It’s raining drones
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    79

    Default It’s raining drones

    Hey everyone. Today I went outside in my backyard and noticed that there were maybe 20-30 drones on on the ground in a couple places, some dead, some dying. Havent been out here in a couple of days, but didnt notice them last time i was. They’re being dropped from the sky by other bees. (One just dropped from the sky as i’m writing this)
    In the past, if I have a bad varroa infestation I’ll start seeing infected bees on this deck, which healthy bees have taken out of the hive and dropped. But this seems to be 99% drones.
    I split my TBH a couple of weeks (2) ago, so I wasn’t sure if maybe these drones had done their duty with a new queen and so they were now dying, but it seems too soon for a new queen to be mating.
    I did have a lot of drones in my hive, so maybe that’s all it is. More alive mean more dead in the end.
    Wondering if anyone had a guess as to what is going on? (Another just dropped)
    Thanks

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  3. #2

    Default Re: It’s raining drones

    Your TBH probably isn’t the only bee colony in the area. I’d guess that those are drones that ‘got lucky’.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    79

    Default

    Okay great. Thanks for the response.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Yakima Co, WA, USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: It’s raining drones

    Did you ever figure this out? You can look at pictures of "spent" drones to see if these ones had mated with a queen or not.
    Meghan

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Its raining drones

    Quote Originally Posted by canadiyank View Post
    Did you ever figure this out? You can look at pictures of "spent" drones to see if these ones had mated with a queen or not.
    well, I'm not sure if it was that they had just mated, or if it was varroa, but a week later that hive had been decimated by varroa and 90% of the bees were dead. I might be making an assumption here....but since varroa like drone cells it would make sense the the drones would be first to be impacted by them, so maybe that's what I was seeing. Or maybe it was that they had just mated, and the timing just happened to coincide, hard to say. I didn't realize that you could tell if they had mated by looking at them, so if this ever happens again I will look.

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