My Two Queen Hive

According to what I’ve read, there is about a 10% chance that you will have a hive with more than one queen.  I guess I’ve reached critical mass with the number of my hives to have found my first!

I normally don’t put queen excluders on my hives.  But earlier this summer I had a situation where the queen had moved into the 2nd and 3rd super and had completely abandoned the brood boxes.  I went through the process of finding her, putting her in the lower boxes and adding an excluder.  I figured I would keep the excluder on until the brood had hatched, and the supers had been back-filled with honey.

Just yesterday I went looking into the supers to see if there was anything ready for harvest and I found brood…lots of it.  I took off all the supers thinking that maybe there was a hole in the excluder, but it looked fine.  Digging deeper I found brood in the deeps where it should be.  So the only thing I can think is that I have two queens.  Either there had been a mother and daughter in the hive all along, or I have heard of virgin queens getting lost and entering any hive they could find.  I have upper and lower entrances on all my hives so it is possible this new queen could have come in through the top.

In any case, now I have to decide what to do.  Either I split them up, or leave them as is and see if they survive the winter, then potentially combine them in the spring.

2 Responses to My Two Queen Hive

  1. charltonestatetrust says:

    What an interesting post (I’ve added it to stumbleupon). Is it common practise in your region not to use queen excluders?

    • sweetacres says:

      It’s up to the beekeepers preference. I’m of the mind to keep things as natural as possible, and I generally don’t have any issues without them.

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