Hmmm .... significant numbers of drones on October 22nd

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Curly green finger's 

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Even if the colony was dwindling wouldn't it be a good idea to use the bees to bolster another colony even if they are older workers.
Leaving them to it yes its one colony but say if it was two or more would you still be in the mind set??
To me one saved or used for the above doesn't seem so throw away what ever time of year it is.
 

Erichalfbee 

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Even if the colony was dwindling wouldn't it be a good idea to use the bees to bolster another colony even if they are older workers.
What are you bolstering the recipient hive with though?
Old foragers who can’t forage because of the weather or lack of forage?
Drones who eat winter stores?
 

Ian123 

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What are you bolstering the recipient hive with though?
Old foragers who can’t forage because of the weather or lack of forage?
Drones who eat winter stores?
There not necessarily old though depends how long she’s been laying drones. I often find many queens appear to be hit and miss or show a poor pattern before laying all but drones. Even old bees can at least do a job of covering brood in a small nuc/colony . I’d look to at least satisfy my curiosity and make an informed decision. If there going to fail bang them out now, no point in leaving to die out in winter. Wax moth or damp will affect the combs and stores or drawn comb could be employed elsewhere. Ian
 

Curly green finger's 

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There not necessarily old though depends how long she’s been laying drones. I often find many queens appear to be hit and miss or show a poor pattern before laying all but drones. Even old bees can at least do a job of covering brood in a small nuc/colony . I’d look to at least satisfy my curiosity and make an informed decision. If there going to fail bang them out now, no point in leaving to die out in winter. Wax moth or damp will affect the combs and stores or drawn comb could be employed elsewhere. Ian
:iagree:. This was what I was trying to say thanks Ian.
 

Kaz 

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This thread has given me some hope, I have a nuc (a small cast swarm I collected) which are superseding... new queen emerged 19 October. I wasn't expecting a successful mating but maybe there's still time. Here in Devon the weather has been exceptional and the bees have been flying like a summer day most days. There is still drone brood in some of my other colonies. Time will tell I guess 🤞
 

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Each to their own but sounds like limited thinking to me.

See stock, think there's something wrong (premise of this thread) then walk on by.
Not walk on by - consider the situation, consider the consequences, form a view, act accordingly. Sometimes No Action can be the only sensible course of action. Should never be discounted as walk on by if there is a justifiable reason.

Too often I see enthusiastic but misguided intervention in bee stocks causing more problems than they solve, I'm not suggesting leaving things be will always be the right course of action but occasionally it is.
 

rolande 

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Sometimes No Action can be the only sensible course of action.
Taking no action when you know what the situation is might demonstrate some thinking but not bothering to find out what the situation is strikes me as odd, basing an entire train of thought on not knowing is even odder.
 

Curly green finger's 

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Taking no action when you know what the situation is might demonstrate some thinking but not bothering to find out what the situation is strikes me as odd, basing an entire train of thought on not knowing is even odder.
Sounds like we've been here before, I'm going to do this :banghead:. And then go and fiddle!
Talking of fiddling only this last Thursday I transferred two single brood into nucs.
I have my suspicions that one of my queen's introduced late August has been superseded plus one of the colonys that was bought down after the Heather has superseded, And I will on the next fine day have a look (fiddle) to see what's going on.
 

Boston Bees 

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Taking no action when you know what the situation is might demonstrate some thinking but not bothering to find out what the situation is strikes me as odd, basing an entire train of thought on not knowing is even odder.
I understand what you are saying. But in beekeeping, there's always a cost to "knowing". Yes, after an inspection I might know what's going on (though it isn't always obvious, is it). But I also might have squashed the queen by accident, or done some other damage. So, without a clear and easy fix for any potential problem (which, in late October, there isn't), I'll choose to let luck/nature take its course. But I respect your different approach
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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I understand what you are saying. But in beekeeping, there's always a cost to "knowing". Yes, after an inspection I might know what's going on (though it isn't always obvious, is it). But I also might have squashed the queen by accident, or done some other damage. So, without a clear and easy fix for any potential problem (which, in late October, there isn't), I'll choose to let luck/nature take its course. But I respect your different approach
:iagree: Not much that one can do at this time of year, I've had colonies at this time of year which I've been unsure things are 100% but no real certainty, I could well open up and still be unsure, it's ridiculous to state that late on in the year queens are easier to find, did some late season inspections this year (much later than I usually do) in the company of the SBI to get my DASH baseline inspections boxed off there were one or two colonies with fluorescent pink queens (one old I needed to re-mark, one not performing so wanted her easily spotted), we failed to find either, and if they have (hopefully) superseded, we couldn't find the daughters either so you'll still come out not knowing whether they're Q- or not, and unless you find wall to wall drone brood, even finding only patches of drone brood may mean the queen is on a brood break and you're seeing the last of the previously laid brood on the point of emerging.

And as for separating out the drones!! :icon_204-2: what you going to do? sit there picking them up one by and and squishing them?!
I've found the best plan with these borderline cases is leave alone, come Christmas time, you've either got a colonies still ticking along and will either die out or thrive in spring, or you've got an empty deadout you can pack away and recycle/destroy frames and have the box ready for the new season.
 

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