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I just inspected my package hive--queen released 5 weeks today. This is the hive that I robbed a frame of brood from last Saturday to put with the swarm I captured.

The day before (Friday--5 days ago), I had done a partial inspection to locate the edges of the brood area & noted that I found a few drone cells beginning to develop on a boundary frame. Today, I did a full inspection & found that same frame had small patches of capped drone (for newbies, this looks just like little bullets). The near side had a group about 2" in diameter, while the off side had a larger patch about 3" in diameter plus another couple of stray cells nearby. I did see the queen about 4 frames away, and there were capped & uncapped brood cells between this frame and the one the queen was on. Did not see any other drone or Q cells--just regular brood.

I have not seen any other drones when inspecting this package, so I'm thinking these are the first. Is this about the normal amount for drone brood with a young Cordovan queen? And since the drone will inherit her genes alone, I'm presuming they'll look like her?
 

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I can only speak to what I have recently seen in cutouts for wild bees. Just finished a cutout last night and saw lots and lots of drone brood. Probably 25% was drone brood. A very high percentage, I thought.

I'm going to let someone else with species of honeybees speak more directly.
 

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Every one of my hives is different. Some make large amounts of drone brood, others don't. I have yet to find any rhyme or reason why this is so. Many rookies call me wondering if excessive drone brood is a sign the colony is getting ready to swarm.

I doubt that it is, and I also find what constitutes "excessive" varies from beekeeper to beekeeper. Drones don't contribute to the honey production so my desire is to have very little drone brood.

I think the bees sense their need and respond accordingly. I've never been unwound or anxious about the amount of drone brood. Sometimes we presume to know more than the bees.

Grant
Jackson, MO www.maxhoney.homestead.com
 
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