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Drone expulsion

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Anna Patrick
House Bee

Joined: 06 Jul 2010
Posts: 14
Location: Leamington Spa

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:31 pm    Post subject: Drone expulsion Reply with quote

Further to the mystery ailment posts, I went to my hive this afternoon about 2pm and saw absolutely frenetic activity and the hum from the hive was audible from several yards away. I put my suit on and had a look through the observation window to see similar frenetic activity inside. I was excited to think I might be able to watch a swarm emerge but after several minutes nothing happened and I thought I'd better get on with things. I checked again after about an hour and the bees were still frenetic but the hum was quieter. I checked again after two hours and the bees were back to normal but I did have 10-15 drones lying on the ground and one or two more descended to the ground as I watched. I am really surprised that it's happening so early but clearly it can happen.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My feeling is that this is more what I would call drones play time rather than eviction. There are periods during the afternoon when the drones come out to play. I find it lasts between 30-60 mins and each hive will be slightly different, so one might be active like this whilst another one is quiet and half an hour later, the first will have reverted to normal and another will be active. The drones are so much louder than the workers that the noise increase is really significant and it usually happens on warm, sunny afternoons. Mostly I find it is just drone orientation flights. but the whole hive gets excited as you witnessed. I would guess that the ones you find dead are probably just older ones but it is worth having a good look at them for deformed wing virus as drones are usually the first to exhibit it.

If they are being evicted then you will witness the girls "man handling" them out of the hive and there is an obvious tussle in the entrance and sometimes on the ground below with workers physically ejecting them, sometimes two or 3 workers dragging a reluctant drone.
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Anna Patrick
House Bee

Joined: 06 Jul 2010
Posts: 14
Location: Leamington Spa

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Barbara. That is really helpful. I didn't know about this playtime and haven't witnessed it before. I will check the drones's wings today.
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