You probably already know that bees are intriguing insects, but the interworkings of the colony are incredibly intricate. Colonies typically have only one queen; however, two may occupy the hive at one time. Follow along to learn what happens if there are two queen bees in a hive simultaneously.
It Happens More Than You’d Think
Even though natural hive operations typically rely on one queen, two queens inhabit hives more than you’d think. Queens make the worker bees aware of her presence and reproductive capabilities by releasing pheromones. When the old queen starts slowing down reproductively, the pheromone strength dwindles. As a result, the workers know it’s time to start raising a new queen.
When the new queen hatches, a few different outcomes may occur; however, it’s possible that they’ll exist together for a short period.
The Old Queen Dies
Most times, the old queen dies shortly after the new one begins fulfilling her duties in the hive. Interestingly, the new queen may kill the former to establish her dominance in the colony. On the other hand, the old queen may die naturally. Yet another possibility is that the workers will kill the old queen to make way for the new. Regardless of how it happens, the old queen usually dies as a new one replaces her.
The Workers Separate Them
Even though the old queen usually dies, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, both queens live and contribute to the hive. However, the workers will separate them into different sections of the hive to ensure they don’t interfere with each other. This way, they can both continue to reproduce without becoming defensive toward one another.
Because most beekeepers believe there’s only one queen in their hive, they might try to requeen at the wrong time. For instance, if you spot a dead queen, you might start looking for a new queen to replace her. However, there could be another queen living and reproducing in the hive already. As a result, the colony most likely won’t accept a new queen.
Now that you know what happens if there are two queen bees in a hive, you better understand when you need to look for mated queen bees for sale. Your colony always needs at least one queen; however, there might be more than one at a time.