Drones outside the hive

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clare p

New Bee
Jul 12, 2009
Reaction score
East Sussex
Hive Type
Number of Hives
1 new Nuc and a swarm caught on the 10th July
we are newbee bee keepers, and tonight observed outside one of the hives there are loads of "discarded" dead or nearly dead drones. Is it a bit early in the year for them to be booted out? could it mean anything more sinister is happening inside? It is only outside one of our two hives. I have lent my whole collection of bee books to a friend so can not refer there and thought that You all would probably be a better informed anyhow.
Thanks in advance
I was explaining to my 7 year old what drones are and what purpose they served, and how they spent most of their time eating and lazing around.
My husband then went on a rant saying that that is just what the worker bees would try to have us believe too, and that he (my son) shouldn't listen to my rubbish.
Ha those drones probably had it coming and let that be a lesson.
Drones are not husbands, they are brothers living with their sisters and mother. They have no adult male role model, their father(s) died before they were born so they are the product of a single parent family.
However they have about 50,000 sisters who probably nag them about not doing the chores and when are they going to fly off and find a girlfriend instead of staying in bed half the morning? I was an only son with just two sisters. I sympathise with their plight.
Could be! they are not as productive as our other hive. Should I feed them already?
cheers Clare
I was at some hives on Dartmoor yesterday. Two with older queens had all thrown out their drones, including pupal stage drones. The hives were on a trailer the floor of which was littered with the dead.

Two other hives with this years queens still had their drones. The queens in both these hives were laying strongly - all 10 frames with brood.

I wonder if the age/fertility of the queen has anything to do with why some hives throw thier drones out earlier than others?
Old queen stops laying before same year's queen.

I have noticed that when nights become cold in late summr, bees start to kill drones.

I noticed one of my hive that they cast worker pupae out. Ventilation is too big. It was +5 C at night.

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