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Apr 26

Drones!

It was a very pleasant day, a bit windy but sunny and in the mid 60′s.  Plenty warm enough to do some quick hive inspections and another round of grafting.  This is the latest in the season it’s been in 10 years before I’ve seen adult drones in the hives.   Not a great number yet, but there is plenty of capped drone brood.

I’ve learned over the years that you have to listen to what the bees are telling you.  If you watch closely they’ll let you know when the time is right to begin grafting or to make splits.  This year their drone production has been behind in spite of feeding pollen patties early.  Somehow they knew the weather would still be too cool for mating flights.  The 10 day forecast doesn’t look much better,  the highs are still in the mid 50′s and 60′s save for one day that promises to be very wet.  So there would be no opportunity for queens to make mating flight in the near future anyways.

The challenge late this coming week will be populating mating nucs.  I’m hoping the forecast gets revised upwards or we won’t be able to make the splits for mating nucs… low 50′s is really too cool to open hives for long.

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