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Multiple Queens in the hive


I tried doing a search for this and didn’t find anything definite, So I will ask, what do you do if you find a second or even a third queen in the hive when doing your inspections?


If you have the numbers, split the hive…


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It is very rare to find two queens in a hive, but it happens. Any more than two, you are either mistaken about what is a queen, or a lot of virgins just emerged and have not sorted things out yet. What I do anything I find any queen is nothing. What I do when I find a queen cell and think it’s a supersedure is nothing. What I do when I find a lot of queen cells and I think they are swarming is split them. Interfering with the royal succession of a hive almost always ends poorly.



When you find two queens in a hive they are almost always a mother/daughter and the daughter is there because the mother was failing. Splitting them may result in a failed split because the mother was on her way out…


I have had a supersedure…but removed my expensive mother queen into a nuc. She is a slow layer …probably not mated well…but I have managed to get several colonies started from her offspring…which all are doing well.


Hooray. A sensible answer. Interfere with queen succession at your peril.


I did see on YouTube that there was a BK that created a way to have two queens in one stack but you have to make the board he had to do it. He said that honey production was great but If one dies or leaves you don’t loose nothing.


I’d do everything I could to save the extra queen, being that prices went up on queens the year before by about 5 bucks per. So we wound up paying $22.00 each. That’s a whole lotta moola wen you’re buying 200 queens. My queen cost out of that 200 was for four queens and one was lost in flood we had, so down to three. Next season I do plan on starting season with 20-25 colonies. If, when I split my bees in spring it would be nice to find an extra queen.


So if by some chance I find a 2nd queen just leave her in there? I am just curious because when looking at photos to help you recognize the queen, there was a couple that had 2 queens in them. I’m a newbee just learning, I thought if there was 2, then the hive might try to split on its own.


Two queens will cause a fight of the fittest! Unless you have a way to separate them you need to only have one in a hive at a time. The set up I saw had a separator board with 4 holes covered by excluder squares to keep them apart. The guy said to use one box of bees and split between the brood boxes. I would think that if you take the queen out for 3 days and reinsert her into the hive with another and have the separator between them it would reset the hive and make it possible to do.


@rlkelly are you sure they were not drones???


Not if they are mother and daughter involved in supersedure


Gooday its The Captain here ,
Two or three queens is rare , Supersedure may be in progress ,check for opened queen cells they should be obvious and check if there are more un opened queen cells . Leave the hive alone , for 2,000,000 years nature has provided the answers . If you must play , in china they would cut the mandibles off the queens to render there ability to kill each other ineffective . They will fight for a while , get tired an then co-exist and lay heaps of eggs . If you have a failing queen , her contribution will continue to diminish . From here my knowledge is purely assumptive as I have not done this , just heard about it . Be mindful that in China they have up to x13 queens in super hives that produce huge quantities of eggs mainly for there queen production in the royal jelly side of the business . Your hive unattended could therefore attain overcrowding quicker and thus swarm mentality .
Should you wish to do multiple splits in a season , this could be a way but regular inspections would need to be more frequent and interventions more often to keep up the swarm prevention . Such interventions could be thwart with danger to the hive health however the survival instincts of bees continues to stagger me . Despite our bizarre sometimes stupid interventions , bees largely survive . Look at the Africanisation of bees in south America as an example of people dicking with nature and creating a nightmare in the process .
They were supposed to be experts into the bargain .
I say watch ,observe and learn ,natural evolution occurs for reasons , study them and learn from nature it is a university .


Here is some information on what China is doing with bees I will add a few links and if people see how destructive they are being using low grade plastic and harming the community please post your links also.



Looks like the Aussies had something to do with the fake honey as well.


I only look for the queen while doing splits, other times I make sure a queen is laying well & if I see that, I’m fine. There should only be one queen to a hive. If you see more than one queen, chances are you saw the fresh queen cell/cells she/they emerged from first. Just close the hive up & let nature take it’s course. If the hive is about to swarm, stand by with an empty drum & stick or chainsaw so you can make plenty of noise to settle the swarm quickly to make it easy to catch. On second thoughts, just close the hive up.


I have another comment for people talking about having more than one queen to service a hive. Do the maths, say at a conservative 1500 eggs a day, that means a queen can lay 45,000 eggs in a month. That’s 90,000 in two months. Why would anyone consider using 2 queens to service one hive?


From what I got in the video I saw it’s a way to get up numbers quickly. You can always split them up at a certain point.


Your better off to have the split to start with, one queen per hive, that’s how it works in nature.


I have run two queen hives. My conclusion is that it’s as much about the extra pheromones from the queens as the extra eggs.