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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When do the bees usually resume drone production coming out of overwintering,and what exactly triggers it?
 

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here I will quite typically see (and almost like clockwork) the first capped drone cells about 15 February. Dr Larry Conners seem to suggest you can begin grafting queens when the drone pupae are in the purple eyed stage. I myself like to wait just a tad longer.

ps... these kind of things you should note down in some written form for you specific location. this kind of information does/can tell you quite a lot and does help in planning. for one thing hives that produce drones (typically in excessive numbers) prior to this date are having queen issues.
 

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I start seeing drone cells in April in my area. (depending on the weather) I've heard one queen producer on this forum likes to see the drones flying for a week before his queens hatch out. Sounds like a good rule of thumb to me. :thumbsup: Jack
 

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Dr. David Tarpy from NC State once talked about drones that were flying around the hive we were looking at in early spring and commented that the drones that were flying were not mature. He said that after catching a drone and giving it a squeeze. So even though drones are flying it does take some period of time before they are mature and able to mate.
 

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i'll be in all my hives this weekend so i'll be looken real hard....i have green drone frames in my hives with comb built already from last year.
 

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ski writes:
So even though drones are flying it does take some period of time before they are mature and able to mate.

tecumseh:
from hatch date about 2 weeks is required for a drone to achieve sexual maturity. I saw some capped drone cells here yesterday. the why of that one case was there were existing drone cells in the path of the brood nest expansion so the queen used that group of cells.

daylight and night time temperatures I would guess are at least two consideration of a hive prior to rearing drones. <since drone cells (and to some degree queen cells) are at the periphery of the brood nest they also have the greatest chance of being exposed to excessive cold temperatures.
 

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As in many things going on in beehives which we may not fully understand there are, I suspect, many variables which stimulate the colony to do what they do. Lengthening daylight, temperature, pollen production, nectar production, colony needs and other things gradually change over time so that the colony fulfills those things necassary for colony reproduction, swarming.

Studying the natural cycles of a colony is very informative for beekeepers who wish to be ahead of their bees. Observing what's going on in ones hives, over time, will help you know when to be prepared to do certain manipulations to lessen swarming and to provide honey supers at the right time.

Observe and record. No two years will be exactly alike, but you will see trends and signs to watrch for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
sqkcrk said:
As in many things going on in beehives which we may not fully understand there are, I suspect, many variables which stimulate the colony to do what they do. Lengthening daylight, temperature, pollen production, nectar production, colony needs and other things gradually change over time so that the colony fulfills those things necassary for colony reproduction, swarming.

Studying the natural cycles of a colony is very informative for beekeepers who wish to be ahead of their bees. Observing what's going on in ones hives, over time, will help you know when to be prepared to do certain manipulations to lessen swarming and to provide honey supers at the right time.

Observe and record. No two years will be exactly alike, but you will see trends and signs to watch for.
tecumseh said:
ski writes:
So even though drones are flying it does take some period of time before they are mature and able to mate.

tecumseh:
from hatch date about 2 weeks is required for a drone to achieve sexual maturity. I saw some capped drone cells here yesterday. the why of that one case was there were existing drone cells in the path of the brood nest expansion so the queen used that group of cells.

daylight and night time temperatures I would guess are at least two consideration of a hive prior to rearing drones. <since drone cells (and to some degree queen cells) are at the periphery of the brood nest they also have the greatest chance of being exposed to excessive cold temperatures.

Thanks sqkcrk and Tecumseh :goodpost:
 

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Tec
Thanks for the time frame of two weeks for drones to mature. :) I did eventually find this in "Hive and the Honey Bee" but I attended a Natural Beekeeping workshop today and they covered drones and the 14 days for the drone to mature as well.
It was also interesting to know that by squeezing the drone and finding sperm at the genitalia indicates that the drone was mature.
Of the 110 folks attending the workshop about 3 or 4 raised their hands when asked if they had more then a few drones in some of their hives.
 
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