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Numerous Queens in Swarm

I’ve noticed in my research that swarms may have more than one queen. Should a swarm be gone through looking for multiple queens before placing in hive box?


Welcome to the forums.
How much research has been done and how many queens have been observed in single swarms?

Hello and welcome to the Flow forum. I wouldn’t do that unless you were intending to requeen the swarm. Hilary Kearney (natural beekeeper) has nice video footage of the swarm sorting out the queens themselves. They “ball” the queens they don’t want, killing them with hyperthermia. Given the success of bees over millions of years, it may well be best to let them decide which queen is best for them. :wink:


This usually happens only in cast swarms, the smaller tail-end swarms. Yes, dont worry about it, the bees will sort it out. There are usually multiple queens in such swarms because there arent enough worker bees to make viable swarms for all the queens.

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Finding more than one queen in a swarm is unusual, and you should just get all the bees into a hive and let the bees sort out which is the best of the queens and kill the weaker ones. It is called natural selection and we shouldn’t interfere in that process.
Welcome to the forum where you will find lots of reading and get valuable advice.

Thanks for the reminder Dawn, I’d forgotten about this. I saw a swarm last week and noticed a queen on the ground and I thought it had been killed by a passer by however, I noticed it because of the mass of bees around it, now I’m thinking they were balling it as there was another beard close by and I was wondering about that.


It seems pretty much par for the course on the larger primary swarms and I’ve made multiple hives out of one swarm on a few occasions.