Frame spacing and size of drones.

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

JamezF 

Drone Bee
***
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
1,498
Reaction score
1,083
Location
Wiveliscombe
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
20
general beekeeping lore is that they are lazy spongers who just hang about waiting for an appropriate point to mate and in the meantime consume copious amounts of the beekeepers honey. Is this another beekeeping myth ?
I believe it is myth. My current understanding is that the drones do actually help with the maintenance of the hive environment by fanning and suchlike. I can't for the life of me remember where I read that though.

James
 

Wilco 

Village idiot
***
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
1,169
Reaction score
1,288
Location
Hampshire
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
10-ish
There is more info out there on them. I agree killing drones seems nonsensical when thinking holistically.

IIRC drones take a while post-emergence to be available for mating flights so are going to be produced before we necessarily think of there being a 'need'.

Bees as a superorganism work for the group not the individual. I suspect this is not limited to the level of colonies. If all colonies produce drones during the season, it works to the good of the collective (all bee colonies) as if any have a queen in need of mating (who we know wouldn't mate with related drones), there will be some drones about. A drone may not directly benefit the colony they are from but they do indirectly by contributing to local colony success- so if their colony is in need in future, there will be drones from those other colonies. I think this explains why there are drones throughout the season.
 

Newbeeneil 

Queen Bee
***
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
2,899
Reaction score
2,142
Location
Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
30 plus 19 that I maintain for clients.
There is more info out there on them. I agree killing drones seems nonsensical when thinking holistically.

IIRC drones take a while post-emergence to be available for mating flights so are going to be produced before we necessarily think of there being a 'need'.

Bees as a superorganism work for the group not the individual. I suspect this is not limited to the level of colonies. If all colonies produce drones during the season, it works to the good of the collective (all bee colonies) as if any have a queen in need of mating (who we know wouldn't mate with related drones), there will be some drones about. A drone may not directly benefit the colony they are from but they do indirectly by contributing to local colony success- so if their colony is in need in future, there will be drones from those other colonies. I think this explains why there are drones throughout the season.
I agree, by producing drones a colony is passing its genes on and many breeders flood an area with drones of known genealogy.
It has always confused me that people have been concerned about queens being open mated as they are likely to be mated with drones with undesirable traits but they are surely just as likely to be mated with drones with desirable traits?
 

JamezF 

Drone Bee
***
Joined
Sep 4, 2011
Messages
1,498
Reaction score
1,083
Location
Wiveliscombe
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
20
It has always confused me that people have been concerned about queens being open mated as they are likely to be mated with drones with undesirable traits but they are surely just as likely to be mated with drones with desirable traits?
I assume the issue is that you won't know which is which. Or they might even be mated with both.

James
 

rolande 

Drone Bee
Joined
Oct 26, 2009
Messages
1,028
Reaction score
1,012
Hive Type
other
why do the workers tolerate this number from early in the year until autumn if they don't serve some purpose as well as mating ?
There is of course the almost annually reported drone massacres which occur during summertime when the weather has reduced colony income. See it quite often on this forum. Of course, it tends to be the adult drones and the unsealed larvae that get axed, the sealed ones generally seem to get a reprieve perhaps as insurance, or maybe just because they're not currently eating into colony stores.
 

pargyle 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
***
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
14,940
Reaction score
5,667
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
There is more info out there on them. I agree killing drones seems nonsensical when thinking holistically.

IIRC drones take a while post-emergence to be available for mating flights so are going to be produced before we necessarily think of there being a 'need'.

Bees as a superorganism work for the group not the individual. I suspect this is not limited to the level of colonies. If all colonies produce drones during the season, it works to the good of the collective (all bee colonies) as if any have a queen in need of mating (who we know wouldn't mate with related drones), there will be some drones about. A drone may not directly benefit the colony they are from but they do indirectly by contributing to local colony success- so if their colony is in need in future, there will be drones from those other colonies. I think this explains why there are drones throughout the season.
It's as good an explanation as any ....
 

pargyle 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
***
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
14,940
Reaction score
5,667
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
There is of course the almost annually reported drone massacres which occur during summertime when the weather has reduced colony income. See it quite often on this forum. Of course, it tends to be the adult drones and the unsealed larvae that get axed, the sealed ones generally seem to get a reprieve perhaps as insurance, or maybe just because they're not currently eating into colony stores.
Looking back with a search on the forum for Drone Eviction it seems to be late August and September where nost drone eviction occurs.... later into October if the weather is good. Certainly my colonies down here on the Costa del Fareham have drones until very late in the year and a few overwinter as well but that may be symptomatic of our microclimate down here.
 

madasafish 

Queen Bee
***
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
10,541
Reaction score
1,995
Location
Stoke on Trent
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6 to 8 Langstroth jumbos, a few Langstroth and National nucs.
"Any claim for anything backed up with no (true) numbers or evidence is best regarded as excrement and treated as such "

is my motto through life.
So far it as served me well: beekeeping is no exception..
 

Beebe 

Survivor bee
***
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
1,430
Reaction score
1,346
Location
Scotland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Owned by six
When doing II, we have noted that the large burly drones are usually "firing blanks". Medium sized drones are much better quality.
Just our observations, if that is if any help.
That's interesting, but it is something of a blunt statement. The usual cry when assertions such as that one are made here is: "please can you give a link to the scientific evidence?"
 

Norton 

Drone Bee
***
Joined
Nov 30, 2008
Messages
1,196
Reaction score
75
Location
Cyprus and Greece
Hive Type
langstroth
That's interesting, but it is something of a blunt statement. The usual cry when assertions such as that one are made here is: "please can you give a link to the scientific evidence?"
Actually there is no link or scientific evidence, just our observations. So why ask for it?

OK, I give up!
No more input from me. I have better things to do.
Thank you!
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

International Beekeeper of Mystery
***
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
30,346
Reaction score
8,634
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
...but that doesn't usually cut much ice with (for instance) you, does it? ;)
If Norton had just made the comment as a statement of scientific fact maybe, but he did, twice in the post make clear it was just an observation they had made.
 

Latest posts

Top