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Drones this early?

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Red Bee 

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Saw a drone coming out of one of my hives today, is it early for them or not? Could be a drone laying Q but hopefully not, I only saw one so fingers crossed!
 

Poly Hive 

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There are two possible answers I can think of.

1. Your queen was mated late last year and is now coming into lay properly and so is "miss-firing" every now again.

2. That she is out of semen and so laying drones.

It would be nice if it is 1. but.... check as soon as and if a drone layer, kill her and unite to another colony.

PH
 

Red Bee 

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Thanks PH hopefully its your first answer. I think its possibly your second though. Soon find out hey!
 

SixFooter 

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I saw a drone emerging from a hive last week. I couldnt understand how this could happen, so thanks Poly. In my case, I think it is Option 1 as the queen was mated very late on in the year.

It's amazing what one can learn from this site!
 

jezd 

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Saw a drone coming out of one of my hives today, is it early for them or not? Could be a drone laying Q but hopefully not, I only saw one so fingers crossed!
I would say its possible given your location (there are spots in cornwall and devon that seem to have their own mini climate), are you in a very warm and sheltered location?
 
T

Tom Bick 

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I think I read somewhere that its quite rare that a few drones do over winter from time to time
 

Red Bee 

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I would say its possible given your location (there are spots in cornwall and devon that seem to have their own mini climate), are you in a very warm and sheltered location?
Yes in a valley and inline with the setting sun, nice and sheltered too.
 

SixFooter 

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Saw another one (or possibly the same one again) today.
 

shonabee 

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If you took the roof off would you be able peer down between frames to see raised cappings of drone brood without having to disturb them too much in this colder weather?
 

WBC Girl 

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Hi, we only started keeping our own colonies last year, so everything is a new experience for us.

It was a nice sunny 12 degrees this afternoon in Somerset, so I popped out to check on the fondant that I had placed on each hive; given a comment I had read on the forum earlier in the day about a member losing two colonies to starvation. Luckily all still had fondant so ok on that score.

Whilst watching the goings on at the entrance of the hive I heard a loud buzz & saw my first drone of the year.

This colony was a swarm from one of our other hives ( swarmed in May 09 ) and our most prolific colony last year. We were told by a very experienced beekeeper that they were one of the best colonies he had ever seen - beginners luck I feel ( that and the benefit of this great advice ) last summer we had frame after frame of filled brood. They have remained a large colony ( on a box and a half over the winter ) and even when we administer the oxalic acid treatment in early January, they came out of the hive like a summer inspection. They have been bringing in loads of pollen for a few weeks now & even yesterday there were lots & lots of what I believe were young bees out the front of the hive on orientation flights.

Sorry that was so long, but what I'm getting around to saying is that they appear to be a thriving colony, so why would the evidence of only one drone necessary lead to thinking that the queen was mis-firing or a drone laying queen.

When would people normally expect to see drones? I would welcome the thoughts of the experienced. Many thanks
 

WBC Girl 

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Thanks very much, what I meant was, what time of year? In people's experience what would be the earliest, lastest & usual time for drone sightings?
 

Hivemaker. 

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Depends on the season, temp and area,last spring there was plenty of drone brood in March in south west,cold late spring,drones later this spring i suspect,no fixed time really. Latest,again depends on circumstances,late virgins,good autumn weather and honey flows.
 
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Apis 

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Like your choice of hive WBC Girl. It's really is as Repwoc says, everything in the hive is driven by the weather, nectar flows, age of the colony queen and so many other things. The queen could start laying drones in late March in some years or late April in others. It'll be another pheromone triggered event.
 

baggieboing 

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Managed a quick check of my only hive yesterday (in direct sun to minimise chilling etc).
Plenty of Bees, bringing in Pollen and lots flying etc.
They are using the stores in the super now and seem to be healthy.
They were a swarm I got as my first set of Bees in May last year, no idea of the age of the queen etc.
On a quick inspection (of only 2 frames), there was evidence of larvae and sealed Drones. did not see any other sealed brood at all, just drone.
Dont have another colony, so now unsure how to proceed.
Ideas anyone?
thanks in advance.
Nick.
 

Poly Hive 

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Sad to say a drone laying colony at this time is doomed.

PH
 

baggieboing 

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If this is the case it will be heartbreaking, they are a really vigorous colony and are out in numbers today. There are huge amounts of Bees in the hive at present. Is there anything I can do?
Feel really upset and sick with the possibility of losing them after getting through the winter etc.
:confused:
 

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