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Author Topic: Boy do I have Drones  (Read 531 times)

Offline Tightwad

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Boy do I have Drones
« on: July 23, 2013, 07:59:55 PM »
I was just out side looking at my hives and I'm really surprised how Meany drones I have in my big hive they are coming in by the hundreds !!  I'm in St Louis it's 6:00 pm and the foragers are coming home and man the drones are all over the place. I was in the hive this weekend and all looks good cape brud lot Honey. I know when the hive start kicking out the drones boy that's going to be some thing to see ?
 

Offline 10framer

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Re: Boy do I have Drones
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2013, 12:47:02 AM »
they've gotten scarce in my area.  i bought queens yesterday because i was worried about ending up with poorly mated queens if i started raising them now.

Offline Steel Tiger

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Re: Boy do I have Drones
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2013, 08:30:20 AM »
I had a ton of drones a month ago. Their numbers dwindled down quite a bit.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Boy do I have Drones
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2013, 10:05:08 AM »
A strong colony of bees has 100,000 bees.  A strong successful colony during prime swarm season will raise up to 25% drones.  That's 25,000 drones.  They will die off and they will not raise them as aggressively as the year goes on so it will gradually dwindle from 25,000 drones to maybe 10,000 by the end of summer and finally they will throw them all out in the fall.  Hundreds of drones is normal (if not low).  Odds are you saw them right when the DCA "closed" and they were all coming home from trolling for queens.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline 10framer

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Re: Boy do I have Drones
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2013, 10:08:54 AM »
it's hard to imagine july as swarm season.  i guess you guys can't imagine pollen coming in in late january either, though.

Offline JWChesnut

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Re: Boy do I have Drones
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2013, 12:32:17 PM »
Careful analysis has shown that drone raising effort tracks worker production
This season demography from Scotland illustrates


the same protocol from Davis is a bit more difficult to read, but illustrates our brief spring and long dry summer


Note both use "brood area" rather than unit count, and as drone brood is larger, the unit count is more heavily skewed, and drone cells hatch faster   are capped brood for a day or two longer than workers .   (MB caught a mistake).
Ratio are: 2.60 drone cells per cm2 and 4.29 worker cells per cm2

Most interestingly, because Drones are much heavier than workers -- 0.2358 grams/individual for drones vs. 0.0519 grams/individual for workers -- the total energetic investment in the workers vs. drones approaches the 1:1 "Fisher" sex ratio.  This sex ratio  is the subject of massive academic research and modeling. Queens (whose evolutionary imperative is to continue their genotype) do best by investing in drones and workers about evenly in terms of biomass and at 17-22% in terms of individual count.  The workers add fitness and the possibility of swarm division and the drones contribute the queen's genes to any available virgin.

« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 01:27:07 PM by JWChesnut »

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Boy do I have Drones
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2013, 12:57:28 PM »
>however drone cells hatch faster then workers.

I'm not sure what you mean.  Drones have a 23-24 day cycle from egg to adult.  Workers have a 19-21 day cycle from egg to adult.  Typo?
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen