Drones 2019

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Jacobs
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Location: Greensboro, NC

Drones 2019

Post by Jacobs » Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:02 pm

Donna may be right about an early swarm season. My strongest hive by far has some drones flying out and returning. I don't know if these are drones new to this season or whether they overwintered. Most of my hives seem way behind this one in activity, and I would guess, in brood production. My guess at our meeting was for a later start to swarming--mid to late March based on hive strengths I was seeing and weather we had been having. If others have stronger hives and the 2nd half of February stays reasonably warm and sunny, better to have bait hives out sooner rather than later.

Are other folks seeing drones?

mike91553
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Re: Drones 2019

Post by mike91553 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:07 pm

A Burlington beekeeper saw drones leaving his hive earlier this week.

donwal
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2019 SWARMS

Post by donwal » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:06 pm

I saw drones already flyig out and back into my strongest hives yesterday, 02/25. I will be checking this hive as soon as it is warm enough to get into it. In 2017 I had the first swarms on March 18th, then three more the following week. I think it is going to be early again this year. I will be making splits as soon as I can!

Gary B
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Location: Summerfield NC

Re: 2019 SWARMS

Post by Gary B » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:04 pm

I went in one of my hives and it was very strong with both boxes full of bees. This hive is screaming for a split as well. Everything I read talks about buying a queen for the splitted hive to give it a head start. Do you do that, or just a walk away split and hope they raise a queen? Do you know who has queens at this time of year?

I live in Summerfield.

Jacobs
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Re: 2019 SWARMS

Post by Jacobs » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:20 pm

If you are looking for queens, you may want to check with local bee supply places to see when their earliest package pick up dates are. They may pick up extra queens. Just remember, the earlier the date, the more likely you will have queen issues--the pressure to produce queens for early packages can lead to less than ideal mating conditions. For walk away splits, there may be enough strong hives around to supply drones for drone congregation areas, BUT, when are we going to have enough sunny 70+ degree days for mating flights?

DuaneB
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Re: Drones 2019

Post by DuaneB » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:13 pm

I've seen a LOT of capped Drone cells in my strong hive; as well as some out flying around.

Duane

mike91553
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Re: 2019 SWARMS

Post by mike91553 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:05 pm

I broke open drone pupa in about every hive I opened and never saw any mites today. Happy with that. One hive had a lot of extra drones and also many drones in worker cells so that queen is about wore out. But the good news was 2 supersedurde cells with one capped. We should have some good flying weather by the time the queen is ready. Any split now without cells and you are looking at 20 to 25 days before she would have to fly. Surely they will be fine.

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