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It seems everyday at this time (4:30-5:00pm) that the drones come back. At least I'm hoping they're drones. They are large and much darker on the tail. First I thought they were some other kind of bee robbing the hive but the workers weren't paying them no mind. I was going to suit up and open the hive to make sure they weren't terrorizing it but I thought I'd better ask here. They are MUCH noisier than the workers.

I've also noticed that my water supply is finally being used. It's a dog waterer with stones in the dish and a screen under the lid so no bees can get inside the container. Only workers use the waterer. Do the drones not seek out water for themselves?

Thanks,
Ed
 

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It sure sounds like they are drones from what you are describing.
As far as whether drones seek out water for themselves, I am not sure. I know like most of us fellers they're pretty lazy and just like us, they probably like to have their drinks fetched for them as well ;)
 

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More than likely drones coming in for the evening after hanging out in the drone congregation area.
 

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I think G3 has the right idea on this one. mating is generally associated with the late afternoon so those that were unsuccessful (and thereby still alive <how twisted up is that?) are returning home to chow down for tomorrow. Drones are pretty much unable to do anything for themselves so no I don't think they would be collecting any water.
 
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