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Author Topic: Too many drones?  (Read 231 times)
Spear
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Location: Germany


« on: October 12, 2013, 12:35:18 PM »

I've noticed a huge number of drones being kicked out my 2 garden hives - some of them have even been pulled from their cells! I spoke to the guy I got these 2 hives from and he says that it is not a good sign, the drones should of been kicked out aready in August. He says it is a sign that I've lost the queens in these 2 hives and they wont make it through the winter.
Here are a few pis to give you an idea of what I'm dealing with:


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JWChesnut
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Location: Coastal Central California


« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2013, 01:50:39 PM »

This is normal. Drones are ejected at the start of winter. The hive is reserving pollen for brooding the winter bees and keeping stores for the long winter. The drone brood is also killed, but mite impact may mean these are also diseased.  Drones express DWV virus just like workers, look for shriveled wings.
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sawdstmakr
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Location: Jacksonville FL


« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2013, 02:58:44 PM »

I tend to agree with your seller. I am down here in Florida and I was looking for drones coming out of my hives this afternoon. I did not see even one. If you have a nice day, do an inspection of the capped brood. if all you see are bullets you probably lost your queen. If there are no brood cells, that may be a good indication. Even better would be a small area of capped worker brood, flat brown caps. If you cannot find the queen and all you have is bullet tops, I would shake out the hive and let them move into your other hives if you have any other hives. Seems strange that you would lose 2 queens. Have you been feeding your bees. If so they may have been robbed and the raiders killed the queens.
If there no queens available to replace these and they are your only hives, you may want to freeze the frames to kill all of the bugs and save them for next year. This would give a package of bees a really good head start.
Jim
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Spear
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Location: Germany


« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2013, 03:37:41 PM »

I took a little peek today into the hives without pulling any frames, just looked down into hive, and saw a lot of bees and a lot of capped stores. At this point the populations look good and strong. Will just wait & see how things look in the spring.
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