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Drone populations related to swarming?

2183 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Michael Bush
I was just wondering does anyone know if there is a relationship between the number of drones in a hive to the propensity of that particular hive to swarm? My thinking is that if drones are present to the hive's level of contentment, that they've succeeded in reproducing on the cheap and keep cruising along. Having said that, someone could easily convince me that a hive with abundant drones will swarm more easily since there is a better chance of mating. Is there a relationship or is this line of thinking a waste of time?
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I was developing a theory about the same thing. My thinking was that drones might put out a pheromone of their own and when it reached a certain concentration level that it might be a part of the swarm triggers. Well I was proved incorrect by my observation hive that had very few if any drones. They swarmed just the day before I was going to split the hive.They had been building swarm cells so I knew they were going to swarm...just didnt have my date exactly right. There were no drone brood either. There may have been a few drones from my other hives freeloading but nowhere near enough to matter.
This observation hive was started last spring and had overwintered with the same queen. I know this one incident not definitive but it leads me to believe that drones have little to do with swarms.
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