Dr. Jim Ellis asked us that question, and we all got it wrong.
Another myth exploded.
Everything I’ve ever read has told me that a queen bee will kill all her rivals (any other queens). But Jim asked us this:
Why does a beekeeper think there’s only one queen in a hive?
Answer: Because the beekeeper stops counting when s/he finds the first queen.
Well, doggone it. That’s right. Every time I’ve seen beekeepers looking for their queen, they find her and say, “There she is – now let’s close up this hive so we don’t disturb her too much.”
Jim’s researchers at the Honey Bee Lab at the University of Florida don’t stop looking when they find the first queen. Sometimes, they say, there are two or even three queens in a hive.
Amazing, isn’t it?
BEEattitude for Day # 186:
Blessed are the queen bees, for they are our mothers.
Forty-two-thousand things Fran is grateful for right now:
The bees I’ll be picking up TOMORROW!