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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    worcester, ma
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    1

    Default Save the drones?

    Hi. I apologize for being such a bee-weenie but is there any way to save the drones before the hive kills them off for the winter? Can they be moved to an empty hive box elsewhere? I know they are just bees and this is what bees do but is it possible to prevent it and save the drones? Yes, I am a bee neophyte. I live in central Massachusetts. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    5,632

    Default Re: Save the drones?

    Welcome to Beesource!

    There really isn't anything you can do for the drones. Even if you gave them comb and honey, they can't defend it. They have no stingers. And, drones don't forage for their own food, they get fed by the worker bees.

    Mother Nature is often harsh ...
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ritchie Co, WV
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Save the drones?

    You see the drones being cast out. But also the workers left from summer will leave the hive to die. This is all for colony survival.

    Something that might help you feel better. Is to remember your Hive is a Super-organism. Think of it as one entity.
    Drones are just a part of the body that needs shed.

    It's also helpful for me to think this way when it comes to replacing Queens.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    1,279

    Default Re: Save the drones?

    Along the super organism line think about the death of a flower, the velvet on antlers, or the cells cast off to die in a female mammals reproductive cycle. This is the cycle, if you work real hard you can keep those respective cells alive for a bit but it's an exercise in futility.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: Save the drones?

    I think it is important to remember that the natural life cycle of the bee is only 6-8 weeks long, so there is really no way to extend their natural life beyond the time they are genetically engineered to live.

    HTH

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, California
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    130

    Default Re: Save the drones?

    On a more practical note, if there were a way to keep drones until early spring for mating queens from early splits before the bees were making their own drones. . . .

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Save the drones?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeTech View Post
    On a more practical note, if there were a way to keep drones until early spring for mating queens from early splits before the bees were making their own drones. . . .
    Generally, bees can rear some drones most of the time if there are adequate protien stores. They just boot them out in fall to conserve resources.

    Somewhere I read or heard that seeing a few drones being produced in the late fall/winter is a sign that the colony has adequate protein stores (an aspect of winter prep often overlooked). Not sure of the veracity of this statement but I have seen a few drones in the winter so assume the winter bees are fat with protein stores. Also seem to remember that these stores are in the winter bees themselves so if a hive lacked enough pollen during winter brood build up then the winter bees would have less protein stores and possibly a rougher winter. Take this w/ a grain of salt, though, because I can't remember where I picked it up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Rowayton, CT
    Posts
    108

    Default Re: Save the drones?

    Do drones leave the nest daily to forage or just fly around? As I observe the hive I see larger bees with huge eyes coming and going with no pollen. If they DONT forage or bring back food what are they doing out of the hive?

    I'm trying to guess if these bees I see are my drones out flying around or another variety of bee robbing!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: Save the drones?

    Quote Originally Posted by gman1001 View Post
    Do drones leave the nest daily to forage or just fly around? As I observe the hive I see larger bees with huge eyes coming and going with no pollen. If they DONT forage or bring back food what are they doing out of the hive?

    I'm trying to guess if these bees I see are my drones out flying around or another variety of bee robbing!
    They're flying around looking for sex.

    No, seriously. The only thing drones do is fly around looking for a virgin queen. They do not forage, they do not defend the hive, they do not attack other hives, they do no useful work of any kind other than fertilizing new queens.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Save the drones?

    Yep. Those larger bees w/ the big eyes are your drones.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,086

    Default Re: Save the drones?

    Quote Originally Posted by ramonaandbeezus View Post
    Hi. I apologize for being such a bee-weenie but is there any way to save the drones before the hive kills them off for the winter? Can they be moved to an empty hive box elsewhere? I know they are just bees and this is what bees do but is it possible to prevent it and save the drones? Yes, I am a bee neophyte. I live in central Massachusetts. Thank you.
    Not in any really practical way which would lengthen their life until they can find a queen to mate with. At which time they die.

    Doing so would be somewhat similar to saving a man's sperm on a regular basis. To what end?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,809

    Default Re: Save the drones?

    From what I have read, Drones are fairly fragile. and even catching them and holding them in a cage for a few hours will kill them. It is one of the issues mentioned by those that collect the sperm of drone for II.

    I was watching the video of the balloon being used to fish for drones in congregation areas the other day. I thought what a great way to capture some known sexually mature drones and get a strong mix of genetics from the area.

    Also due to the drones dependency on the worker bees I don't think you could keep them alive outside the hive for more than a few hours.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

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