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Winter is strong here in Central California. The blooms are full on and the bees are going nuts!

Of my 5 hives I have one is way ahead of the others. The 4 other hives are occupying an 8 frame deep, but this one is two 10 frames deeps and two mediums full of nectar/honey.

This hive is in its 3rd year and always goes through the seasons without a single issue, is treatment free, and the queen's lay pattern is edge to edge with barely a blank cell in-between.

Also, on top of being loaded with workers, it's FULL of drones. I found about 4 frames of all stages of drone with plenty that have already hatched.

Typically this time of year I would order queens from Hawaii and start creating nucs from those to sell off to friends or whoever.

This year I've decided to split out this hive to increase these genetics in my own yard.

Is it safe to say that if this hive has drones, others in the area will as well? I'd love to start a split but want to make sure the queens are well mated with other strong colonies in the area.
 

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Looks like everyone is in hibernation - much like their bees.

I forget I'm in Central CA and this is "go time" for our bees!
 

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How do the other 4 hives look? If all 5 have some drone cells odds are other hives in your area also do. If only the one has drone cells others in the area are also less likely to have drones.
 
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