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CraBee

Overwintering double Queen hives?

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Has anyone ever tried this.....

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Posted (edited)

Yes,

In our experience generally one of the queens won’t make it through to spring.

Although it does depend on how your 2queener is set up.

if the bottom queen is separated from the top by a honey box survival of both queens is good .

if the queens are separated only by an excluder that’s when we have one die , usually the bottom one. 

Edited by frazzledfozzle
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Try changing the excluder for a mat with an entrance cut out. Assuming strength is good and they are set up right it should be sweet.

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On 6/03/2019 at 8:02 AM, frazzledfozzle said:

Yes,

In our experience generally one of the queens won’t make it through to spring.

Although it does depend on how your 2queener is set up.

if the bottom queen is separated from the top by a honey box survival of both queens is good .

if the queens are separated only by an excluder that’s when we have one die , usually the bottom one. 

that is about what ive seen as well

I'd slap a div board between them to over-winter

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Are there any special tricks needed when introducing either cells or very new Virgin's into the top 

box on a hive that is being be double queened?

 

I've been lifting brood frames and placing a cell at the same time.  I checked a couple of hives today

and cells have emerged but no sign of a VQ and they were making their own queen cells.

 

Configuration:

Top box - three or four brood frames and honey.  Has a top Entrance

Queen excluder

Honey box

Queen excluder 

Bottom box - brood box with existing mated Queen.

 

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You are missing the division board to seperate the top unit .

some of your virgin may have ended up in bottom if you were lucky .

I would lift the existing queen up above a div board and put cell in bottom and leave in that configuration for winter .

personally I use mated queens for 2 queening hives using a div board until they are well  settled .

we have just busted up our 2 queen starter hives , bottom queen has 2 brood boxes and top has 1 and a top feeder , they will be united again around 1st week August .

 

As I have said before a hives natural state is one queen ( maybe more when something is wrong with one ) and that’s what you need think about when considering something different 

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Agree with Rob, when setting up the two queener the two brood boxes need to be separated by a division board.

After the Queen has, at the very least , sealed brood you can replace the division board with an excluder and paper it together .

some beekeepers will also use a honey box with excluder under and over to seperate the two broodboxes after removing the division board 

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Funny thing isn't it because when you lift brood above an excluder during Spring and don't want a Queen at that time the bees seem to make one....

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23 minutes ago, CraBee said:

Funny thing isn't it because when you lift brood above an excluder during Spring and don't want a Queen at that time the bees seem to make one....

And the key word here is spring!! , natural reproduction urge .

2 queen hives are quite happy to go hang in a tree at this time of year if the weather is conducive, don’t even need eggs in cups 

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