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Where are our drones?

Well, its been endoftermitis over here for us! We have been to all the events, end of term concerts, music exams (distinction, so proud), assemblies, sports days, my own assignment results (I passed by the way) and training for Ride London (not me, not on your nelly, thats the hubby).

So we popped up just to check the hive was still there. We should be visiting every week so must up our game.  We decided to give them the sugar solution again as there is slow spreading into the new frames though it is starting to happen. The queen was there and my, there were alot of bees, plenty of eggs and lots of capped cells.

Where are the drones?

Right so, in case we need a recap there are three types of bee in a hive. One queen, lots of workers, and at different times of the year several thousands or several hundreds of drones or none at all.
The job of the drone is to fertilise the queen, when they have done that they are not much help. They spend time in the hive, eating the honey and not doing…

Where are our drones?

Well, its been endoftermitis over here for us! We have been to all the events, end of term concerts, music exams (distinction, so proud), assemblies, sports days, my own assignment results (I passed by the way) and training for Ride London (not me, not on your nelly, thats the hubby).

So we popped up just to check the hive was still there. We should be visiting every week so must up our game.  We decided to give them the sugar solution again as there is slow spreading into the new frames though it is starting to happen. The queen was there and my, there were alot of bees, plenty of eggs and lots of capped cells.

Where are the drones?

Right so, in case we need a recap there are three types of bee in a hive. One queen, lots of workers, and at different times of the year several thousands or several hundreds of drones or none at all.
The job of the drone is to fertilise the queen, when they have done that they are not much help. They spend time in the hive, eating the honey and not doing very much at all. Their primary purpose of mating with the Queen causes them to die afterwards as their reproductive organs are torn out of their body in the process. From a potential 1000 in a hive only 20 get to do this, the rest pop back and hang out in the hive for the summer, since this only occurs once in a season. It all takes place at a secret location only the bees know about called Drone Congregation Area or DCA. This is the same place every year and all the drones know where to go when the time arrives.

Drones are bigger than the workers and smaller than the queen. When I look for them, I look for their furry black head to spot them.

Heres an idea of size



Suffice to say that on Sunday there were no drones in evidence. A fellow beekeeper there at the same time said they might have already all gone and it wasn't a problem. When the hive begins the process of preparing for colder winter with less forage, those with the least contribution to make that will just use resources are kicked out to enable the hive to survive better.

Once they are out, they die. Harsh, huh?

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Looking good!

Pouring with rain today for 10 mins or so I know not best timing but that when we delivered our hive to the apiary. Moving from our lounge to the apiary is certain to increase our chances of bees taking up residence.

Note the hubby standing in the dry patch under the trees.






We left the super on, realise thats a mistake but since its currently empty not sure it matters yet.

Deadlines, deadlines

We should have visited the bees today, just to check all is well, they have enough to eat, they are settling in, checking any problems with the neighbours etc etc, but we didn't. Work got in the way today, plus it really is too hot to be wearing the kit!


We got this - see below -  from the National Bee Unit, we've got the sugar in and we are making up the solution tomorrow, we don't want to be responsible for starvation!

Beekeepers may wish to monitor their colony food levels closely, particularly in any splits, nucleus colonies or colonies where the entire spring honey crop was removed. In some areas of the UK, our Inspectors are concerned at finding colonies that are starving.Feed can be prepared from refined white sugar and water mixed at a 2:1 ratio or one of the proprietary ready mixed syrups available from Beekeeping equipment suppliers.