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So doing a checkup on my girls and noticed several drones coming in........now it's early December and in the forties temp wise. Anybody else seeing the bachelors this late?????????
 

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So doing a checkup on my girls and noticed several drones coming in........now it's early December and in the forties temp wise. Anybody else seeing the bachelors this late?????????
I am too, I'm in zone 3 so at the moment they are not flying but every time they fly (last time was a couple weeks ago) I was seeing plenty of drones. I like to go visit the colonies in the winter alot and always inspect dead bees from the entrances, every time, including today, I have been finding frozen drone carcasses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I am too, I'm in zone 3 so at the moment they are not flying but every time they fly (last time was a couple weeks ago) I was seeing plenty of drones. I like to go visit the colonies in the winter alot and always inspect dead bees from the entrances, every time, including today, I have been finding frozen drone carcasses.
Thanks for sharing. Third year for me and this was a first.
 

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I still have a few drones in one of my hives. I think the stronger hives may let a few live thru the winter, I have seen drones at thanksgiving a few times now
Yes, I think this happens too, I was seeing a few drones this spring on the very first cleansing flights.
 

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Last winter I saw quite a few drones in one of my colonies and it ended up being my only winter loss so far, out of a dozen or so successes. It turned out that the queen had gone drone layer sometime in the late fall. You'd think I would've noticed bullet shaped cappings everywhere, but somehow I missed it. Maybe the drones weren't getting capped until after my last inspection; I don't know.

If it's just a drone here or there I wouldn't be worried, but if it's like 25% drones you could have a failing queen like I had... not that you could do anything about it this time of year anyway.
 

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I too saw a dead one pushed out of one of my hives a week ago.

I wonder if a hive is more likely to die out if there are more drones? Do they just eat and eat and drain the colony of resources? Or do drones know to help with the cluster?
 

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No, drones pose no real problem to the colony, nor do they provide much benefit (beyond procreation).

The point is that they can be symptomatic of a failing queen if they appear in excessively large numbers. Or they can be symptomatic of a strong colony ready to reproduce, which is generally good if you can prevent them from swarming.

It's not that drones cause problems, just that they give you some clue about the state of the colony.

A few drones still getting pushed out this time of year is normal. Sorry if my anecdote implied otherwise. If there are hardly any workers left to push the drones out, that's when you know the colony is doomed.
 

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I just posted on Jan 3 about watching a drone fly back into a topbar hive at 3pm on a cold Sunday afternoon here in coastal Virginia. A lot of people were trying to tell me it couldn't happen. However, I frequently find a few drones that will overwinter each year. This is the first year I have seen them flying outside the hive in winter. Gives me hope for any late season virgin queens or very early spring virgin queens.
 
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