We are in drought and my bees aren't doing well so I've been feeding lots of sugar syrup, and I'm planning on adding pollen patties next week when I can get some. I would like to know how they're doing in there, but I don't want to set off robbing since all my bees are way short on stores and I'm pretty slow at manipulating the hive. So I'm trying to figure out what I can just by watching them go in and out.

Not seeing a lot of pollen, still. In five minutes, I saw two bees with their pollen baskets full. But I also saw some drones going into the hive. I know they get kicked out in the winter, but does that mean anything at any other time of the year? I guess I'm wondering if they kick drones out in drought when there isn't enough to eat and if having drones means they at least have enough for the short term, even if they don't have enough for winter?

Thanks. As you can tell, I'm pretty new to this. This is my second attempt at bees. Last year they took care of themselves, but didn't make it through winter. This year, I'm trying to do what I can to support them but I'm fighting a pretty nasty drought, too.