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Hey, I am looking to make a split as soon as possible. Cant remember when I start to see the first drones appear here in southern Ontario. I would like to let the bees make their own queen with emergency cells so I would prefer to start the process a couple weeks before I see the drones if I can time it right. (this may be a bad idea I know) Regardless, anyone in the area have a date when they usually see the first drones flying?

Thanks,
Dave
 

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So the general rule of thumb is to look for capped drone brood. If you find some in your colony, open up some of the drone cells and look at the pupa. If the eyes of the pupa are purple, the pupa is old enough that the drones will emerge and sexually mature in time to mate with a queen if you began to raise a queen right then. I have also heard that queens don't like to go on mating flights until it is 20C outside but I am not sure how true that is.
 
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