sawdstmakr: Recognizing you are further north in the State, just to let you know I did a walk away split mid December against my better thoughts, but the bees were telling me otherwise. I was in the Nuc yesterday, and indeed they now have a laying queen. I don't think the drones ever went away so far this year. I did a swarm retrieval last week at a condo, and was quite surprised at the number of drones present there, as well. I hope this weather keeps up, as my hives are splitting at the seams! Likely doing another walk away split tomorrow, as the hives I took from mid December are once again FULL. My opinion FWIW is, if this weather holds, don't watch the calendar, watch the bees. I just knew my December split was doomed, but they proved otherwise! Go for it. Wishing you an excellent year!