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Two queens in the one brood box

Just thought I’d share what I think may be an unusual event in case it’s of interest for anyone.

We started out with a nucleus at the end of last December. The queen was marked, and with the caveat that I am in my first year of beekeeping I wondered if she might be an older queen as her wings looked pretty worn.

When we inspected at the end of February, a new queen was present, and the older queen was still in the hive on a different frame.

We inspected today, exactly one month later, and both queens were still present, again on different frames.

I don’t know how unusual this is, but I was certainly surprised to see two queens again a month later.

Not being an expert on supersedure queens, I’m wondering if the new queen is a supersedure queen, so therefore the old queen continues on with her daughter. I think I read in this forum that a mother & daughter will work together for a period, but I don’t know how long for.

Hi @Bodger,

It doesn’t happen too often, but the situation is not particularly rare either. If a colony is not happy with a queen (old, damaged, etc.) and not preparing for swarming, they create a supersedure queen. Often mother and daughter don’t fight and even wintering together. But at some point of time old queen will disappear and colony will return to its normal state - having a single queen.

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I agree, I’ve heard multiple times that an older queen who has been superseded can be given the opportunity to live out her life in the hive with her emerged daughter by the colony. Die of old age perhaps. I’ve experienced this in my hive before too.