View Full Version : Bee beards

08-16-2009, 03:34 PM
May all your hives have large bee beards this fall!!!!


08-16-2009, 05:40 PM
That's awesome. I want some bees.

09-07-2009, 08:30 PM
Hmmm I live a good beard in late summer.


05-25-2010, 12:30 PM
Wow, haven't read about this behavior. Too hot, cooling off?

Angelic Alchemist
05-26-2010, 11:44 PM
Kerry says the workers will usually kick the drones out of the hive because they get in the way. Drones don't build comb, raise larva, or collect honey. They just eat and mate, so they're pretty useless when the workers are busy tending to the daily activities of the colony. Hence, the drones have to just hang out on the outsides of the boxes, then they freeze to death when winter comes.

05-27-2010, 03:06 PM
What are the drones for then? I didn't even know any bees other than the queen could reproduce (an her mates obviously).

I must have lost my memory, I thought all the female worker bees were referred to as drones. Must have been incorrect - I need to read up!

05-27-2010, 03:22 PM
I think drones might have a diplomatic role too sometimes. Sleeping with foreign queens, and that sort of thing. Maybe it's important part in beehives being able to remain in close proximity with one another without any problems arising. Who knows?

Chevette Girl
05-27-2010, 03:27 PM
Pretty sure the drones are the males, the workers are just called workers... so yeah, they'd be pretty useless for anything other than fertilizing the queen...

Angelic Alchemist
05-28-2010, 12:56 AM
Workers are female. Drones are male. The hive makes drones in the spring to go on mating flights with queens from other colonies, which is how genetic diversity is attained/maintained within a colony. It's a kind of work exchange program.

05-28-2010, 01:07 AM
Thanks for the explanations, I'd been naively thinking that bees had the same hive structure and such as ants, which I'm a little more familiar with.

05-28-2010, 12:24 PM
Wow, if those are all drones, the queen in the hive needs replacement. You want a couple hundred drones, not a couple thousand. All they ever do is suck resources from the rest of the hive, and occasionally try to mate with a foreign queen. Said mating doesn't go well for the drone though; when the deed is done the drone falls to earth, killed nearly instantly.


05-28-2010, 11:56 PM
Yep, drones are the males, they get to go were they want. Drones will travel about 5 miles to other hives. As mentioned to prevent inbreeding. Hives like to keep about 10% of the population drones, during spring and summer for mating purpose. That is there only task.:cool:

Workers are just that the workers and make up the other 90% of hive population. Yes they are the females of the group. ONLY they can't lay fertile eggs. (whole story behind that).

AND the queen. MOSTLY there is only 1 queen per hive. (although it is figured about 10% of hives have 2 queens, only we don't notice cause after finding 1 you don't generally look for a second) All she does is lay eggs. WHICH is very important work.

Come late summer and early fall, the drones get the boot. They stop feeding them and start dragging them out the door.>:( Not so much to freeze in cold weather. The drones are long gone before the cold comes....

The bees (workers) hanging out are there cause it is to hot inside. They control the temp to about 97 ish degrees to raise brood. If it is a hot night and everyone is home. Some stay outside so it does not get to hot in the hive,, also they are fanning air throught the hive to cure honey...

Bee beards happen alot in Aug,,, on hot summer nights. It is a lovely sight for a beekeeper. That usually means a strong healthy hive... What is even better is to see bee beards with honey supers still on :cool:

So that is your bee lesson for today :p

Angelic Alchemist
05-29-2010, 12:11 AM
I stand corrected -- though Kerry has shown me bee beards that were almost entirely drones.

05-29-2010, 10:32 AM

PLUS a Link to a much larger different picture. (http://www.tc.umn.edu/~reute001/images/Sarah_bb1.jpg)

There are actually contests for this. Anybody here been brave/crazy enough to thy this?