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hello all--I am new to beekeeping this year. I am hoping that some of you can shed some light on some stuff I am seeing! I have been spending a lot of time watching my hive and the bees out front, trying to learn about what they are doing. There is one repeating event that has got me completely stumped.

during the day while the bees are busy working there are somewhat bigger bees (1.5 times the size) that fly up and into the hive. These bees are not bumble bees that I know of. They are slightly larger and fly up to the hive in a more erratic flight pattern and high-pitched buzz. I thought maybe they were other bees robbing the hive but the bees don't seem to take any notice of them when they finally land on the landing board and walk in, and then later walk out. I do see a few dead bees out front of the hive that appear to be the slightly larger bees and today just to make things more confusing I saw one that was alive being dragged out by three other bees from the hive. What am I seeing? The abdomens are larger and less stripped then the bees from the hive. They arrive one at a time but are fairly common, maybe every few minutes.
 

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Hello mjd. I am also new to beekeeping but what I think you are seeing is drones. I had a similar experience in the first few weeks of keeping the bees. I also spend a lot of time watching the hive. I'm sure others will also respond. I don't know if I am right, but I was mistaking the drones for robbers at first. Best of luck.
 

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drones. You'll notice they often leave and return in groups during certain times of the day; generally centered around noon...varies with temperature.
 

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Welcome! I'm new this year as well (3 hives right now). I would get familiar with drones. When you're inspecting your hives, you'll notice the drones can really draw your eye and make it hard to find a queen. There are a few good videos on robbing out on YouTube as well. You should check those out. I've not had problems with robbing yet, but I keep an eye out for wax cappings on my front entrances and fighting bees.
 

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They are all big old fat pecker heads having a good time now stutting their stuff but come fall they will be shown the front door.
 
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