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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The bug eyed big suckers are head first in cells helping themselves out of my honey supers. I though they had to beg worker bees for food. At least they are not uncapping cells and I have a lot of uncapped frames. I probably should have put on fewer supers. Drones up in the supers is another reason that gives me less than full endorsement for running without excluders.
 

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The bug eyed big suckers are head first in cells helping themselves out of my honey supers. I though they had to beg worker bees for food. At least they are not uncapping cells and I have a lot of uncapped frames. I probably should have put on fewer supers. Drones up in the supers is another reason that gives me less than full endorsement for running without excluders.
The same queen that laid the worker eggs laid the drone eggs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They do make good practice for queen catching! I raised a few queens this year and the only drones around were ones from the same (possibly) related queens. Apparently the drones did their job and the virgin queens mated and are laying well. Will see how they winter. At least one occasion I did not cull complete frames of drone brood before they emerged so I am a bit to blame for their numbers.
 

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Inspecting the hives yesterday, there is markedly less drone brood than a month ago. I think the boys are shortly in for a rude shock in the free lunch department.
 

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I'm not in the commercial market with my bees, so this is my opinion, but I don't see the issue of the natural things that go on in the hive. Drones are a part of the hive, and, yes, they will eat some of THEIR honey. Personally, I think drones are hilariously awesome, and while they may be eating extra honey that I could one day take, I don't mind it. I'm a complete n00b when it comes to bee-keeping, but I feel I'll just let them be bees and if they have extra honey, I'll use it.
 

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Let's just say, I'm glad I'm not a drone. Still, it could be worse. Apis females don't eat meat. Spiders and preying mantis' females eat their mate.

At least they get to hang out with the guys, eat honey, and swap lies for a couple of months.

And we don't even want to THINK about the fate of male varroa. Ewwww. with your SISTER?!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes drone are naturally part of bees survival. There seems to be some consensus that the colony will regulate drone numbers to about 25% (on average) if left to their own devices. I dont know what the extremes would be. I dont think people that were concentrating on honey would think that number economical. I probably upset normal bee activity by allowing a few complete drone brood frames to emerge.
 

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I'm not in the commercial market with my bees, so this is my opinion, but I don't see the issue of the natural things that go on in the hive. Drones are a part of the hive, and, yes, they will eat some of THEIR honey. Personally, I think drones are hilariously awesome, and while they may be eating extra honey that I could one day take, I don't mind it. I'm a complete n00b when it comes to bee-keeping, but I feel I'll just let them be bees and if they have extra honey, I'll use it.
What I find positively amazing is that drones are able to couple with a queen in flight. It sounds like it's hailing when they're coming back from mating flights in the evening. So many bumbling drones bouncing off of the front/top/sides of the hive. I have yet to be buzzed/followed by a worker bee like I have been by the drones. Strange creatures. :)

Let's just say, I'm glad I'm not a drone. Still, it could be worse. Apis females don't eat meat.
I couldn't imagine being a vegetarian either!
 

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Yes drone are naturally part of bees survival. There seems to be some consensus that the colony will regulate drone numbers to about 25% (on average) if left to their own devices. I dont know what the extremes would be. I dont think people that were concentrating on honey would think that number economical. I probably upset normal bee activity by allowing a few complete drone brood frames to emerge.
Hasn't there bee some data showing that hives actually perform better when drone populations are at their optimal rather than restricted by us?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hasn't there bee some data showing that hives actually perform better when drone populations are at their optimal rather than restricted by us?
I have heard some anecdotal references to that effect. Honey producers feel they perform economically better when production hives are drone limited to a minimum. Maybe it makes a difference whether your criteria has decimal points and dollar signs or philosophical justifications.

I have found there is less drone comb on frame bottoms when you have dedicated drone frames. With a little bit of management you can probably lessen the amount of wax foundation that is chewed up and redrawn drone sized. When you have drone brood higgledy piggledy all over the frames and all over the hive it makes it more likely in my opinion to roll the queen. Drone cells do make a good built in mite count system!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Harvest. That will show them.
This week for sure!
I just finished looking at a couple of new hives headed by queens that just started laying a few weeks ago. They know that drones are going out of style fast up here! No drone cell construction between frames and no domed cappings. It is amazing how they react to the changing seasons.
 
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