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Author Topic: Large number of Drones at entrance...good sign?  (Read 1297 times)

Offline Carol

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Large number of Drones at entrance...good sign?
« on: August 11, 2013, 05:29:03 PM »
Today I went down to watch orientation...it seemed like most of the bees there were Drones...hanging around...some flying off but many coming right back..or so it seemed.  I took these around 4pm.   I'm wondering if they may be anticipating a Virgin Queen getting ready for a flight...or is it too late in the afternoon.  This is just a small portion of the entrance. Most were at this end, but they came from everywhere.




Offline OldMech

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Re: Large number of Drones at entrance...good sign?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2013, 12:59:45 AM »
Holy smokes.. that is a lot of drones.. is the hive Queen right? Dont have a laying worker? Have you inspected it recently for Queen cells? Seems kind of late to swarm.. supersedure?   
39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.

Offline sc-bee

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Re: Large number of Drones at entrance...good sign?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2013, 05:27:01 AM »
Might be getting time to put the useless out of the hive  :jawdrop:
John 3:16

Offline JackM

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Re: Large number of Drones at entrance...good sign?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2013, 09:04:24 AM »
I agree with sc=bee
Jack of all trades
Master of none.

Offline Carol

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Re: Large number of Drones at entrance...good sign?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2013, 09:12:54 AM »
Checked them a few days ago....no eggs, no capped brood, no larva.  This hive swarmed on the 26th and again on the 29th. I was hopeing it was a sign the Virgin Queen was getting close to making a mating flight. Pictures of the hive check are on the blog.  www.wildlifearoundus.blogspot.com   Just scroll down one day.

Offline Carol

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Re: Large number of Drones at entrance...good sign?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2013, 10:38:32 AM »
This morning it looks like normal hive activity...scouts out early...bees bringing in some pollen...no sign of Drones....We'll see what happens this afternoon. I had left them 2 frames of honey...and they had a partial in the bottom deep...but with all those extra mouths to feed...I'd better make sure they havn't been cleaned out.

Offline sc-bee

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Re: Large number of Drones at entrance...good sign?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2013, 03:24:10 PM »
You really need to plan on that 2nd hive for comparison  :th_thumbsupup:
John 3:16

Offline Carol

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Re: Large number of Drones at entrance...good sign?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2013, 04:03:07 PM »
Yup....definately will....I started with 2 packages but big red ants got into the TBH and it wasn't long after they left for a better home.  Need to build a better TBH or just have 2 Langs.

Do Drones that havn't bred the Virgin Queen follow her home?  Trying to figure out why I had so many yesterday.

Offline sc-bee

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Re: Large number of Drones at entrance...good sign?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2013, 04:43:54 PM »
Drones gather in mating areas Drone Congregation Areas (DCA's). Someone on here recently said they were sort of nomadic and move from hive to hive and had no loyalty to one hive. But you have only one hive. I had never heard this before. Being no threat, no stinger etc. I can see it. 

When your hive did have brood, you did have a mixture of drone and worker brood right? Not a huge lopsided amount of drone brood? I would stick with two hives of the same type --- JMO.
John 3:16

Offline Carol

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Re: Large number of Drones at entrance...good sign?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2013, 05:16:20 PM »
I just went thru my pictures and these two were the only ones I could find that looked like they had bigger cells. Don't know if they are Drone or not. They could be both sides of the same frame.

At 4pm they started their orientation flight....at least that is what it looked like today. Perhaps the Drones were the last of the brood to emerge and that is what they are doing.





Offline Carol

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Re: Large number of Drones at entrance...good sign?
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2013, 11:41:47 AM »
The last few days I've noticed there are a lot fewer Drones coming and going from the hive....not nearly as many as there were when I posted this and put the pictures on my blog.

I read that a Queenless hive attracts Drones....with the numbers going down....hopefully it means we have one and she's mated....I am going to check on Monday. It will have been 21 days since the last swarm. At this point...I hope there is larva big enough for me to see.

Offline 10framer

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Re: Large number of Drones at entrance...good sign?
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2013, 05:16:17 PM »
you have drone cells toward the left end of the frame in the bottom picture.  no capped brood and not much honey. that doesn't look promising.

Offline Carol

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Re: Large number of Drones at entrance...good sign?
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2013, 06:06:32 PM »
They have 2 medium frames of honey besides the little on the other frames. ...and I have a few Quarts of their honey to feed back ...if they make it. We still have the Pepperbush bloom to come in Sept & Nov. Biggest concern right now is....do they have a laying Queen. Will find out Mon.

Offline 10framer

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Re: Large number of Drones at entrance...good sign?
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2013, 10:43:43 PM »
i should have a queen that needs to mate in the next few days in one hive and i'm not liking my odds right now.  hope it works out for you. 

Offline MsCarol

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Re: Large number of Drones at entrance...good sign?
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2013, 11:31:11 AM »
i should have a queen that needs to mate in the next few days in one hive and i'm not liking my odds right now.  hope it works out for you. 

Did you send her out with an umbrella?

On that note: How long will a virgin queen wait during inclement weather before she attempts the mating flight?

Offline 10framer

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Re: Large number of Drones at entrance...good sign?
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2013, 12:57:42 PM »
i think that i've read 10-14 days somewhere but i don't know if that's accurate.  let us know what you find.