Author Topic: Drone Question  (Read 240 times)

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Offline Zweefer

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Drone Question
« on: May 04, 2022, 10:23:03 am »
Having a discussion with another instructor for our beekeeping class, and he made a comment that drones are not welcome back after an unsuccessful mating flight (ie returning from DCA).  I said i didn't think that was true at all...
Does anyone have any documentation to support either claim, as all i could give was my own experience of seeing drones returning to the hives.
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Drone Question
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2022, 10:27:36 am »
I'll do some digging when I have the time.  There are a lot of variables I'm questioning.  What constitutes an "unsuccessful mating flight"?  So like, there's a bunch of drones flying around and a queen goes by, and they all follow her and some dude at the tail end of the line never gets a chance to even try to mate with her.  I don't see how the workers could know that the drone had the opportunity to mate and was unsuccessful.  But, say there is a drone who gets a hold of a queen and is bullied off by another drone, and now he smells like a queen or something, and the workers can tell that he tried and failed.  That I could believe, although I don't know if it's real or not.   
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Offline Zweefer

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Re: Drone Question
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2022, 10:33:40 am »
Very good food for thought!
I'll try to wait patiently.  :-\
Keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.
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Online iddee

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Re: Drone Question
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2022, 10:59:00 am »
Sounds like snake oil to me. Drones leave their born hive and bar hop from hive to hive, getting fed at each one. That's the way nature diversifies the gene pool.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Drone Question
« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2022, 06:28:08 pm »
I dug around on the internet for a while and skimmed Mark Winston's chapter on drones and mating in "The Biology of the Honey Bee", and I found no references to this concept of unsuccessful drones not being admitted solely on the grounds that they have failed to mate.  In fact I found several references on the internet to the contrary, and this sentence from Winston's book also indicates the opposite: "During sunny weather drones take several flights a day, averaging three to five flights an afternoon and returning to the nest for about 15 min between flights to consume additional honey for energy."

Also, not to say that nature always makes 100% logical sense (crawlybacks for example), but I don't know why the workers should care that the drones didn't mate.  Like, they have the queen make hundreds of them for the express reason that most will not be successful.  And on top of that, by not allowing the drones to reenter the hive for shelter and food, they actually REDUCE their chances of success.  Wally's point is also really good. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Zweefer

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Re: Drone Question
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2022, 06:50:03 pm »
Sounds like snake oil to me. Drones leave their born hive and bar hop from hive to hive, getting fed at each one. That's the way nature diversifies the gene pool.

And increases you mite count if the neighboring keeper is a poor one.
Keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.
Henry David Thoreau

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Drone Question
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2022, 07:32:29 pm »
Successful drones die instantly.  How is a colony to know if a drone has attempted to mate?
Drones come and go in between colonies mooching a free meal and shelter where they can find it.
15th, Mark Winston is a good resource to call on.  He studied drone congregating areas, queen mating, etc. under Dr. Chip Taylor, University of Kansas.
Zweefer, good call questioning this fellow instructors information.


Offline .30WCF

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Re: Drone Question
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2022, 08:14:07 pm »
I'll agree.
I'm not sure how they would know what that drone was up to when he left the hive.
Seeley talks about drone drift in hives and how hive spacing reduces drone drift in one of his studies.  Who knows what those drones may have been up to.

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Drone Question
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2022, 12:18:30 am »
Yup.. Drones find a close hive, flex a little, bat their eyes and all the ladies feed them and groom them, at least until fall... IE; when they are finished with them they get the BOOT, and become homeless and die lonely and cold....
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Offline tedh

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Re: Drone Question
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2022, 02:34:23 pm »
Dang, that scenario frightens me a bit, itll probably give me nightmares. However, its a sweet life while it lasts!  Ted
Share that which you have an abundance of.  In doing so both the giver and receiver are enriched.
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