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When your hive starts making drones in the spring, what does that tell you? That they are ready to requeen or swarm? Or is the presence of drones just part of all brood cycles?

Also, do you need to be concerned about genetic diversity when you split - i.e., having other unrelated hives & their drones around to mate with your new queens?

I posted earlier today about my recent split - might want to see those details for more info... Thanks!
 

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Drones are normal to a healthy hive in the Spring. Half of the genetics come from the male, drones. So "free-range" mating will produce what is predominant in your area. Queens do not mate with their own hive, natures way of preventing inbreeding.
 

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Good to know. I guess my bees will be mating with wild friends, since there's no other beekeepers (that I know of) in my area. Its pretty rough in terms of foraging.

I wonder how far drones will go to mate?
 
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