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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Monongahela, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Early Drone Brood

    Took advantage of yesterday's 70 + temps in SW Pa and was able to work 18 or so colonies. Cleaned their bottom boards, examined brood patterns, organized stores and feed were needed. I was really surprised to see 4 or 5 colonies with capped Drone brood. As I remember last year I didn't see any drone brood till mid April. Won't be long until I'll be starting some splits, that is if the weather stays warm.

    Most of the colonies I got into looked great. Some with 8-10 frames of brood. Some had a frame or two of fresh nectar. They have been bringing in maple, willow and elm pollen for two weeks.

    Are any of you seeing any drone brood? What do you think, does it seem a little early for drones?

    I guess the bees know best. Good luck this spring to all.
    Al

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,398

    Default

    Had a lot of drone brood in my hives about 2 weeks ago. Scraped most of them out because they were at the bottom of the frames between the brood box(s) and/or a super. Everything was stuck together and I didn't want brood to start up in small supers. Don't know but I am assuming that there has been more drone brood layed since then. Will check soon.
    De Colores,
    Ken

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pigeon Falls, WI
    Posts
    2,529

    Default

    Here in WI my colonies I kept to overwinter have drones that have hatched already and they are not from a drone layer. No pollen coming in yet but the maples will start very soon. I have Carniolan queens that produced the best overwinter colonies(so far(fingers crossed)) I have had in 7 yrs of beek'n. I thought the drones were a little early but maybe they are there becuz of the strong population.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    733

    Default

    Early drones? How old are the Carniolan queens? Over two years? They may either swarm or be supercedured. OMHO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Posts
    261

    Default

    beeman,

    i started taking mbush recommendation of sticking a couple empty frames in the hive during my first inspection of the year to help reduce swarm tendencies. they drew them out as drone comb in February and i have noticed i no longer have the problem of the colonies building drone comb between the hive bodies. i am hoping that pattern continues.
    Last edited by shughes; 03-19-2009 at 10:51 AM. Reason: spelling
    Hughes Honey Apiary
    http://www.hugheshoney.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Monongahela, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    78

    Default

    The drone brood that I found was capped and should be hatching soon. The queens are not drone layers. They all have frames of worker brood and are just filling out the burr and brace comb with drone brood. It just seemed awful early in my area for the queens to be preparing for the spring mating season.

    Most of my queens are mutt carniolans and are less than a year old. Last year I made quite a few divides plus in our area almost every colony swarmed, leaving alot of young queens in most of my colonies. I really don't think the bees are thinking supercedure. I think they are preparing for an early spring.

    The weathermen are saying that we will have a two day cold spell, then it should warm up again. Hope then to get into the rest of my bees to see how they are doing.

    Al

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Paoli, IN
    Posts
    128

    Default how's that: drones flying here too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedar Hill View Post
    Early drones? How old are the Carniolan queens? Over two years? They may either swarm or be supercedured. OMHO
    hey Cedar Hill
    interesting comment, can you expound on that.
    I'm coming into year 2 and feel a bit lost. Checked the hive a few days ago and saw drone brood and not much else. Drones have been flying for at least a week now.

    Southern Indiana

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,876

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shughes View Post
    beeman,

    i started taking mbush recommendation of sticking a couple empty frames in the hive during my first inspection of the year to help reduce swarm tendencies. they drew them out as drone comb in February and i have noticed i no longer have the problem of the colonies building drone comb between the hive bodies. i am hoping that pattern continues.
    I use pierco drone comb in my hives. The first round of the year I destroy for varroa control. I've found having the drone combs in the hives greatly reduce the girls tendancies to draw out drone comb between frames and along bottom edges of combs. In the buildup/swarming season, the girls like to have 10 percent or more drone comb in a healthy hive.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Bell twp, PA
    Posts
    33

    Default

    I saw some drone brood in one of my hives too, but wasn't much, just between the boxes, this is in my strongest colony. There was a strong number of bees, and lots of honey still, good laying pattern, she is doing well. I have some room in the top box now, 2-3 empty frames.

    In the warm weather they were busy bringing in Maple and I think Willow too.

    Good luck this year.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,398

    Default

    Lots of bees and lots of drones flying.
    De Colores,
    Ken

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Claremont, NH, USA
    Posts
    783

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    I use pierco drone comb in my hives. The first round of the year I destroy for varroa control. I've found having the drone combs in the hives greatly reduce the girls tendancies to draw out drone comb between frames and along bottom edges of combs. In the buildup/swarming season, the girls like to have 10 percent or more drone comb in a healthy hive.
    Ray, I bought the same green foundation for my hives, but haven't put it in. yet. A few questions. How do you destroy the first round - by freezing? Do you then put it back in and let the girls clean out the dead brood? If so, it could be a good test for hygienic behavior, no? Do you leave the drone foundation in year round?

    Bill

    ##################################################

    “If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive.” - Dale Carnegie

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    I keep a fairly close watch on drone cells and live drones here since I raise a few nucs and queens. this year was unusual in that the drone were 10 days to 2 weeks early from my records of prior years.

    for ALL those hives that I do not have any plans for using as drone mother hives I scrape drone brood ruthlessly in the spring time. I suspect (don't absolutely know) that this is somewhat gives me an edge in regards to varroa.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Belews Creek NC
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Looking at my notes I had drone brood Feb 21st. Was in the hives a few days ago and ton of drones roaming. Trying to find the queen in that hive and they had me going every time CU Dave Never found her. They will be marked from now on

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