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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Chatham Co, NC, USA
    Posts
    50

    Default What a mess...killed dozens of drones!

    opened the hive yesterday which has come out of winter surprisingly strong. I was seriously expecting to find swarm cells b/c I couldn't believe they had enough room after bringing in so much pollen in the 2 weeks since our last inspection.

    No queen cells, but there were lots of drone cells, mostle between the top bar and the bottom bar of the super above. When I removed the supers, the comb would, of course, break apart and spill larvae & pupae all over. Why would they do this?

    Found lots of brood in various stages of development, I cannot believe how strong this hive is. Not complaining, but Holy Cow! Would have liked to actually SEE the queen, but it was evident she was there somewhere. Buttoned thngs up and left an empty super for them to fill.

    Saw a good number of drones...the first since last fall. I guess we're doing okay ...... ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: What a mess...killed dozens of drones!

    I tear a lot of drone brood up between the top and bottom bars too. I wouldn't feel too bad about it. It's better to maintain that burr comb than worry about the lives of a couple drones. right?
    ...This, and my heart, and all the Bees
    Which in the Clover dwell.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,344

    Default Re: What a mess...killed dozens of drones!

    You don't see all those lady's upset about a few dead men do you.? Killing a few drones to keep down the burr comb is just fine.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,535

    Default Re: What a mess...killed dozens of drones!

    Quote Originally Posted by JC2783 View Post
    No queen cells, but there were lots of drone cells, mostle between the top bar and the bottom bar of the super above. When I removed the supers, the comb would, of course, break apart and spill larvae & pupae all over. Why would they do this?
    Bees want to raise a certain amount of drones- it's a natural desire for them.
    When we beekeepers put them in a box with only worker-cell-sized foundation available, they look for other creative places to sneak some drone sized comb in- like in corners or edges of frames or hanging under frames, between boxes, like in your case.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Horsham, PA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: What a mess...killed dozens of drones!

    Absolutely the same thing happened to me yesterday. I opened up the hive for the first time this year and was scraping off some major burr comb and realized it was all full of drone pupae! This is my second year, so completely surprised and freaked out. Very interesting, but sort of yucky, too. Squished a lot of them. I took them aside and inspected them closely once I closed up the hive and saw two with varroa mites on them! Ss I guess it's true that drones are where varroa like to hang. I guess I'd better keep on top of the mites.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: What a mess...killed dozens of drones!

    Keep on top of it. Raising a bunch of drones can be a sign of getting ready to swarm.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: What a mess...killed dozens of drones!

    Quote Originally Posted by JC2783 View Post
    ... lots of drone cells, mostle between the top... and ...bottom bar ...the comb [broke] apart and [spilt] larvae & pupae all over...
    When life hands you a basket of lemons, make lemonade. In other words, use this opportunity to inspect the sealed drone brood for varroa mites. Mites stand out like Christmas lights against the pearly white background of drone pupa.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    S Hadley, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    690

    Default Re: What a mess...killed dozens of drones!

    Quote Originally Posted by WiredForStereo View Post
    Keep on top of it. Raising a bunch of drones can be a sign of getting ready to swarm.
    Correct. In my neck of the woods, 30 days after capped drone brood is the time they swarm.
    Pearl City Apiary Michael and Loucil Bach

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