Drone Laying Queen

Today its up in the 70s, and the wind is much calmer than it was yesterday, so I decided to go open Trunchen Hive. There were far too few bees out for a day like today, so I knew something was wrong. I peeled the cloth on the top box back to find it empty, with some small honey stores visible. The middle box had a few more bees in it, but was virtually empty as well. I turned the box on its edge, so I could look at the bottoms of the comb, and found all of the frames had drone cells on them, some of which were still capped or had dead drones poking their heads out.

Getting to the lowest box brought a great deal more activity. 95% of the bees visible were drones, and when I picked this box up off the floor of the hive, dozens of drones were visible. Since there were more bees in this one, I decided to try taking some bars out to have a look at the comb. The three frames I looked at were covered in drones, with a good deal of pollen on them as well. I only found a single egg, which was laid in the middle of the brood nest. Not that it matters. There were as many drones the size of workers as there were workers.

I debated bringing over the top box of White hive, which is still full of honey, and setting the box containing bees on top of it. It would only prolong the inevitable though, and I saw no reason for that.

So! Despite the bees best efforts last year, with four swarms and three hives occupied, I was unable to keep bees through the winter this year. I have placed an order with a local beekeeping store, but i’ve had a bit of trouble getting in touch with them since, so we’ll see if I get to keep bees this year at all. 

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5 responses to “Drone Laying Queen”

  1. Emily Heath says :

    Oh no 😦 We had a drone laying queen last year. Perhaps yours was poorly mated. Good luck getting some new bees in, hope you can.

    • willowbatel says :

      The place I ordered from was extremely difficult to get in contact with. I mailed them a check (late, because my mother was unsure of how exactly they wanted it written out, and since I was unable to contact them after the only time I talked to them, that slowed things down considerably), but the address on their website was wrong so the check was returned to me. I have called them several times over the last month, and emailed them four days ago and still haven’t gotten a response. So, I don’t expect to have bees this year. Which is rather disappointing. I suppose the good news is, we can now work in the area where the hive is and get it all cleaned up again. Its full of grass and weeds. I think keeping bees in the garden would be much easier if I had chickens to help keep the weeds down.

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