Author Topic: Three Queens In One Nuc  (Read 254 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online Jen

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 9413
  • Thanked: 173 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Upper California
Three Queens In One Nuc
« on: September 15, 2018, 10:20:58 pm »
I've been closely watching one on my nucs. There has been two queens cohabitating together now for about 6 weeks. Plus a very ripe queen cell that the bees were tending to carefully. I figured that as soon as the newest queen hatched, armageddon would break out and one queen would continue to reside in this nuc. 2 weeks ago a lovely new queen hatched from the cell. As of today, there are now 3 queens still sharing living space in this nuc. One is a hybrid, one is an italian, and the baby queen I'm not sure. I've never seen this before.

I'm going to name this nuc 'Aretha And Her Backup Singers'






There Is Peace In The Queendom

Offline neillsayers

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1831
  • Thanked: 162 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Arkansas Ozarks, U.S.A.
Re: Three Queens In One Nuc
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2018, 02:45:14 am »
Jen,
That is pretty cool. I hope this doesn't get resolved by one of the queens swarming out.
Neill Sayers
Herbhome Bees
USDA Zone 7a

Offline rober

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 922
  • Thanked: 47 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: arnold, mo
Re: Three Queens In One Nuc
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2018, 09:21:06 am »
i'd take 1 of those mated queens & start another nuc. this time of year you'd need to feed, feed, & feed.

Offline Lburou

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2183
  • Thanked: 286 times
  • Location: DFW area, Texas, USA, growing zone 7a
Re: Three Queens In One Nuc
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2018, 11:52:03 am »
Jen, let me take a stab at what you see in those three pictures. 

I see two marked queens and one old worker (in the top picture) with the hair on her thorax worn off with age. I call the bee in the center of that picture a worker because the well worn wings are almost as long as the abdomen (abdomen too short to be a queen).

Does the NUC have brood?  If yes, I'd guess you have a supersedure in progress.  It would make sense for the bees to let queen cells mature as long as they don't have a viable replacement queen who has proven herself by laying.  JMO
Not to worry.  :)

P.S.  Nice looking dots on those queens!   :yes:
Lee_Burough

Offline apisbees

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 3678
  • Thanked: 322 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Vernon B.C.
Re: Three Queens In One Nuc
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2018, 11:59:58 am »
I agree with Lee. I would not take out a queen as the bees know that one is at the end of her production.
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.

Offline Perry

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 7370
  • Thanked: 386 times
  • Gender: Male
    • Brandt's Bees
  • Location: Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia
Re: Three Queens In One Nuc
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2018, 01:16:47 pm »
Agree with Lee, no queen in first pic at all.
Now, how on earth did you end up with 2 marked queens in a nuc???????
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."      
Forum Supporter

Offline rober

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 922
  • Thanked: 47 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: arnold, mo
Re: Three Queens In One Nuc
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2018, 03:38:23 pm »
I hadn't really looked at the photos. I agree that there is no queen in the top photo.

Offline Lburou

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2183
  • Thanked: 286 times
  • Location: DFW area, Texas, USA, growing zone 7a
Re: Three Queens In One Nuc
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2018, 05:28:16 pm »
Agree with Lee, no queen in first pic at all.
Now, how on earth did you end up with 2 marked queens in a nuc???????
It looks like Perry has asked the best question.   :yes:
Lee_Burough

Online Jen

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 9413
  • Thanked: 173 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Upper California
Re: Three Queens In One Nuc
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2018, 01:48:09 am »
Two months ago, I got all inspections done before grandkids arrived thru August. Checked this nuc two more times carefully, could not find the queen, no eggs. It’s not hard to find or not find a queen in a small colony. Purchased hybrid queen, marked her pink, and installed her, I know she was excepted.
Six weeks ago, I took a peek, to see if there were eggs. Yes! Lots of eggs! And there was my happy hybrid queen. I turned the frame around for a sec, and there was this mated Italian queen, unmarked. Geez Louize!
I had a hunch that pink queen was doing all the laying, but I wasn’t completely sure. So, I put the frame with both queens back in the nuc figuring I would find the winning queen the next week. The next week came and they were both still cohabitating together. So I marked the Italian queen white so I could tell more quickly which one wasn’t there next time I checked.
It’s been four weeks and both of them are still there and the colony is peaceful and happy. 
There Is Peace In The Queendom

Offline Perry

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 7370
  • Thanked: 386 times
  • Gender: Male
    • Brandt's Bees
  • Location: Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia
Re: Three Queens In One Nuc
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2018, 07:36:17 am »
Natural split somewhere in the near future.
"It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor."      
Forum Supporter

Online Jen

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 9413
  • Thanked: 173 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Upper California
Re: Three Queens In One Nuc
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2018, 12:27:07 pm »
Hi Perry  :)

Splitting is the reasonable answer. The thing is, is that with all of the smoke we've had this summer, many of us local beeks have much less robust hives, and literally No Honey in our supers, and half the amount of winter bee brood,and I'm one of those beeks. Can you imagine hives in California with empty supers on this time of year? So I've been leary of raiding the other resources at the beginning of the fall season. Our nights are now down to 40 degrees regularly, our days are averaging 60 degrees.

However, I love those queens, and I sure don't like the idea of loosing one.



There Is Peace In The Queendom

Offline tecumseh

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 711
  • Thanked: 48 times
  • Location: College Station, Tx.
Re: Three Queens In One Nuc
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2018, 06:36:00 am »
Never seen 3 but I suspect 2 happens more than we think.

Prior to 1980 (I had kept bees on and off for about 20 years then) I though then there was a rule that there was only one queen in a hive.  Then I went to work for a commercial beekeeper and while doing spring splits found two queen in two hives side by side and on one pallet.  If I had not been wearing a veil I would have scratched my head and said HUH!  As it was across from me was the owner's managers who name was George and when I asked him about it he said... 'happens more often than you might think'.  Since we were making splits we simply placed one queen in a new box and moved on.

Gene in Central Texas.....

Online Riverrat

  • Administrator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 2141
  • Thanked: 56 times
  • Location: oxford kansas
Re: Three Queens In One Nuc
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2018, 05:42:03 pm »
Never seen 3 but I suspect 2 happens more than we think.

Prior to 1980 (I had kept bees on and off for about 20 years then) I though then there was a rule that there was only one queen in a hive.  Then I went to work for a commercial beekeeper and while doing spring splits found two queen in two hives side by side and on one pallet.  If I had not been wearing a veil I would have scratched my head and said HUH!  As it was across from me was the owner's managers who name was George and when I asked him about it he said... 'happens more often than you might think'.  Since we were making splits we simply placed one queen in a new box and moved on.

Gene in Central Texas.....

I have said this happens more often then thought.  After all most keeps quit looking for queens once one is found
"no man ever stood so tall as one that  stoops to help a child"

Forum Supporter