Drones being shown the door

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Jimmy 

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Watching the hive entrance today of one colony, lots of drones zig-zagging in front and having to persevere to be let back in.
Anything to be learnt from this?
I thought drones were welcome until later in the year. I'm sure I had colonies with drones in late september 2009.

The colony is (hopefully) waiting for a queen to come into lay - nice area of polished empty cells in the brood box but she's pushing the limit in terms of delay between hatching and producing eggs as I think it is 21+ days now. :toetap05:
 

kazmcc 

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Where in the Uk are you Jimmy?

I had my bees, well, one bee, give a drone a kicking on the landing board last week. He staggered back in and she kicked him out and gave him another one. Seems it was from another colony, there is another hive on the allotments where we are. At the inspection, there were drones in the BB and there was a small amount of drone brood. Do you have other colonies nearby that you know about?
 

Jimmy 

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Kazmcc
Location updated.
It could be drones from one of my other colonies as they are along a hedge within 20 metres of each other but I thought drones just chilled out in drone congregation areas rather than getting involved in robbing other colonies.
 

kazmcc 

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I'm new to beekeeping, so I don't know. But people reckoned it could have been a drone, just knocking at the wrong door. More experienced beeks will be able to explain it better.
 

Jimmy 

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Reading around (on the Stratford upon Avon site) it sounds as if the colony must have some italian traits as queenright :))) italians kick out the drones far earlier than 'dark native bees'.
 

oliver90owner 

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I was thinking, and here are a few ideas for you to consider:

Drones don't rob. Can be opportunists where they roost.

Perhaps short of stores?

If throwing out drones, an indication of no more swarming this season.

Drones tend to be ejected earlier from colonies with older queens rather than young ones (so an unlikely reason here!)

Are you meaning they are tipped off the landing board?, or was there a lot of drone brood when the queen change took place.

Any, all and others could bear some credence as to their behaviour.

Further, 21 days is not unusual so depends on how many the plus sign indicates.

Regards, RAB
 

Jimmy 

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RAB,

Thanks for your thoughts.

Perhaps short of stores?
No, plenty for them to be dealing with. If they'd kindly move it up out of the brood box into the waiting drawn supers that would be great.


If throwing out drones, an indication of no more swarming this season.
:cheers2:



Are you meaning they are tipped off the landing board?, or was there a lot of drone brood when the queen change took place.
They are befriended on the landing board and discouraged from entering whereas previously they go straight in. Some do eventually get in but it's difficult to follow multiple drones. It's much easier to watch the fate of one wasp rather than 6-7 drones.
Previous queen had become a strong drone layer.



Further, 21 days is not unusual so depends on how many the plus sign indicates.
According to my records, the latest the new queen would have hatched would have been July 10th, hence the 21+
 

rae 

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Having looked at all seven of my colonies:

- Very little drone brood. Sections of comb that were drone are being stuffed with pollen, and some stores.
- Lots of drones in the hives (particularly in the big older colonies)
- Some drones being booted out
- The big colonies have radically scaled the brood back - colonies that were 9 frames are now on 3 or 4. The smaller colonies are still on 7 or 8.

We've dusted with icing sugar to provoke some varroa drop, so that we can check them all. One colony that we know is heavy with varroa has had the honey pulled off and apiguard put in. Whatever they store between now and winter is all theirs.

Certainly in Berkshire, the honey flow seemed to stop with a bang about two weeks ago - everything is too dry. There is plenty of capped honey, but not a lot of "work in progress", which suggests they are consuming all of the nectar going in.
 

Polyanwood 

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Reading around (on the Stratford upon Avon site) italians kick out the drones far earlier than 'dark native bees'.
I don't think this is true, well at least not for me.....My Italians carry on making brood later than all the others and they keep their drones later too. It is my browner more mongrel bees that are more careful about their stores, and throw their drones out earlier.
 

Jimmy 

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I don't think this is true, well at least not for me.....My Italians carry on making brood later than all the others and they keep their drones later too. It is my browner more mongrel bees that are more careful about their stores, and throw their drones out earlier.
You could well be right, I have little definitive knowledge about the characteristics of different races and I took the Stratford site as gospel. The website author does favour native bees, so may be biased.
Mine are local mongrels so at the mercy of surrounding beekeepers and their choice of queens and therefore drones. I see differences in cappings, temperament, willingness to forage on cooler days, rate of spring build up, hygiene and of course how late in the summer the drones are welcome between my colonies, suggesting they are a genuine mongrel.

I should do some morphometry to bring some data to my assessment.
 

DulwichGnome 

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I saw lots of Drones being booted out of one my hives yesterday. The guard bees were very aggressive and were killing any that did not fly away, the wasps where having a feast on the ground outside. None of the other three hives on the same site seemed to be bothered.
 

skydragon 

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Ditto, I sat and watched one of my hives a few days ago and there was a constant procession of Drones being dragged out of the hive by workers.
 

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