No drones yet, is it worth inspecting?

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ericbeaumont 

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Treated rather late with sublimated oxalic acid in January
It's been pretty cold here, so build-up may be delayed.
Sounds like your late summer and autumn bees were compromised by varroa and the colonies struggled to survive. A January treatment (what was your schedule?) may have helped but if bees were in tight cluster due to cold the OA will not have penetrated the nest and taken effect.

Do you use a drifty Varrox or the fire-extinguisher Sublimox?
 

Sutty 

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Sounds like your late summer and autumn bees were compromised by varroa and the colonies struggled to survive. A January treatment (what was your schedule?) may have helped but if bees were in tight cluster due to cold the OA will not have penetrated the nest and taken effect.

Do you use a drifty Varrox or the fire-extinguisher Sublimox?
Gas-Vap treatment
 

Ian123 

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Yes agreed a winter treatments not enough you’ve not protected the important bees. IMO winter treatments are belt and braces giving you a clean a start for the coming season as possible. He was probably lucky they swarmed late for a brood break. I had some small Nucs come through the winter this season due to a poor autumn and me getting side tracked for a period. The situation was resolved early spring by popping the queen into a cage and swapping locations with a strong colony. Next inspection I also added a frame of sealed brood, no rejections and instant results. It’s certainly the case you have more options with more hives. Ian
 

Repwoc 

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I've not yet seen a single drone flying in or out of my 2 colonies. They were pretty small when I last did a very brief inspection 3 weeks ago.
In his book "Breeding Super Bees" Steve Taber links drone rearing to pollen availability, ie if pollen is in short supply the bees raise fewer or no drones. There is very little pollen in my garden hives atm - I tried to find a frame for my cell raiser the other day.
 

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