Thursday, May 2, 2013

Drone larva?

It rained all night and part of this morning.

I can see the hive from my porch and noted a few, most likely scouts, coming and going very early while it was raining. As soon as it quit I went down to see what was going on. I check it several times a day to see how much pollen is coming in and what color. Still trying to figure out where it is coming from. I know some is from the SpiderWort I have all around the yard.

I was surprised to see several dead bee larva in the grass in front of the hive.  I gathered up 9 of them, 2 still moving a bit. I could find no mites using a magnifying glass. There is a bit of dirt and grass on them.


There were also a couple of live full grown Drone with them.

I also saw about 20 bees sitting on blades of grass.  I thought they may have gotten too wet during the rain to get back into the hive and most are gone now.

These look like Drones to me…


Do they throw them out if they have too many?

The hive is only 50 days old and from a package. I quit feeding them a few days ago. Even though there seems to be a lot of plants blooming and my Bottle Brush are blooming again, maybe there isn’t enough feed for them. I read the Drones are the first to go when the food supply gets low.

We had a couple of hot days and the entrance seemed awfully crowded so I removed the reducers…perhaps too soon.

I put a couple of large pieces of slate on the ground in front of the hive so it will be easier to see what they are getting rid of.

I just went down to check the slate and saw a worker bring a live Drone out and attack it.

All help greatly appreciated.


  1. Carol, could be any number of things. Food shortage could certainly be one reason.

    I can't tell from the pictures, but I'm not seeing wings on many of the pupae. Improperly developed bees would be rejected. If your bees have hygienic behavior, they could also be rejecting unhealthy drones that have something wrong with them that we cannot see. Since it's only drones you're seeing, I wouldn't worry about disease at this point.

    This behavior is probably weather-related. Drones are usually raised on the periphery of the brood nest. If cool temperatures caused your bees to contract their cluster to the point that the drones were no longer covered, the brood could fail by being chilled.

    Keep us posted.- HB

    1. There's a 50% chance of rain most every day this week so gave them some syrup, and put reducers back. The opening is 3/8" and on warm days it was pretty crowded. Since they are in my back yard and I will be here, I'll remove them if it warms up. I appreciate your info..I hope it is one or the other. I can work on them. I did see then forcibly eject 3 Drones, that looked good to me. Thanks again for the help.

    2. Entrance reducers don't keep them warm, per se. They allow/restrict air circulation. With the rain, ventilation is going to be needed. Heat rises, so what will help keep your bees warn is insulation above the cluster.

  2. I thought it would free up guard bees to help with the cluster. I can remove them in the morning. Thanks again


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