Running two and three queen hives??

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by brooksbeefarm, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    It was brought up at the bee club meeting last night that a new method of running hives with two, three or four queens, the member said he read that China has been doing it for years. What they do is cut one mandible off each queen and when they meet in the hive they just look at each other and don't fight? My question is, wouldn't the workers see something wrong (missing mandible) and replace her? Our ex state bee club president was there and said he had heard about it and was going to try it. Any of you heard of this, or trird it? Jack
     
  2. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    Sounds preposterous to me. I'd also think, if it can be done, that one would have to pay alot of attention to such a hive because I would expect it to want to swarm all of the time. The hive would have to be huge to accomodate all of the brood. Doesn't seem feasible. If it is true, I expect to see something in ABJ or Bee Culture soon.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Mark:
    If you dig back in the ABJ a few month there is an article by a fellow (I assumed he was quite old) that did a blow by blow story on the introduction of the africanized honey bee into Brazil. Obviously I cannot recall his name right now. In the article there was a very grainy pictures of an award winning africanized hive in South Africa that set the world record for honey production per hive and by the pictures looked to be a multiple queen hives.

    For all you folks that have problems painting queens I am certain cutting off those mandibles will be a snap???

    I would think (speculating for certain) that something tried and true like the demaree (sp?) method would accomplish much the same thing with out the risk of what could go wrong in doing something like cutting off an insect mandible or the long list of things (Mark presented one) that could go wrong.

    the idea sounds a bit far fetched to me but then again I can only guess some folks will think the idea is the cat meow.

    I would think it is an obvious economic reality that employing slave labor to cut off insect parts is much more affordable in China than it is here.
     
  4. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Tec, i was thinking the same thing. I have trouble seeing eggs in the cells, i can't imagine holding a queen and cutting off one of the mandibles without killing her :confused: . They were talking about a new way to fight SHB, i think someone in your area came up with it. It's a lid that let's light in the hive and the SHB doesn't like it and leave. My question is, the bees like working in the dark to, wouldn't this effect the bees also? But, i hope it works. Jack
     
  5. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    But don't the queens sting each other? So what would mandible removal do? And don't the rest of the bees get behind one queen? Isn't The Two Queen system set up so that both queens are seperated from each other?
     
  6. daver110

    daver110 New Member

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    hello everyone I am a new guy from metro st. louis area. this two and three queen hive has sparked my attention.
    If we go back to the basics of the hive,
    what are we gaining with that many queens? We still need the same number of frames and supers and brood area per queen don't we? It is all I can do to pick up a brood box full of honey. Personally i don't want to be on a ladder lifting even a shallow super full of honey. If we think about this, on terms of all the components, aren't we using the same number of components?
     
  7. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    sqkcrk, from what i understand they use their mandlbles to bite and hold on to there victim to sting them. ( i ask that question and that was the answer i got) Queens do tolerate each other at times, because i have found two queens working in some of my colonies on several occasion but you eventually end up with only one.From what they were saying the chinese have been doing this for years now to build up big colonies to produce more honey. It must be working, to provide honey for there population and selling tons of there cheap crappy honey to us.( Wal Mart) :confused: . Jack
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I don't know Jack but it would seem to me that it doesn't take such a huge worker population to pick up hfcs out of a drum and convert it to honey (which it appears is about 90% of the chinese current scam).

    large populations of bees would still need to be maintained and fed so I can't really see the economic benefit involved???? multiple queen hives were popular here (at least at one time) in areas where they had short intense season that largely were comb honey areas. the demaree method accomplish the task of promoting huge individual populations plus the eventual results of requeening a hive yearly.
     
  9. larry tate

    larry tate New Member

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    We were at a bee yard checking the colonies and found 1 queenless. It was 1 deep and 1 medium. We set it on the top super of a strong hive doing the newspaper combine. A day or 2 later i put a cell between the top frames of the super. This was 4 weeks ago. Looked in Monday and there was a queen laying in the bottom deep and another laying in the top deep. Hmm
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    larry...
    what you describe is pretty much a stripped down version of the Damaree plan of swarm control. normally a queen excluder would replace the paper and a top entry (pointed in the opposite direction from the bottom entrance) would be essential parts of this set up.