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Author Topic: Drone Season in your area.....  (Read 347 times)

Online Ben Framed

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Drone Season in your area.....
« on: August 14, 2018, 10:26:34 am »
Realizing different latitudes will make a difference, I'm just wonering how long will a hive continue to produce drones in your area?

Offline AR Beekeeper

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Re: Drone Season in your area.....
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2018, 10:44:38 am »
Usually a hive will raise drones as long as there is pollen coming in.  That can vary depending on rainfall and the plants within foraging distance from the hive, but in my area that is usually until late June.  There are a few produced later, but not many.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Drone Season in your area.....
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2018, 07:20:16 pm »
First year here, so just telling you what I see, not what I know.  My one hive seemed to stop making drones sometime in July, (my other hive was queenless at the time, so no info to be had there).  Lately the workers have been harassing the guys that are left, chasing them around and latching onto their wings and whatnot.  Both hives are still bringing in pollen. 
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Offline Van, Arkansas, USA

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Re: Drone Season in your area.....
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2018, 10:16:54 pm »
In Arkansas I see the bees kicking the drones out of the hive.  I wished I knew the trigger for this, maybe temp, maybe sunlight duration.

I know during a dearth or severe rain some strains such as Russians will kick drones out in May.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Drone Season in your area.....
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2018, 10:54:43 am »
It depends on hive strength and food supply. My hives in Jacksonville still have drones, none of my hives here at my farm have any drones.
Jim
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Drone Season in your area.....
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2018, 12:12:55 pm »
Thanks all , do any of you use the green drone combs?

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Drone Season in your area.....
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2018, 05:51:38 pm »
I have one. Never use it. I bought it when I bought my first bee supplies. If you come to BeeFest 2019 you can take it home with you. One of the problems with using it is that the bees spend a lot of food and energy making drones and then you remove them and they start making more. They keep trying to have about 15% drones and we keep removing them before they hatch.
Jim
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Drone Season in your area.....
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2018, 08:40:23 am »
Up here a hive will produce drones until nectar weens down and they flip over to producing winter bees.  It is my experience that they won't kick them all out though.  It is not uncommon up here to have a fall crop of goldenrod.  I think the bees are better forecaster then our weather people and they kick out the drones earlier if they think there isn't going to be a fall crop.  If I still had hives I would expect to have drones well into September.
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Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Drone Season in your area.....
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2018, 06:22:19 pm »
We used to be hard on drone numbers but after reading some info on their role in ventilating the hive we have not culled drone brood.
I I get a frame that is about 25% drones I will put it up above the Qx to eliminate those drones.
They also seem to be migratory between hives and also between yards of bees.
Question: if too many drones were a cost/loading on the hive why would bees produce them to get to what Jim says is 15%? Bees tend to employ survival techniques rather than the reverse.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Drone Season in your area.....
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2018, 06:44:21 pm »
Drones carry the DNA of the queen and their main mission in life is to mate with virgin queens. The bees want to pass on their genes so they support the drones as long as the hive is strong enough and they have a good food source.
Jim
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Offline ed/La.

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Re: Drone Season in your area.....
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2018, 01:40:28 pm »
My home yard does not have drones at this time. Gulf coast S. Louisiana. Queens are not mating. Hopefully the population will increase at fall flow. I have a few weak queens I would like to replace. Trying to mate queens at yard 25 miles away. Time will tell if that works out. Next season I will have replacement queens ready much earlier.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Drone Season in your area.....
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2018, 11:45:11 pm »
Ladies and gentlemen, if you will indulge me please for educational purposes.  Lets think out of the box for a bit. For the folks that breed queens, and would like to mate queens as long as possible, pollen or no pollen a dearth or not. Breeding, either by natural or AI is not possible without drones. So, when the dearth comes in between flows and the pollen stops coming until the next flow and breeders still wanting  to mate their queens, what do they do for drones? As per replies, Drones dwindle down in some areas in June, some in July, some in August. On Jim's farm they are already gone.  This is why I ask if any of you use the green drone comb. Now, here comes "from outside of the box' question.  I don't know if this is done, or has been done, or is in practice even now. but what or why not graft for drones?  If we can graft for queen inside queen cups, why can't we graft for drones using green drone cells? Would this not satisfy the need for drones in the off times?  Especially for the Ai folks?  I look forward to your replies.  Thanks, Phillip Hall

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Drone Season in your area.....
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2018, 11:55:02 pm »
Phil,
Where are you going to get the drone eggs/larvae. The queen lays an un fertilized egg in order get a drone. If the conditions are not right for drones, the bees do not prep the drone cells and as a matter of fact, they fill them with honey if they have it available.
Jim
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Drone Season in your area.....
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2018, 12:34:03 am »
Phil,
Where are you going to get the drone eggs/larvae. The queen lays an un fertilized egg in order get a drone. If the conditions are not right for drones, the bees do not prep the drone cells and as a matter of fact, they fill them with honey if they have it available.
Jim

Well so much for that theory!! Ah haa haa haa.  I'm still learning and have a long way to go! Shows just how far my bee education boundaries reach.  I took for granted that the different size cell would make the difference in what type of bee.  Worker cell worker bee, queen cell queen bee, drone cell drone bee,  but I did not take in the fact that the first two  of these are fertilized and therefore female. Thanks Jim for the education. I"m sure I will need your guidance :grin: again!  So the queen has the option of laying the fertilized egg or unfertilized egg at will?  Thanks .   Sincerely, Phillip

Offline Acebird

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Re: Drone Season in your area.....
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2018, 08:07:32 am »
So the queen has the option of laying the fertilized egg or unfertilized egg at will?  Thanks .   Sincerely, Phillip
Yes and the colony decides (all female) whether they want drones or not.  Then there is the problem of just a hand full of drones maybe related to the virgin queen being worthless in a DCA.  If you are trying to raise queens you do it when the time is right and then bank them or create nucs to support them.  Next year you do it again.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Drone Season in your area.....
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2018, 08:14:44 am »
Phil,
The queen will put her head and front legs into a cell and with her legs , measure the size of the cell. If it is a worker cell, she fertilizes the egg and then attaches it to the bottom of the cell. If it is a drone cell she does not fertilize it before laying the egg. If it is a swarm cell, she fertilizes it.
This is why it is important to not damage her front legs while handling/marking. If they are damaged she cannot determine what eggs to lay and she will lay the wrong ones.

Jim
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Drone Season in your area.....
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2018, 10:53:10 am »
Wow!  Thanks Jim and Ace for your replys to my last couple replys. There is so much to learn about bees...  Isn't it amazing just how complex
that this tiny small creature really is. How organized and sufficient. A
Person could spend a lifetime and not learn everything? This is really good information Jim and I once again appreciate you sharing your knodlege.  Just to think, this is only one creature that God made and has given us dominion over. All the complexity that goes with the bee. And this is only one of who knows just how many other creatures that God made that each have their own complexity goings on!  What an Awesome God!!   Thanks again Phillip Hall

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Drone Season in your area.....
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2018, 11:17:12 am »
Phil,
Now you know why Beekeeping is so addictive. We are constantly learning something new.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain