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.
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.
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.
Early drones? How old are the Carniolan queens? Over two years? They may either swarm or be supercedured. OMHO
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.
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.
how's that: drones flying here too.
hey Cedar Hill
Originally Posted by 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.
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.
Originally Posted by shughes
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.
Lots of bees and lots of drones flying.
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?
Originally Posted by RayMarler
If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive. - Dale Carnegie
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.
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