At the inspections last weekend there was only one colony with obvious numbers of drones present. We’ve had nearly a full month with no appreciable nectar flow and the colonies have almost all ejected the drones. Here’s one of the few that were left:
Not long mate until you too are chucked out during the autumn purge. Watch your back!
This colony was a swarm that was attracted to a bait hive in early June. I don’t know whether bee genetics influences the time when drones are ejected from the hive, but it’s notable that almost all the other queens in the apiary are half sisters (unrelated to the queen from the swarm) and there wasn’t a drone to be seen in half a dozen hives. The other notable thing about this colony is that the Varroa levels remain stubbornly high despite three treatments by sublimation. I’m just starting a second series of treatments to get the numbers down to a more acceptable level.
Perhaps the varroa levels are high in that colony because it’s keeping on more drones.
Could be … but there were only a couple of dozen or so. I suspect it’s more likely that they brought a load of phoretic mites with them when the swarm arrived and that – for whatever reason – the subsequent treatments missed some that continued to replicate well as the colony built up.
I’ll get ’em 😉
Yep, nuke those dastardly mites!