Newbee here - made it through my first winter with two hives. Besides growing numbers of worker bees, both have lots of drone brood and I have even seen drones in the hives.
I'd like to do a walkaway split and let them grow their new queen. Even though it seems VERY early to do splits, I figure they have plenty of eggs and young brood to raise as queens. And there are plenty of drones to service the queen.
I'm getting conflicting advice from experiences beeks in the area. One tells me that my queens will fly out further on their mating flights than will my drones. So even though I have drones, they won't be able to mate with the queen because she'll be 'out of their range'. I would be relying on drones from other bee yards in the area, and I have no way of knowing if those are producing drones yet.
A second equally experienced beek does not believe this to be true, and instead tells me that my queen will indeed mate with drones from my yard - some of which of course would be her 'half-siblings' (if from the same colony).
Not that I'm expecting a consensus answer but what is your experience?