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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The other day when it was warm I did a quick assessment of hive strength in my surviving hives. In a couple of them I was surprised to see several drones. I was under the impression that the hive doesn't produce drones until it's time to rear queens and start swarm preparations. Is this not the case? Are there always some amount of drones in a hive?
 

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I'll be interested in reading what other have to say. I'm in the same area as you and I have not seen a drone in months. This seems a bit early to be seeing drones in the hives, but that's just me. I guess if it was me I would be looking a little closer at the colonies in question, weather permitting, to make sure the queen is not failing.

If we had a very mild winter, as we did a couple of years ago, seeing drones right now might seem more in line. But we have had an extended, cold winter season, and I think we are weeks away from swarm preparations.
 

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Its pretty cold here still in NYC and I saw drones at the entrance of my hive. I have some uncapped brood and pollen moving, but not enough to make drones. I was wondering if they are left overs from last year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Mike. I pulled one frame that day and verified I saw eggs, then I put it back in. This week it will be in the mid 50s again and maybe I'll take a closer look. This is an overwintered nuc and I could easily combine it with another if the queen is spent.
 

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Depending on the strain of your bees there are some drones present year round. My pure bread American natural selection strain seems to.:)
 

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no flying drones here. They were going nuts today, plenty of pollen to go around, gathering lots of water too. Im expecting we'll see them end of March, there may be some drone brood, havn't look yet though.
 

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No drones where I am in Maryland. I did a quick check to make sure I had a queen. Saw a lot of capped brood on one frame, and some open brood. I think I have some capped drone brood, but at the time that was not on my mind because I was focused on whether I was queen-right.

Phil
 

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There seem to be 2 theories on that - one is that really strong hives will overwinter some drones, as they can afford that luxury. The other says that hive that overwinter drones will usually try to supersede the queen early.

Too early for drones in my area - we still have snow on the ground.
 
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