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Discussion Starter #1
Both of my hives are very active. They are 3' long and only a couple bars from being full. I've pulled one bar of honey from each to make sure they don't run out of room. One thing that is very different about them is the number of drones. When I do and inpection on hive #1 I only see about a dozen or so drones on each bar and don't really see many coming and going in and out of the hive from the entrance. Now hive #2 is a completely different matter. The drone population seems to be as much as 25-30%. The entrance has drones coming and going and the girls in that hive tend to be a little more aggressive (not overly). There's larvae and capped brood although that seems to be thinning out a little. Is that normal for this time of year? I wasn't able to spot the queen yesterday on a complete inspection but I only seem to find her about 50% of the time anyway so I don't really doubt she is in there since there is larvae. Also, there are no queen cells in the hive.
Is the number of drones abnormally high and if so is it something I should be worrying about?
Thanks for your input.
Mike
 

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At this point in the season I've got some hives -- especially booming hives -- that have what looks like a tremendous drone population. In other hives -- especially weaker hives -- the drone population is significantly lower. I wouldn't worry about it as long as you're seeing worker brood, eggs, etc. The colony will decide how many drones it needs.

Matt
 

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A high number of drones can be a early warning sight of swarming. I don't know much about top bar hives but it sounds like they are strong happy hives which are running out of space.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Since there are no queen cells I guess I'll wait and see what happens. It's interesting to see 2 active and healthy hives within 20 yards of each other have such a difference in drone counts.
This is a very interesting hobby:D

Mike
 
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