running a double queen hive and swarming

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by riverrat, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    A few years ago at a bee meeting they was discussing ways to prevent swarming. one of the ways mentioned was to split the hive by putting the split above the original hive with a large space between the mother hive. Once the 2 hives have settled in and the swarm stopped. They remove the top hive to a new location. This set me to thinking. If someone was to do this and put the honey supers between the 2 hives would you see an increase in honey production greater than 2 seperate hives. I have always heard that one strong hive will overall produce more honey than 2 small hives. I understand there is a lot of disadvantages to this approach. Has anyone tried or even thought of doing this.
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    There are many ways to create a 2 queen hive, and yes, it does work. The way you describe just may be another way. I think you would need an excluder under the top queen and over the bottom one, with an entrance in the middle. We need 2 or 3 volunteers to try it and report their findings.
     

  3. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Wouldn't you have to have two excluders (one on top of the other) two keep the queens apart. With just one excluder they could fight. Jack
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    He said separate the two brood chambers with supers in the middle. Yes, one excluder on top the bottom box, and one under the top box.
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    How about using one of these?

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    I got about 10 of these with another purchase and wasn't completely sure what they were for. I have used them when combining a 5 frame nuc with a larger queenless hive, just put the five frames with queen in a 10 frame deep on top with this inbetween. The Nuc queens pheromones can travel freely between the 2 boxes until they come to accept her, then I remove it.
    But apparently what it is REALLY meant for is two queen hives. Someone told me the name of it is a Snelgrove board (?).
    Two pieces of no.# 8 hardware cloth seperated by 3/8' with an entrance on one side. Not sure how it would be used properly.

    Perry
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    The snelgrove is for only temporary use. It won't allow the foragers to pass.
    \
    http://www.google.com/search?q=using+a+ ... =firefox-a

    Picture a hive body with an excluder and 3 or 4 supers on it. Now add an excluder and a queenright deep on top of that. Give an entrance somewhere in the supers, along with top and bottom entrances into both brood chambers. That's what he is describing.
     
  7. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    yes we will need to run queen excluders top and bottom I thought about having a common entrance but that brings up another problem. While a heavy flow is on the workers would go and come through the common entrance with no problem. Im wondering what happens when the dearth hits would there be fighting amongst the 2 hives Im thinking a bottom entrance for the top about half way down the supers stack and a top entrance for the bottom just above the queen excluder on opposite sides of each other. My thought would be use a double deep brood chamber on top and a bottom and stack 6 to 8 medium drawn supers between the 2 hives in the fall remove the super and put a snelgrove or screened bottom board between them and make sure they are heavy enough to make the winter. Lot of extra work but if that one hive is really strong I see a huge increase in honey production. While this wouldnt be suited for the commercial keep it might be ideal for the sideliner or hobbiest. Just think there may be a Rat method of honey production one day. Remember its the people crazy enough to think they can change the world that actually do :thumbsup:
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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  9. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    The Demaree method is a term used in beekeeping that describes a swarming prevention method. The method was first published by George Demaree (1832–1915) in an article in the American Bee Journal in 1884. It involves separation of the queen from the brood. However, it requires a great deal of labor and time.
     
  10. fatbeeman

    fatbeeman New Member

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    Rat
    been there done that. I used to live in ohio and run 2 and 3 queen set ups. the down side they seen to swarm faster if the honey flow slows or stopped. when flow is real good there fine. you must have q excludes between each queen.
    I stopped using queen excluders=why it shortens the life of the bees by 50%
    why==the bees squeezing thru the queen excluders wearing out the wings.
    Don
     
  11. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I will have to agree on the queen excluders, do not like them.
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    well if a queen excluder is used properly it will not only enhance the crop but can also be employed in a fashion to limit swarming*. if you think an excluder damages the wings on the workers then you need to change the kind of queen excluder you employ... cheap is cheap and you do often get what you pay for.

    what riverrat describes in post one sounds pretty much like the demaree method. if I recall properly in the demaree method the top box would not be removed but at the end of the season the queen excluders would be removed and the population combined. hopefully the younger of the two queens would remain by the time winter set in. so part of the plan here was to keep a young queen in the overwintered hive.

    perry writes:
    Two pieces of no.# 8 hardware cloth seperated by 3/8' with an entrance on one side. Not sure how it would be used properly.

    tecumseh:
    we always called this a double screen. in a bind it could be used as a moving screen but I have employed them as a device for dividing population for producing queens in a queen right colony. the size of the screen and the distance between the two wires is critical for the purpose of queen rearing (the probiscus of workers in the two hive bodies cannot touch). lastly it is an excellent device for setting a weak colony above a strong colony allowing the heat of the larger lower population to provide some heat for the smaller upper population. for this latter use the trigger entrance would be set to open at the back of the hive.

    *not absolutely certain but this basic idea which I have tried on a couple of occasions here was presented in an ABJ article in the mid 1980's. I think (don't absolutely know) that the author was the same fellow who is currently the bee inspector for the state of Florida. the article is an excellent reference for any second year bee keeper who thinks they might want some 'plan' for limiting swarming imho.
     
  13. Duck1968

    Duck1968 New Member

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  14. rail

    rail New Member

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    Did anyone try the double queen hive?
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    as a rule the demaree method of swarm control was utilized in areas with a significant and constant honey flow that I primarily associate with northern bee keeping. I think the idea was you set them up with lots of open space and left them pretty much until the season was done. due to a number of factors the demaree method is likely inappropriate here in the south where the honey flow is punctuated (of short duration with nothing between the smaller flows). like many things associated with bee keeping the demaree method with out a doubt required proper timing and application... which really means the basic idea sounds simple but application was likely much more difficult.
     
  16. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    About 20 years ago I gave it a try, after reading an article that praised the method to high heavens (I just looked on my bee-book shelf but couldn't find the article).
    I used two excluders, and had an upper and lower entrance for the two queen hive.
    Bottom line--it was a total failure. I don't have records of the results, but I was very disappointed in the yield the hive produced. Maybe it is suitable for areas with special extended honey flows. :crybye:
     
  17. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Back again: If you search hard enough you're likely to find what you want. I found the article which discusses two queen colonies.
    The name of the article:
    Productive Management of Honey-Bee Colonies.
    It was originally published in the American Bee Journal, Vol 108 nos 3-10 in 1968. The author is C.L. Farrar and there is wealth of material in the articles not just on 2 queen hives but on managing hives in general. There are many excellent pictures and diagrams and very good info on overwintering the hives.
    If you can get ahold of the article and read it, you'll be better off for having done so. :amen: