Can There Be More Than One Queen Bee?



As we all know it, a honey bee colony typically has one queen bee. She rules everything, and the workers and drones tend to her every need. They keep her warm in the winter, they make sure she’s fed, protect her, and most importantly, choose who will be crowned Queen. Considering that the Queen is the most dominant bee in the colony, the addition of another would certainly cause chaos in the hive. 

However, there is a short period of time in many colonies when there could be supersedure or swarming. A queen bee releases pheromones in order to alert the other bees in her hive that she is there. When she starts to get older, these pheromones become weaker, showing those in the colony it’s time to start hatching a new queen. There are periods where the old queen and new queen are alive at the same time. 

In the cases of this, the worker bees will either kill the old queen, the two queens will fight to the death, or the hive will swarm (swarming is when a hive can lose about half a population to flying away- for good). So technically, no, a honey bee colony can not have two functioning queens at the same time. Although, two could be alive at the same time- it just won’t end too well. 

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