One of my goals this year, among others, is to have all my queens marked. So in the course of routine inspections I’ve been making an attempt to find the queen and mark her, because it is much easier to find them now than later in the season when their population is much higher. (or at least it was easier a couple weeks ago when this picture was taken). I’ve also started the habit of always having my marking pen handy, especially when I go to an outyard just in case I run into an unmarked queen.
So during inspection of one week hive, I found the queen, pulled out the pen and was ready to mark her. Then I looked down and noticed a white dot moving around on the adjacent frame (last year’s queen). This apparently was one of those cases where mother and daughter live side by side happily. So I marked the ‘new’ queen and put her back in the hive to let the sort it out. This picture was taken a week later and both queens were found near each other on the same frame. And just last week I found yet a 3rd queen in the same hive.
In another hive in the same yard I found one of my breeder queens I thought had been superceeded last fall. But I was happy to find both queens doing fine, having co-existed for nearly 9 months now. It’s not somthing you see often, but it would be interesting if you could breed in the desire to maintain multiple queens on a regular basis.