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Author Topic: How many drones are too many?  (Read 1002 times)
House Bee
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Posts: 158

Location: North Virginia

« on: July 21, 2012, 04:13:46 PM »

While doing my inspection the other day, I noticed that there was one frame COMPLETELY covered with drones.  And I don't mean covered with drone brood.  I mean walking, buzzing drones.  They all seemed to be hanging out on the honey that had been placed closest to the wall.  Is that many drones normal?
House Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 124

Location: jackson ohio

« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2012, 04:29:46 PM »

yes if you have a good brood pattern and the worker population is good the bees know what they want to have i just wish i had a good drone load in my 28 hives it has been so dry here they have booted most of the drones
Galactic Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 8186

Location: Hiram, Georgia

« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2012, 05:13:51 PM »

How many are too many?  You can not have too many unless you lose your queen an it the hive becomes a laying worker hive or your queen is laying all drone due to age or problems.   At that point your hive is on the downhill out to death.   
The hive will regulate the number of drones.   They are needed.   
Galactic Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 4393

Location: Mid Michigan

« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2012, 10:11:55 PM »

I sure don’t have that many drones in any hive using foundation. 

Some foundation-less hives have more drones, but they’re not something I really want a lot of.
L Daxon
Field Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 669

Location: Oklahoma City

« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2012, 06:13:30 PM »

I've read 10% to 15% could be considered normal during mating season.  So if you have 60,000 bees in a normal hive, that could be 6,000 to 9,000 drones in a hive.  There has been a time or two when I have had a frame that looked like it was almost entirely covered in drones (and I knew for sue i didn't have a laying worker.)  Unless you think you have queen problems, I would like the hive make what they think they need.

linda d
Michael Bush
Universal Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 13889

Location: Nehawka, NE

« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2012, 12:17:35 PM »

25% during the prime swarm season wouldn't be unusual.  More is usually a colony with a virgin or queenless or laying workers or a drone laying queen.  A frame of open brood and eggs is good insurance.

Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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