was checking the progress of the 2nd honey super on a hive today. they are just starting to cap the cells off, all looks well... but LOTS of drones. do they normally hang around on the honey? i never saw them there before..
This begs another similar question (sorry, not intending to hijack the thread). How many drones does a hive normally have? I opened up a hive a few days ago and noticed that the bottom board was covered with drones, and this was from a fairly weak hive. What would happen if the beekeeper killed say half of those drones in order to save stores for that hive through the summer? I know that the bees will evict them in the early fall, but would it benifit them to get rid of some drones ahead of time?
Drones migrate from hive to hive, and generally make up about 10% of total number in the hive. The only real way to tell if you have a drone laying queen is to inspect the brood frames for drone brood. More than 10% indicates there may be a problem, more than 25-50% you should requeen.
One method of Varroa mite control is called "Drone Brood Trapping". You ADD drone brood via special frames and allow the drone brood to fill w/ Varroa (V-mites prefer drone brood over worker brood) and BEFORE the mite-infested cells hatch, you remove the drone brood and the mites. One of the tricks to using this method is removing the brood BEFORE the drones hatch. I just thought if you had been using this method maybe it was giving you "lot of drone".
>I DO have mites in both my hives here in the yard . . .
I don't seem to have a drone laying queen or a laying worker. I opened up the hive today and noticed there were lots of capped worker cells. I did open my other hives and noticed that they seem to have very few drones. I suspect that the drones are migrating to the weaker hive for some reason. Possibly that the hive is not as hot durring the hotter parts of the day. But this also worries me because I found that the weaker hive has far less honey then they should have. Possibly the majority of the drones being in that hive is causing the honey stores to be used up quickly. Any thoughts on this?
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