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Author Topic: dead Drones in January  (Read 189 times)

Offline CoolBees

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dead Drones in January
« on: January 07, 2020, 02:57:14 pm »
This is more of an observation, really. One of my hives decided to rear a bunch of drones in December, which hatched around the 1st of January. This morning I found they had "evicted" the drones. Several hundred drones were dead on and around the landing board. I found that interesting, and thought I'd share ...
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: dead Drones in January
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2020, 03:54:07 pm »
My bet is you have a drone laying queen. Do a spring inspection to verify. Note I did not say to open it now unless you really do not have a winter.
Jim Altmiller

Offline CoolBees

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Re: dead Drones in January
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2020, 06:02:02 pm »
Thanks for the feedback Jim. I inspected this hive about 2 weeks ago including Alc wash, and all is good inside except a high mite count which is being brought down now. The hive is quite strong. It's been as high as 70 degs here recently. We really don't get "winter" per se. Most days are above 55 degs.

All hives have brood right now, and our main flow should start in the next 3 weeks.

I just couldn't tell if it's early for them to be raising drones? ... or late? - in either case, apparently the girls changed their minds, and executed the drones within a week of hatch. Bees are funny.  :grin:
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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: dead Drones in January
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2020, 09:45:04 pm »
Hi Mr. Cool.  You are describing typical Russian honeybee behavior.  These bees even evict drones during a dearth in July.  Basically the Russian bees evict drones when the hive is stressed.  A good survival instinct, to me.  So, while I cannot say you have Russian bees, I can say your bees share a trait known to exist in Russian honey bees. Another trait of these Russian bees is a tendency to be a bit on the defensive side.

Just curious, are your bees slightly on the defensive side?

Van
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: dead Drones in January
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2020, 01:16:14 am »
Hi Alan, I just read your topic here and I'm reminded of your previous topic, ''Mite count zero''.  Which back in December, you told us of your beautiful queen cells. You, I, and Mr Van and maybe others touched on the subject of drones in your topic then. Without knowing all the details I am thinking that early, (very early), development of those same queen and drone cells are a key to your now, drone eviction topic. 
Please allow me to ask a few questions. Are there other hives in your area doing the same, (early queen cells and drone cells?) Now I do not know this for a fact, but it certainly stands to reason that bees would not develop plenty of queen cells without also developing plenty of drone cells. I really would like to learn more of your situation of the queen cells. What you did with them? How did you handle them? What was the fate of the queen cells? How did things turn out for the queens during that time? Did any of them make successful, or for that matter, (unsuccessful mating flights)?  I am asking these questions while  taking in consideration your California Weather as this development was only days, before the winter solstice. And that my friend is what makes it so interesting to me. I would appreciate you sharing the above inquisitive information with us, even the details of that situation. I look forward to learning from you and your experiences with this unique ''to me'' happenings. I suggest again, the answers to the evicted drones, may indeed be a piece of a bigger puzzle?
Thanks, Phillip   

Offline CoolBees

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Re: dead Drones in January
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2020, 06:06:29 pm »
...
Just curious, are your bees slightly on the defensive side?

Van

Very interesting information Mr. Van. To answer your question, No - these girls are quite easy to work with. The queen is a daughter of my H10 hive, mated in early August. This hive is probably the largest and strongest that I have right now. H10 is about as peaceful and quite of a hive as I have ever encountered. This Daughter is also very gentle.


... Are there other hives in your area doing the same, (early queen cells and drone cells?) ... ...  I really would like to learn more of your situation of the queen cells. What you did with them? How did you handle them? What was the fate of the queen cells? How did things turn out for the queens during that time? Did any of them make successful, or for that matter, (unsuccessful mating flights)?  I am asking these questions while  taking in consideration your California Weather as this development was only days, before the winter solstice. And that my friend is what makes it so interesting to me. I would appreciate you sharing the above inquisitive information with us, even the details of that situation. I look forward to learning from you and your experiences with this unique ''to me'' happenings. I suggest again, the answers to the evicted drones, may indeed be a piece of a bigger puzzle?
Thanks, Phillip

Phillip - I haven't inspected every hive recently. I got thru 4 inspections in December before I ran out of time that day. Of the 4, only 1 had QC's.

I split out 1 frame of QC's to a Nuc, and added brood bees and stores from another [stronger] hive. I left the remaining QC's in the original Queenless hive. I did this in the hopes that one of them would end up with a Queen - and I wouldn't suffer any further losses. That was 2.5 weeks ago. I'm now waiting on a very warm day to go in and inspect both hives to see if either were successful in making a queen. I will let you know, once I find out the answer - I'm quite curious as well! ... for now, both of those hives are bringing in moderate amounts of Pollen so I'm hopeful that at least one of them is Queenright.

I did not inspect the remaining hives in the apiary, but based on very high pollen levels currently coming into each of them, I assume all of them to be Queenright at this time. ... all hives are in the beginnings of growth mode right now. We are 2-4 weeks or so, away from the main flow of the year. All hives have a few drones, but very few ... except the one that I mentioned here, which hatched in excess of 500 drones. I did see those large numbers of drone cells during the last inspection, prior to the hatch. As near as I can calculate, the drones were planned by 1 hive much prior to the other going queenless - but that doesn't mean the bees didn't know it was going to happen.
You cannot permanently help men by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves - Abraham Lincoln