Not my hive, so I couldn't inspect. When I went to the beeyard today I was greeted with the stink of rotting bees. I noticed that a hive owned by the kid I share the yard with had several hundred dead and dying drones piled up below the entrance. The top layer was still crawling. Their eyes were faint and they appeared to be young drones. Mature drones were coming and going. I saw a couple young drones dumped by workers as I watched.
This is the wrong time of year for drone killing, we're just starting the swarm season. I'm thinking his queen ran out of sperm, is becoming a drone layer, and the workers aren't happy about it. Could it be hygienic behavior? My understanding was hygienic bees remove and kill larvae, not new adult bees. This was the strongest hive in the yard, came out of winter with lots of bees. I know his management is minimal to non-existant and I have been predicting that a swarm is imminent from this hive. Any thoughts on this?