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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What time of the year do most of you start seeing Drones?
With the crazy weather here in the south,(& most ever where),60's & then drop back down in the teens for a night or two.
The bees have been bring in pollen,But with the freezing night's,& some days,I'm worried that it's going to kill back the blooms.Then what?
The Queen's go to laying, Hive get over full & no drones or to cold to mate.
So with all of that LOL, Do you think your dates or on time or going to be later? Mark,,,,,,,,,,,
 

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We have drones here already. just starting and more being added every day. Looking at my notes form last year and seeing what is happening this year. I am estimating we will start seeing queen cells in hives in the first week of April. Our spring is extremely early this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Daniel for the come back,
You said extremely early, Are you talking about the bloom dates or mating? Thanks again.
 

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Both. We have had warm weather since the first of the year. Bees have been well into build up since the first of February. Last year was 30 days ahead of normal. and information I have found indicates this year is 30 days ahead of last year or 60 days ahead of normal. It could be that spring for us will nearly be over before it even says it is spring on the calendar. Our annual last frost date is May 15th. so not freezing in February and March is not usually heard of. I saw the first queen cells last year on April 14th. So far all indications say it will be at the first of the month this year. There are a lot of fruit trees in bloom here already. Elms are past bloom and growing seed. It is just a crazy year so far. No idea how to manage bees with the seasons this far off. I am pretty much just keeping a close eye on the bees for what is coming next. one hive I inspected yesterday had 14 frames of brood. Most of them very full frames. I have a second hive right behind it. No hive has less than 7 frames of brood. All have some drone brood and most have actual drones lounging around inside. I suspect some of the brood comb is now holding it's third round of brood for this year. We are having to inspect often for signs of swarm cells. I may be wrong and the bees will attempt to swarm as early as now.
 

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Here in Tidewater Virginia, there are already hatched drones.
Hmm...I went through one of my largest hives yesterday and I saw some capped drone brood, but VERY few drones walking the combs. There was more than 10 frames of capped worker brood in this colony. Remember your "Bee Math", its roughly 38 days from egg to mature and mating-eligible drone. This is WAY early for mating, particularly this year. Most of the drone brood I saw was in "white eyed" stage, which would suggest that they wouldn't be ready to mate for 23 days.
 

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mark, up here near scottsboro i have no drones flying yet and only a few capped in the hives. we're just into our first and second rounds of worker brood, so several weeks to go before lots of drones flying up here. you be slightly ahead down around oneonta, especially if you are not on a ridge top.

as far as the frost goes, it doesn't bother the tree blooms which are wide open and tons of pollen and nectar coming in on these good flying days.
 

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At the beginning of february I lost a queen. Have not seen drones but the colony raised several queen cells and 2 hatched, one of them got mated and she has been laying beautifully. There must have been drones around.
Right now is almost 1 week into the main flow (citrus) and drowned are everywhere.
 

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I could only dream.:(
My daughter flew to Winnipeg to visit friends for the weekend. She got back tonight...they had 4 feet of snow and -25 degree weather. She was so glad to come home to the "cold" and rain:)
 

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Capped drone here too. About normal timing. Hives building up well, but some sure are light. Don't let 'em starve on the home stretch!
 

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Don't let 'em starve on the home stretch!
Excellent advice!

This is the time of year when colonies really burn the fuel and can easily run out if we're not diligent. With all the pollen coming in, the colonies have ramped up brood rearing, that with night temps in mid-30's results in a scenario that can quickly exhaust resources.
 

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I have drones flying in Woodland, Al. I'm going to make my first grafts this Friday, with mating flights around April 1. Hoping for the best.
 

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as of yesterday....out of seven hives I saw maybe 20 capped drone cells, and they were all in one hive. I did not see a single live drone...but I think spring has sprung and it should not be long
 

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Here in NW Florida, I had capped drones almost 2 months ago in my strongest hive, and then it swarmed several weeks back. The new queen is now laying, so there must be some drones around. I've started making splits.
 

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Last Wed, Mar 5, I found a drone outside the hive on the ground with some other bees that had gotten too cold to fly. I also have a few others that have emerged and are in the hive. And many more capped drone that should emerge this week.
I don't doubt this. The issue is drone density in congregation areas, which I can pretty much guarantee you is going to be near zero for several weeks. My beekeeping friend in Ivor told me on Sunday that he also is not seeing any mature drones. I don't plan to graft for about 3 weeks.
 

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Here in Northeast Fl. they will start laying drones in late Jan. on the Maple flow, so you can normally start grafting by mid Feb. sometimes you can start a little earlier but, you run the risk of having bad mating weather.
 

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I inspected a hive yesterday here in the Seattle area and was surprised to see quit a bit of capped drone cells already! Pretty early for this part... I'm sure the bees know what's best! Maybe we are gonna have a warm early spring in the Pacific NW?
 
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