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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    1,318

    Default Bees removing capped live drone brood - Why?

    The bees in one of my mating nucs are removing drone brood that is still alive, and tossing it out the entrance. Why would they do this? Some of it looked like it was within a day of hatching.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: Bees removing capped live drone brood - Why?

    Maybe resource management? Are they short of food, space, nurse bees? Could also be response to a cold spell. I had a number of drones dumped from one of my hives last week as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Madison, VA, USA
    Posts
    42

    Default Re: Bees removing capped live drone brood - Why?

    I thought that was also a sign of hygienic behavior - did the drones appear to have anything wrong with them?
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    central mn
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    244

    Default Re: Bees removing capped live drone brood - Why?

    mites ????

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: Bees removing capped live drone brood - Why?

    My uncle and I recently noticed something similar. We had a very warm late winter. Then we had an extended cold snap.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tulsa OK. USA
    Posts
    846

    Default Re: Bees removing capped live drone brood - Why?

    1. Hygienic bees will remove brood infected with mites
    2. Drone brood is often on the outer edge of the brood nest and may get chilled in a cold snap if there are not enough bees to cover all of the brood, and they get tossed out.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    1,318

    Default Re: Bees removing capped live drone brood - Why?

    I thought chilled brood too, but these drones were kicking and struggling to move. Most did not have wings developed yet, and whitish spots where they were still basically larva. Chilled brood is basically dead, these were not. This nuc of bees has a full division board feeder so food is no issue. They are, however, raising several virgin queens in their midst who are hatching out as I type this. My guess is a combination of hygienic behavior and making room for the new queen to lay.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    293

    Default Re: Bees removing capped live drone brood - Why?

    this happened to me last weekened. i added a frame of emerging/capped brood with some capped drones on the end to a nuc about 2 weeks ago. They pulled all the drone brood out and dumped them in front of the hive. they were alive and within a few days of hatching

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,318

    Default Re: Bees removing capped live drone brood - Why?

    That's EXACTLY what I did!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    293

    Default Re: Bees removing capped live drone brood - Why?

    I am seeing this behavior the last few days in a very strong hive. Anyone else? Can this occur with supercedure perhaps? Plenty of pollen coming in and overall foraging behavior. Not really seeing any drones fly out from this colony either. This hive has 3 mediums of surplus honey that i was hoping not to need to lift off to inspect until I extract before golden rod (few weeks)

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