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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was checking the hives early this morning and noticed a worker bee dragging out a drone almost twice her size to the edge of the landing board. What struck me, this early on with a decent flow starting was that the drone appeared to be a whitish, newly emerged one, and when the worker realized that her push, pull and tug on this drone twice her size (and resisting) was going nowhere, she flew off and he crawled back into the hive. Over the past week or so, I have noticed a few dead drones on the landing board of similar development. Now over the past few days with adding a second deep, checking for swarm cells and checkerboarding frames, i really haven't seen a lot of drone cell building , nor a whole lot of drones in any of my hives. Some, but not anywhere the average 7 or 8 percent that I believe is normal. Is this a Spring thing as the hives build. All of the hive and frames that I've looked at this week have very strong brood patterns, lots of eggs, capped cells and nurse bees. There is, as I said, a decent flow on and the hives are building out extremely well. Did two washes and came up with zeros on all of this years hives although I do have fresh Apivar strips that I transferred from the nucs when these were hived. Is this just we don't need any boys right now or something just normal.
 

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6a 4th yr 9 colonies inc. 2 resource hives
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I think you're seeing a hygienic response which is a good thing. They love their boys this time of year so something must have been wrong. Just be sure it's not chalk brood (which I doubt with it warming up). If it is chalk brood the best fix is to requeen. Love hearing low to no mite counts. I put Apivar strips in a month ago and I'm ready to pull them since our flow is just starting.

So bottom line- IMHO- normal. Just appreciate the wisdom of the hive.
 

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Funny you mention chalk brood, My first inspection I had none but the stress from that inspection resulted in me finding it in my inspections since! I had one colony with efb early and successfully treated with tylan. Then I found a spare queen and requeened because when only one in the herd has it, ther has to be a genetic component. Now that there are drone cells in my colonies I have been opening a fair number of them to check mite load. Even though I hit them with OA vapor three time last fall and once broodless this winter when it was warm, I am finding an occasional mite. One of these days, I will start another series of OA before the supers go on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I don't think it was chalkbrood. While I saw a few dead drones on other hives (not in the same yard), the one I saw was alive, looked like he was newly emerged and eventually crawled back into hive. I had been in these hive within a few days earlier and didn't see any problems with brood or workers. Nice flow going on now and the hives all appear strong. Just looked like the girls weren't interested in hanger ons that weren't working!
 
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