We had heard about the Two Queen Colony Management system and last year we contacted Bill Denhard from the Essex County Beekeepers Association in Topsfield, Ma to find out more about this system. Bill has been practicing this technique since the 70’s. He has made local presentations and also a presentation at the 2001 EAS Conference about this technique. To the right are two documents which Bill created and which explains the management system.
Here are some additional thoughts from Bill:
…. the dates …represent 13 miles North of Boston and inland. Adjust them for your area. The procedure is based on having a three brood chamber hive to begin with coming out of wintering over. You would want to start with two hive bodies, then steal frames from them to start the third, upper hive body. Actually in the early spring, I find that you can readily add frames of brood from another hive with adult bees on board with no difficulty.
I used to set up the two queen hives AFTER the new queens were on hand and start the intro a day or two after setting up the two queen array, since they didn’t always arrive when promised, That gives time for the stresses of pushing them around to wear off.
If your honey flow is predictable date-wise adjust your return to a one queen hive to 5 to 7 days preceding it…
1. Here is a link for a document created by Floyd E. Moeller entitled: Two Queen System of Honey Bee Colony Management. It is located at the National Agricultural Library Digital Repository.
2. You can request a document created by C.L. Farrar titled Two- Queen Management which is located at the National Agriculture Library (NAL). Go to your local library and request it through the interlibrary loan service – use the following information for the request:
Title: Two-Queen Colony Managment
Series: Title: E
Publisher: Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine
Publication Date: May 1946
NAL call number: 1.9 En83 no. 693