What do I do with Two Queen Bees in the Brood Nest?

Beekeeping can be difficult sometimes. No matter how long you have been doing it, problems will still come up. Bee hives only have one queen, so what happens if your hive somehow has two? Where did the two queen bees come from and what will happen to the hive? The answer is below, and you can get more help from The Beekeeper’s Problem Solver.

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Question:

What do I do about two queen bees in the brood nest?

Cause:

During swarming or supersedure episodes, colonies will occasionally tolerate more than one functional queen in the brood nest. This is usually because the colony’s queens are in transition and the situation will likely correct itself. The queens are frequently genetically related.

Solution:

While reports of multiple queened colonies are common, there are few reports of this situation persisting indefinitely. Ultimately, one queen will become the colony monarch. When requeening a colony, you should be prepared for this occasional quirk of queen biology. In normal situations, after the reigning queen has been removed, a caged replacement queen  is positioned near the brood nest. After four to five days, while the new queen is still caged and she is being introduced to the colony, no eggs should be present. If you return five days later and finds that the bees  are flighty, noisy, and aggressive toward the cage, reinspect the colony’s brood nest for the presence of eggs. This behavior indicates that  another queen exists within the colony. Even if no eggs are present,  an unmated queen may exist and the colony would consider itself to  have a queen. In this rare occurrence, you should closely monitor the colony’s behavior toward the cage.

If no new eggs are present, but the queen’s cage is still being treated  in a questionable manner, try this: With a small bowl of water at hand, gently release the queen onto a brood comb. If she is immediately attacked and a cluster of angry bees forms around her, drop the cluster  in the water bowl and separate the queen from the attackers. Recage her and deal with the extra queen or queens still roaming in the colony.

 

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Beekeepers cover While keeping bees certainly isn’t rocket science, doing it properly does involve decent levels of understanding, commitment, and attention to detail. Getting the basics right is essential, and this demands a solid appreciation of important areas such as hives management, breed choice, and health requirements. There is plenty to think about for those getting their first bees, and careful planning is the key to a successful initial experience. One thing that complicates matters is the bees’ ability to disguise problems. Although this might seem a useful ability, it actually makes recognizing trouble in the crucial, early stages that much more difficult, even for experienced owners. And although bees are remarkably resilient creatures, they remain vulnerable to predators, disease and climate changes. There is plenty of potential for things to go wrong and, unfortunately, it’s always the bees that suffer when problems strike.
Whether you’re a newcomer or an old hand, The Beekeeper’s Problem Solverprovides the information you need to nip probelms in the bud?”and, better still, avoid them in the first place. Let longtime bee keeper and apiary expert James E. Tew guide you thorugh 100 common problems faced by beekeepers, spelling out in clear and simple terms what the underlying cause is and how to solve it. Each one is tackled in depth, with photographs and diagrams, as well as a wide range of practical tips and useful insights. The problems are divided into ten chapters covering the main areas of beekeeping, from health to housing and parasites to predators. A subject-specific index is also included for easy reference.