Where are the drones?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Tia, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Helping my newbee friend inspect her 2 month-old packages. Both hives look good; good brood pattern, but not as much drawn out comb or nectar as I'd like to see. Plenty of pollen, though. The newbee's been traumatized by the loss of a substantial number of bees who drowned in the hivetop feeder and even though I told her they need nectar to make wax to build out comb, she is reluctant to put the hivetop feeders back on, so I suggested she field feed. Comments please. Also, there is not one single drone or drone cell in either hive. That worries me. Should it?
     
  2. LtlWilli

    LtlWilli New Member

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    Oh , you'll get drones soon enough. Since you are feeding , it will not take long for drones to begin being produced. Your hive is growing up, and sounds like it will do fine.
    LtlWilli
     

  3. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    The new hives need lots of new young bees in order to make comb and survive.
    that's why you are seeing a lot of pollen (needed to feed the young) and little if any drones being raised. They know they need to increase their worker numbers as the top priority.
    It sounds ok to me, as long as you are seeing good patches of brood.
    Personally I'd keep feeding for another couple of weeks, but they'll probably be ok on their own if not disrupted too often. I bet if left undisturbed the hives will get dramatically stronger in another 3 weeks.

    Field feeding will bring in every bee within 4 miles and your friend might well freak out when she sees the CLOUDS of bees all over her yard in a feeding frenzy. It's pretty intimidating for a new BK. You might try looking at the youtube clips on using in-hive ziploc gallon bags to feed syrup- I've used them and they work pretty well with little if any drowning. I've also had good success with plastic 'frame feeders'.
     
  4. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    some hive top feeders are notorious for drowning bees. The downfall of open feeding in the field. Is your not only feeding your bees your feeding the whole neighborhood. I would suggest getting a 1 gallon jar poke 3 or 4 small holes in the lid and invert it over the hole in the inner cover put another deep on and then the lid no robbing no drowning bees and your not feeding the whole neighborhood
     
  5. milapostol

    milapostol New Member

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    I know your newbee friend isn't going to use the hive top feeder, but when we fed our bees with the hive top feeder, we made sure to put bunches of lavender in with the feed. We didn't get much drownage as the girls were able to climb up the lavender. Plus, it smells nice.

    Another suggestion from our bk teacher, use cork board in the feeder to help prevent drownage. Sorry that happened to her. :(
     
  6. Tia

    Tia New Member

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    Mil, I love the lavender idea! Thanks so much!
     
  7. LtlWilli

    LtlWilli New Member

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    I float sticks in my feeders, and they have no problems getting to the syrup on top of them.'LtlWilli