Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Cashmere, WA, USA
    Posts
    158

    Default Mass drone elimination

    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?

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

    Default Re: Mass drone elimination

    Could be a sign of high Varroa infestation. They attack the drone brood first.
    ...This, and my heart, and all the Bees
    Which in the Clover dwell.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Mass drone elimination

    It is interesting, May be you can talk him into letting you inspect the hive just out of curiosity.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,974

    Default Re: Mass drone elimination

    How's your weather been? Did you guys get cold and wet for a while again? I'm wondering if they had to cluster up and abandoned the drone brood in favor of the worker brood.

    Adam

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Cashmere, WA, USA
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: Mass drone elimination

    @NCSU: but adults? From what I know of hygienic tests you kill larvae and see how well they clean em up. These are supposedly "hygienic" Italians.

    @bluegrass (pick and grin?): yeah I probably should

    @Adam: weather is just finally getting nice. Last night warmest yet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,974

    Default Re: Mass drone elimination

    Quote Originally Posted by frostygoat View Post
    @Adam: weather is just finally getting nice. Last night warmest yet.
    Okay, so that means it was cold before that. So is it possible that they got too cold and gave up trying to keep the drone brood warm? Or abandoned the drone brood to conserve energy and food? So they've only emptied the cells recently as it has become warm enough to clean them out?

    Adam

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads