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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Superior, WI, USA
    Posts
    123

    Default Would you inspect?

    I spotted a good laying pattern in one of my hives 7/29, so I've been leaving it be since then. Today I popped the outer cover just so I could peek in at how the supers were looking and the inner cover was COVERED with drones. It looked like hundreds of them, and they for sure outnumbered the workers I saw.

    Pollen is going in, and foragers are out working. I have a nuc and one other hive with queens who should have hatched this week. Are these guys waiting for them to go on a mating flight? It's too soon for these to be offspring of a laying worker, so I'm not really worried about that, but it's a really sudden increase.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    977

    Default Re: Would you inspect?

    Sounds like you really need to do an inspection and see what is going on. Typically, drones return in the evening to the hive. Since drones mate in the air, they are almost certainly not waiting on the queen.

    Takes 24 days for a drone to hatch. Assuming the drone brood was not there twelve days ago, I doubt you have a laying worker issue. You should be able to tell very quick when you open the hive. If you have all bullets, you have a problem. If the eggs are on the sides of the cell, you have a problem.

    HTH,
    Shane

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,001

    Default Re: Would you inspect?

    Drones will go hive to hive, wherever the best meal is. Drones also increase before the hive is about to swarm.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Superior, WI, USA
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: Would you inspect?

    I have a beautiful, fat golden queen in there. I took a quick peek Friday and saw a nice laying pattern, good mix of eggs, open, and capped brood, and very few drones. Not sure where they went off to, but I'm sure they're around.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    392

    Default Re: Would you inspect?

    "Now you know." That's why you inspect, now and then.

    We really don't "know" why, for example, a colony might produce drones in large numbers. Likewise we don't necessarily know "where they go." And we do not, strictly speaking, have to know Nature's Mysteries in order to make a sensible hive-management decision. We do, I think, sometimes tend to "out-guess" our girls, albeit for the very best of reasons.

    We do, as stewards, need to make it our business to be aware of what's going on from day to day to day, and to visually inspect the situation from time to time as our instincts (perhaps...) may direct. We should always make the best, and best-informed, hive management/stewardship decisions that we can. But we should always be fully prepared to be surprised. Because we nearly always will be. Honeybees are "ancient survivors."

    If the question is, "would you inspect?", then the answer invariably would be, yes. But, upon inspection, I would likewise always be prepared to be both pleased and pleasantly surprised. Sometimes, of course, the surprise is decidedly not a good one. But, by and large, those times are rare.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Superior, WI, USA
    Posts
    123

    Default Re: Would you inspect?

    My concern was that the last few inspections *were* unpleasant, and I didn't want to risk producing another. These bees are either very sensitive to me inspecting or I've rolled the queen every time I went in. I like to think it isn't the latter, but who knows.

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