Spring is with us early this year and Prunus species are flowering early. A March inspection of one hive revealed two queens. Last year’s red-marked mother queen and her unmarked daughter. Rarely for me I had a camera to hand and with the two queens on one frame, I was able to take a picture.
Mum is on the lower right; you can just make out the remains of a red dot on her thorax.
Why should there be two? Supercedure in the autumn is not uncommon. Perfect supercedure, where mum keeps laying until the daughter has taken over can also occur. Usually mum gets thrown out sometime after. In this case she is still there. A week after the picture was taken, she was still there. However she was on a frame of worker brood with daughter on a frame containing drone brood. So, maybe the daughter was not mated and it’s her that is laying drones. That’s just conjecture. The stock is not that big.. I’ll post later once the bees have decided what they want. I’m sure they are better at deciding than me.