New Virgin Queen

I have to tell you, I was very curious about what was going on in my hive when I spied this beautiful virgin queen.  Can you see her?  ( if you divide the photo into quarters she is at the bottom of the upper left quadrant). This little lady has yet to leave the hive and make her mating flight.  After she returns from receiving sperm from up to 15 male drone bees, her abdomen will resemble that of most photographed queen bees.  Because of my inexperience in beekeeping, most of my knowledge is from a book, and we all know how that goes.  See I was under the impression that hives were supposed to only support one queen at a time.  It doesn’t appear that is the case here, and I’ll show you why.


This comb is in the same hive and clearly, you can see larvae and ( I saw eggs as well) in the cells.  This baby queen did not do that…and those eggs are no more than 3 days old.  The young larvae are only 3-5 days old.  We have not seen a swarm of this hive, and it doesn’t appear to be any less full than the last time I took a peak.

There are numerous discussions about the possibility for a hive to have two queens.  Bee expert Cleo Hogan suggests that “there is abundant evidence that the two queens may live side by side in the hive for a period of time, both laying eggs until one is destroyed”.

I belong to a FB top bar group, and they have reminded me of yet another possible outcome.  MUTINY.  I have seen both supersedure cells at the top of my bars as well as swarm cells at the bottom of my bars.  I just assumed they were all swarm cells and have been anticipating such an event.  Maybe now what is really happening is that a daughter queen is planning to off the mother queen.  If last year has taught me anything, it is to let bees be bees…they’ve been “beeing” for a lot longer then me.

I will just let the hive handle this, and I’ll just watch 🙂

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