View Full Version : Lots of drones coming and going. Is this normal?

05-06-2009, 11:18 PM
I installed a box of bees last week. The colony looks strong so far.

Have a question though. I'm seeing a lot of Drones coming and going from the hive.

This is only my second season as a Beek. Last year I don't remember seeing very many Drones outside the hive at all. This year, lots of them.

Is this normal?

05-07-2009, 04:43 AM
Does the coming and goings of drones correspond to a particular time of the day? If early evening??? this might suggest that you have mating take place somewhere close by.

The first questions to ask are: why has this hive produced all those drones? are you into prime swarm season?

If you started the hive from scratch (a package) you might expect many more drones in year two (this also correspond to the time slot a hive is most likely to swarm) than in year 1.

05-07-2009, 05:32 AM
"Mating taking place near by"

Well, on Saturday the hive right next to mine swarmed and the lighted on the branch of a locust tree just about 8 to 10 feet up and in front of my hive.

Is it possible that they are still hanging around from that swarm and are just trying to find a warm place to go?

As for time of day, I generally check the hive around midday and I've been seeing them for a few days. I don't know if other times of the day there are more.

Also, there are 4 other hives lined up for about 15 feet to the one side of my hive. This includes the hive that we put the swarm in. I don't see many if any Drones at the entrances to the other hives.

05-07-2009, 07:13 AM
I am also a second year beekeeper. Like you I didn't notice drones until this year. A speaker at our beekeeping association told us that drones at the entrance are the best sign of an impending swarm. Sure enough my hive swarmed yesterday. Was there when it happened and captured the swarm. The drones from that hive were on the ground in front of the hive as well as at the entrance. Let us know if your hive swarms.

05-07-2009, 07:23 AM
Boy I sure hope it doesn't!

I just installed the darn things last week!

Did you put the swarm right back in the same hive?

05-07-2009, 08:25 AM
Whoops. Forgot that you just got this colony. So I will definitely hope yours do not swarm. Actually didn't want mine to either. Maybe next time I can keep on top of bees better to try to prevent it. Anyway.

To answer your question I did not put them back in the same hive. That colony was too large coming out of overwintering. Already had five boxes on there. Don't know if you can combine them without some fancy double hive manipulation moves that are beyond me right now.

My swarm was about 4 feet into a Scotch Pine. So I chopped off the limb which caused the branch with bees to drop into some soft undergrowth. Put a deep hive box close as I could and moved the branch even closer on to the hive entrance landing board. Some went in but not all. It started to rain so I just put an empty super on top and put branch and all into that super and closed it up and moved to permanent location. Now I have the fun of going out today and trying to shake the bees off the branch into the frames. Still raining though.