the swarm I picked up was the result of a colony issuing a swarm. It may have been a colony that absconded for some reason.


Oh- I fully appreciate that in absolute technical reality bees emerge rather than hatch. I just think it sounds more prosaic to say they ‘hatch’.

For instance- I found my pet cats as kittens in my backyard. I like to say that a mother cat ‘laid’ them there. Now- technically- I know that cats give birth to kittens- they don’t lay them. But I like to say that the cat ‘laid them’… Or- one might say, ‘A flock of politicians descended on the polling booth’. Technically that’s quite wrong… but I think we all know what i mean?


I know what you mean Jack. I think I like being pedantic just for the sake of it.

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Hi @Semaphore, Jack. Forget what I said about Tea Trees & Paperbarks. Apparently Paperbarks ARE called “Tea Trees”. As it turns out, Tea Tree oil is made from Melaleucas (Paperbarks)


yeah- they make a lot of the oil an kangaroo island. I went to the factory once.

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