Drones available for mating
Since I have only recently began learning to raise extra queens, and have a small batch of queen cells nearing maturity, right now, I have some concerns about drone availability. I have been keeping bees at my present location, continuously, for a little more than ten years, some years I have noticed the bees discontinue keeping drones, sometimes, during some Winters, though they keep a few drones year-round. Unfortunately I have not kept any notes concerning these observations and my memory is not as clear as I wish it were about this subject.
Right now, I have been in the process of producing open-mated Cordovan Italian queens to replace my typical, what I call "normal" queens, in my breeding yard, in order to increase production of Cordovan Italian drones and reduce the number of "normal" drones being produced. Of course I wish to finish this process before the queen producing season ends, so that, beginning next Spring I can produce more Cordovan Italian queens that have been mated with more Cordovan Italian drones.
Can anyone, with knowledge of queen rearing in warm Winter areas, share what they know about drone availability? Thank you.