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Author Topic: Drones dying in the grass  (Read 336 times)
Oblio13
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« on: July 21, 2013, 08:46:27 PM »

I keep a hive at a friend's house. It's very active and looks healthy. Today when I checked on it, there were scores of drones, and only drones, struggling on the ground, trying to climb up stalks of grass. Are they already being kicked out and starving in July?
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tjc1
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2013, 10:16:14 PM »

Five days ago I found the workers in my swarm nuc busy kicking out all the drones - they looked seriously bummed out hanging around the front of the box. every once and a while one would try to go back in and would immediately be butted and dragged back out...
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sawdstmakr
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Location: Jacksonville FL


« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2013, 10:30:54 PM »

There is a good chance that your bees are kicking them out of the hive. Your flow has probably stopped or slowed down a lot. They cannot afford to feed drones when there is no nectar coming in. You are probably seeing drones that just recently hatched. Look closer, you will probably see drone larva.
Have you looked in your hive lately. This is a possible indicator that the hive is queen less or drone laying queen. Look at the the brood frames. If you see good brood pattern, the flow has probably stopped. If you see drone brood in worker size cells, you probably have a laying worker. If this is the case, you will also see multiple eggs attached to the sides of the cells.

This evening I saw several bees in my observation hive biting the legs and head area of a drone. He was doing everything he could to get away. First time i have seen this.
This hive looked like it was about to swarm last Friday but I removed 4 capped frames of honey and replaced them with foundation. Seems to have worked. Our flow is still on.
Jim
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Oblio13
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2013, 08:30:09 AM »

When drones get kicked out, what do they do? Do they hang around the hive trying to get back in until they starve?
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2013, 11:16:33 AM »

Drones can go into any hive that will tolorate feeding them. What you are probably seeing are young drones being pulled out shortly after they hatch. There muscles are not very strong, not strong enough for sustained flight. They normally take about a week before they start leaving the hive for mating flights.
If you take a drone and put it in a jar with a screen top, they usually die within less than 12 hours.
Jim
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