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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a new beekeeper and have a TB in my backyard here is Oakland, CA. I checked on my hive today after returning form a 10 day vacation. We are in a sever drought here in California and I'm wondering what affect it is having on my hive. I noticed six or seven drones on the ground in front of the landing area this afternoon. I helped on up and put him back on the landing board and he was immediately attacked by two or three workers bees and was unceremoniously dumped back on the ground.

I wonder if my hive is culling the drone population due to the drought. There were many drones flying in and out of the hive while this was going on. I did notice one drone leave the hive, attempt to fly, and crash to the ground. He could not get off the ground. A closer inspection of those drones on the ground did not reveal drones with damaged wings. Neither were any chewed off.

There were not many drones on the ground, just six or seven. There were no dead or dying worker bees on the ground.

Any ideas?
 

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If the nectar flows are slowing they will eject drones this time of year. In the fall if there is flows, they may start making some more drones again around end of September or first of October.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's 11:25 PM and I just came in from checking the hive. I found 4 honeybee pupae on the landing board all covered with ants.
 

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It sounds like you need to take care of the ants. As far as the pupa being ejected with drones too, is the pupa drone pupa?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ray, I'm not sure. Only one pupae had any eyes left. It didn't look like a drone pupae, from what I could tell. No sign of veroea on any of the discarded pupae.
 

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Last year in summer dearth I had over 200 drones ejected/killed making a big pile beside the hive,while other drones came and went. The workers get rid of the ones they want to get rid of. Several other writers I read here the last 2 years have had pupae dumped as well. I didn't, but it seems fairly normal. This year I did a split so that hive doesn't have an overpopulation problem and no drone ejection yet(but it's been longer flows too this year for us).
 

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We're in a summer dearth as well, and I've been watching my hive eject drones for the past several weeks. I asked someone local, and they recommended feeding, which I did (then they told me not to...sigh). In any case, from what I saw, feeding had no impact whatsoever on whether drones were ejected. This past week, I've seen no drones returning to the hive, and the workers are all quite peacefully busy doing their thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for all the comments. I haven't noticed drones being expelled for the past couple of days. I've read that the queen will lay more drone eggs when needed. Possibly in late summer or early fall, in preparation for fall nectar flow. I have learned over the past couple of days that we experience a Eucalyptus tree nectar flow here in Oakland, CA. It begins around Halloween and can continue through to February. As this is my first season as a beekeeper, I'll have to wait and see.
 

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Ok I have pupae on entrance. 4 this morning. How do you tell worker from drone ? Compare size with worker bee ? That simple ? And if it is worker pupae then varroa is prime suspect ?
 

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Look at the eyes on the pupa, large eyes are drones. I'm seeing drones in all stages getting the boot now, pretty sure one hive cleaned out the green drone frame they have recently but of course I found the queen on it as well but didn't look like they were letting any of the eggs hatch if she was laying any there.
 

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Yeah, I think I saw larvae being pulled out the other night, too. I don't have a landing board, so don't see it unless I watch them drag the body out. Anything on the ground gets eaten by some other part of nature, pronto!
 
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