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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    720

    Default Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    Granted, I do believe there was a full drone comb frame in there last I looked. Today it was about half hatched, but there are drones everywhere in that hive. I have a feeling they are sucking down the nectar. Why won't the hive kick them out? It's past time.

    There was also a lot of good brood pattern, frames of brood. Not a lot of honey/nectar, which has been about par for me this summer in all the hives. I'm going to put the robber screens on and keep syrup on all of them even tho the goldenrod should be ratcheting up about now.

    But what does it mean when your hive is full of drones so late in the season?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    360

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    But what does it mean when your hive is full of drones so late in the season?
    You now may have a lot of mites as well.
    Dan Boylan, At it since 2007 in Pa Zone 6B, 13 hives, 7 nucs, treat when needed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    tacoma, wa. usa
    Posts
    156

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    If you have an inordinate amount of drones, you may want to also verify your queen...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,875

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    I don't think it is late in your area for drones to have been evicted. Hasn't started here in Maine yet.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    Thanks, all. I forgot about the mite issue. I should've pulled that drone frame when I first saw it. Next time I'll know.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,384

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    I don't think it is late in your area for drones to have been evicted. Hasn't started here in Maine yet.
    There bees are still raising drones here.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SNOW SHOE PA USA
    Posts
    1,241

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    There bees are still raising drones here.
    Same here .
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,631

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    If you see significantly more drones than you think could have emerged in the hive, check carefully for queen cells and/or a virgin queen.
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    The fact that I had seen a full drone comb frame maybe a couple weeks ago made me nervous. I know when they are planning to swarm they make sure there are plenty of drones for reproductive purposes. But then we had a cool snap and I have a feeling it was mission aborted. I think if it had been earlier in the season, they might have swarmed, but then the dearth came and nights in the low 50s and I think that may have changed their plans. And now they have a hive with a lot of drones.

    I wish they'd hurry up and get rid of them, sad to say of course for the numerous poor drones, but they must be going through a lot of nectar which is in short supply right now, and I'm starting with feed this evening.

    The reason I feel they are not going to swarm now is that there is an awful lot of capped brood in there also, and larvae, so she still must be laying.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,875

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by NewbeeInNH View Post
    I know when they are planning to swarm they make sure there are plenty of drones for reproductive purposes.
    Don't put too much weight on this.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    Don't put too much weight on this.
    I can't imagine why a hive would feel the need for a complete frame of drone brood otherwise? Before one of the hives swarmed in early June, I found 2 complete frames of drone brood (I stuck one in the freezer, then couldn't find the other when I went back for it, forget where it was). From now on, I'm cautious.

    I wonder if drones do serve any other purpose than procreation. Maybe we haven't figured it out yet.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,875

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    Remember that queens are not likely to mate with their brother drones. So my take is that the bees want to make sure that DCAs everywhere are well populated. Drones in a colony can be leftovers from earlier activities in the summer. Don't make drone numbers your most important management indicator.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX USA
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    Do you by chance still have an entrance reducer in place? I have had an issue in the past with drones still in a hive late season because they couldn't get thru the opening.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    international falls, Mn
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    went through 8 hives today to do a winter prep inspection and found 2 that were queenless....Drones everywhere and lots of honey and pollen, both had a super and 2 deeps with some workers and tons of drone larve--I suspect laying worker-- shook them all out and salvaged what resources that were left in the hives.AND THE BEES WERE IN THE AIR,,,,The bees here are starting to fill under the honey dome with pollen as the brood nest is starting to retract....
    Was considering feeding syrup, but they are well on the way to having their winter stores in shape for oct/nov,,,They are predicting freezing temps here this week or next which will kill most of the flowers here...winter is starting to appear on the horizon....

    ==McBee7==

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    McBee - My great g'mother had a homestead in international falls, the nation's icebox. I can imagine it gets cold there before about anywhere.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Bristol,RI
    Posts
    385

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    weird... i haven't seen drones is so long.. at least that i've noticed. and definitely not buzzing around the entrance like during the early summer. maybe they migrated north to visit

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    international falls, Mn
    Posts
    220

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    And visit they have...lol..
    I had a pile of drones looking for a nice hive full of resources-- which they had untill I shook them out, and removed the hive they used to live in,,,,,Last I saw them they were sucking up to an adjoining hive, but they were having nothing of it..lol..
    Well NewBee we'll have frost for sure in the next couple of weeks in the low lying areas, but there will still be some forage around for them to load up, but it will definately put a crimp in their style... We've already overnite temps in the 40s and upper 30s---it's coming, ready or not...

    ==McBee7==

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,489

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by frysl View Post
    Do you by chance still have an entrance reducer in place? I have had an issue in the past with drones still in a hive late season because they couldn't get thru the opening.
    They would get sick and die.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Strafford County, NH
    Posts
    720

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    I went thru my hives again today. Wow, the pile of dead drones in front of that hive that had a lot of drones. Poor things. Looks like most of them are out of the hive now.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,204

    Default Re: Why are there still so many drones in one hive?

    as a commercial beekeeper if I take the cover off and see a lot of drones they just swarmed or the queen went bad.

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