Beemaster's International Beekeeping Forum

BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER => GENERAL BEEKEEPING - MAIN POSTING FORUM. => Topic started by: cao on March 19, 2017, 05:27:53 PM

Title: Drones flying
Post by: cao on March 19, 2017, 05:27:53 PM
Well the weather warmed up again(the past week had freezing temps at night).  I decided to take off the feeder shims that I had on a few hives that needed sugar bricks this winter.  And what do I see but a couple of drones flying around.  I guess it's officially swarm/split season.  I guess I need to go through my hives this week and check them out.  It just seems awfully early.  The only fruit trees of mine that are in bloom are my hardy almond and they got froze this week.
Title: Re: Drones flying
Post by: Rurification on March 20, 2017, 05:17:48 PM
Noooooo!   I'm not ready! 

All of my hives made it through the winter and are building up beautifully, but I was hoping for another month before swarming.   Ours swarmed in June last year.     

Our last frost date isn't until May 15th.   I'm reluctant to add too much space quite yet.    Must go hang out with the hives and look for drones.  If I see them, I'm putting supers on.
Title: Re: Drones flying
Post by: jvalentour on March 20, 2017, 05:35:25 PM
We saw drones around 3/9/17, figure Around April 1 swarm season will start. 
Busy warm weekend coming up!!!
Title: Re: Drones flying
Post by: Oldbeavo on March 20, 2017, 07:06:54 PM
How early  is too early?
Michael Bush said in another topic that you need to split before the bees think about swarming other wise if they get into swarm mode they will swarm anyway.
2015 spring was warm and we split about on time but they had already thought about swarming as we were finding queen cells in some boxes, even though we split strong hives they swarmed anyway resulting in a weaker hive than we intended.
Title: Re: Drones flying
Post by: cao on March 20, 2017, 07:43:14 PM
When last week we had several days in a row with a hard freeze at night,  and I think one of my hives might not recover from it(down to 20).  I was hoping that I had a few weeks to get ready to make splits before they even thought of swarming.  Now I think that they may be ready to swarm by then.  I plan on going through them later this week to confirm my suspicions.
Title: Re: Drones flying
Post by: Rurification on March 21, 2017, 05:29:09 PM
Cao, you totally called it.   I am so glad you said something.

I inspected today and found drones in 2 hives, tons of drone comb in another hive.  No queen cells yet. 

The hive with nothing but drone comb seems to be queenless, so I borrowed a frame of brood from another hive and a frame of eggs from a 3rd.  I left them at one box. 

Fed everyone syrup and put supers on the hives with queens.   

Here's to a year of lots of honey. 
Title: Re: Drones flying
Post by: wadehump on March 22, 2017, 10:31:58 PM
Supers for me this weekend saw drones last weekend forecast looks good for the next 15 days dandi lions will bloom in about 2 weeks if the forecast holds then the buildup will be on