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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    29

    Default drones at entrance

    I am a very new beekeeper--we installed our first bees in a top bar hive beginning of april. Today I noticed drones coming and going and hanging around the hive. This is the first time I have seen drones.

    From what I have read this could be several things (if I am understanding correctly)
    1. they could be heading to the drone congregating area
    2. getting ready to swarm
    3 queen could be making drones only
    4. supersede due to ill queen
    5. hive could be queenless

    More details--they have 12 bars in the hive, 6 have full comb on them and they are working on bar 7 & 8.

    I plan to go observe them more tomorrow. I was thinking of opening it up on Monday to add more bars, look for brood/drone comb & investigate further. If you could give me specifics as to what to look for during the next inspection that would be great--I just don't want to overlook anything.

    Thanks so much

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    672

    Default Re: drones at entrance

    What you have is very likely normal. However, you won't know until you open them up and inspect. Make sure to check for capped brood, eggs, and larva. If you have this, you have a queen. Also, check for queen cells. If they have queen cells, they are either replacing their queen or are getting ready to swarm. Check for drone brood (it is much larger and the cap bulges out over the worker brood, it is usually in clusters). If you have ALL drone brood, you have a problem. If you have ~30% or less drone brood, sleep easy.

    Good luck!
    Try it. What could happen?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,012

    Default Re: drones at entrance

    Here is a visual comparison of drone brood vs worker brood:


    Image from: http://vtrusticmoose.com/wp/?attachment_id=388

    The raised caps in the center are drone brood, capped worker cells are to the right side of the photo, and are flatter.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: drones at entrance

    Thanks so much --the photo is so helpful & the checklist of what to look for too. I was feeling a bit overwelmed--the more I read the less I knew. I appreciate the info! We will open it up tomorrow & see what is what

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    672

    Default Re: drones at entrance

    the more I read the less I knew
    You better get used to that if you plan to stick with beekeeping.
    Try it. What could happen?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA,USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: drones at entrance

    Quote Originally Posted by bcotton View Post
    ..... I was feeling a bit overwelmed--the more I read the less I knew.
    Quote Originally Posted by JStinson View Post
    You better get used to that if you plan to stick with beekeeping.
    I'm glad that's not just me.

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