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Thread: Expelled Drones

  1. #1
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    Default Expelled Drones

    Didn't I see another Thread about this just recently?

    I had a visit from my Apiary Inspector today. One of the questions he asked me was whether I had noticed drones being kicked out of the hives, dead drones in the grass in front of the hives, or a lack of drones in the hives? I had not noticed that.

    When we arrived at the first yard to be inspected there was a cover I had left in front of a hive to keep the grass down. It had maybe a dozen dead drones on it.

    What's going on? Have any of you other commercial beekeepers noticed this? Have any idea what's happening?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Didn't I see another Thread about this just recently?

    I had a visit from my Apiary Inspector today. One of the questions he asked me was whether I had noticed drones being kicked out of the hives, dead drones in the grass in front of the hives, or a lack of drones in the hives? I had not noticed that.

    When we arrived at the first yard to be inspected there was a cover I had left in front of a hive to keep the grass down. It had maybe a dozen dead drones on it.

    What's going on? Have any of you other commercial beekeepers noticed this? Have any idea what's happening?
    Yeah we have been talking with Paul and the other bee inspectors too. I guess there's a new pesticide that is being used on corn seed that effects the drone population. We haven't see any major drone loss yet, but I guess I could soon be a problem. If you hear more about it let me know.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    sqkcrk, I installed a new nuc into a hive three weeks ago. On the Monday after installing the nuc on Saturday, I walked over to watch the hive to see how the girls were doing. I sat there for 20 minutes watching the girls evict drones. After falling to the ground, the girl would continue harrassing the drone until it could escape. Most of the drones that escaped would immediately return to the hive, only to be met by another girl. Don't know what was going on. There are no fields of corn within my hives range, so I doubt that is the problem. I will note that I got my first two nucs late this year due to a lack of enough drones to mate with queens. I was told Rossman had the same problem, not enough drones to mate the queens, so they were running behind schedule too, or so I was told.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    Maybe the bees know the fall flow will be a bust and there's, "no time like the present." Early winter maybe? two cents

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    Quote Originally Posted by jgibbsbees View Post
    Yeah we have been talking with Paul and the other bee inspectors too. I guess there's a new pesticide that is being used on corn seed that effects the drone population. We haven't see any major drone loss yet, but I guess I could soon be a problem. If you hear more about it let me know.
    What about hive loss due to farmers spraying for tent caterpillers? Have you heard anything about that? I have heard that JD from Hamlin lost all of his due to the spraying. What have you heard?

    Could be Rick. It has been a crazy weather year.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    I think it would be a bit of a reach to try to blame insecticide poisoning since drones aren't foragers. I would assume some sort of weak "drone eviction movement". We have all seen how bees will confine drones at times to areas outside the centralized active brood nest, I would assume it is an extension of that sort of behavior. Probably happens more than we realize, in this case you may never have noticed if you hadn't placed a cover in the front of the hive. What have been your recent weather and flow conditions?
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    Flow really just started in the last cpl days. We have had some dry weather, a then a day of rain the day after I first noticed nectar shaking out followed by clear weather w/ 70s and now 80 degree days. A shower yesterday morning followed by overcast but warm temps in the high 70s low 80s.

    Am thinking about spreading more unused covers in front of hives.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    Dosent really sound like the kind of conditions that would encourage drone expulsion. Hard for me to believe any type of poisoning either unless you are seeing a corresponding number of dead workers. I could buy into drones being less viable with some sort of contamination but seems like to be poisoned there has to be some sort of exposure that workers would be free from. Keep us posted.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    If I recall correctly, the Inspector said that the suspicion was it has something to do w/ Nosema. But I'm not sure about that. I wonder what a websearch would bring up. Think I'll look.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I have heard that JD from Hamlin lost all of his due to the spraying.
    Talking w/ a friend it turns out that the hive deaths are allegedly due to dust from the planting of corn and soybean seed. Something we have seen discussed here before I believe.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    I seem to recall a thread from earlier this year about unusually high numbers of drones in hives. Related?
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    Bayer had put twice the chemical on the seed this year. Lucky the problem has only showed up in NY.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Miksa View Post
    Bayer had put twice the chemical on the seed this year. Lucky the problem has only showed up in NY.
    There were many reports of bee kill around corn planting time in Ohio this year. But I don't think that speaks to drones ejected in June.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    Theory- Those drones were raised from pollen and nectar gathered at the time of corn planting(contamination period). Those drones are sterile....the workers sense that so they are evicting them.

    Every year for the last 4 yrs or so I notice pesticide like kills of workers at the hive. In the yards that are close to no-till planting that happens on forage plants in bloom I have high queen loss. These queens don't just die or become drone layers.....they become non-layers. The hive has all the symptoms of a queenless hive except for the " queenless roar ". Thoroughly searching the hive I will find a queen but all she is doing is providing enough pheremones to prevent the hive from accepting another queen or making a queen if given the resources to do so.
    Leer Family Honey Farm-Shannon Leer

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    Quote Originally Posted by Beeslave View Post
    In the yards that are close to no-till planting that happens on forage plants in bloom I have high queen loss. These queens don't just die or become drone layers.....they become non-layers. The hive has all the symptoms of a queenless hive except for the " queenless roar ". Thoroughly searching the hive I will find a queen but all she is doing is providing enough pheremones to prevent the hive from accepting another queen or making a queen if given the resources to do so.
    Interesting as this is what I've been trying to explain to people as I had never seen it b/4, hives appear totally queenless long after they could possible have a queen and the hive is acting like they are perfectly happy, put in a queen cell and they tear it down, put in a queen and they kill it until you find that queen running around, but not all hives in a yard.

    as to the neonic's, read randy olivers article this month. from memory(not exactly as I read it once and gave the article to another beek), the speculation was that the neonics at corn planting time were not killing the worker bees (not enough ppm) but apparently the newly emerging(younger) bees were affected(killed) by it. Maybe these are the bees that feed the droans? also the farmers has to be planting with the newmatic?(air injected) planter, causes the coating to be put in the air. he also was looking at bee kills in ohio or indiana or in that area, canada is looking at the same problem in one area of the country, some of the beeks have posted on here and on bee-l. there is a link on bee-l to the kill information. new york was listed as an area having problems reported. last year only one of my apiaries was near corn, this year all but one are near corn as the milk price is up and all the land is going to corn. three of the fields were planted with newmatic planters, in one case the truck unloading the corn seed with an auger was parked twenty feet in front of my hives, so far no problems.
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    This is just "open air" speculation for discussion. More than likely not applicable up there but maybe down here now.
    In Southern Md, this crazy weather, lack of moisture, ect. has really broke the rules on bloom times and flow. I haven't seen a bountiful crop in my hives so my observation suggests poor year. Main flow is over. Got a long way to go before we hit the mini fall flow. I have seen some flowers in fallow fields and roadsides that I do not normally see until much much later. "Fall ish" asters. We know the Drones get tossed in the Fall. Is it Circadian? Seems so. What if it is/could be triggered by a flower specie or species? Might be a little of all the above and Drones are tossed in the confusion Just wondering out loud.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    I don't see drones being pitched as Winter approaches like the drones I saw in front of my hive the other day. But you could be on to something, who knows.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    This has been an upside down year--warm then cold, then warm again. Now the plants are a month ahead of schedule in blooming, thus throwing the bees off in their normal behavioral patterns. I saw the bees kicking the drones out when we had the mini cold spell when the privet was blooming. Now all seems to "bee" alright. I have had some "brood pull" occur in a couple of yards this year but those are VSH genetically influenced bees. The brood that they first pull is almost mature drone brood. Then they pull the younger drones and if they go even more insane-the worker brood. Thus the baby goes out with the bath water. So when you walk into the yard, you think there had been a pesticide kill. Colonies generally recover from their self inflicted break in the brood cycle. Just something for you to mull on Mark. TED
    ALABAMA BEE COMPANY-A member of the Sioux Honey association -*Sweetening a golden tommorrow*

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    Beeslave, I comprehend your theory, and will try to observe any correlations. The continuous queenless situation we call "Stuck", because they do not respond to the ussual addition of eggs. I will try to observe any season related aspect also.

    Crazy Roland

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Expelled Drones

    I have two hives this year in a residential area. One carnies, one Italian. The Italians have been evicting a large number of drones this past week. No signs of wing problems on the drones.

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