Drones out and about already!

I noticed a lot of activity at the entrance of my hive today (despite it being a chilly 8°C), most doing orientation flights after being cooped up with the bad weather over the past week, but there was plenty of pollen coming in as well. I also noticed a couple dozen drones coming in and out, which I thought as a beekeeping novice wouldn’t be happening for a few more weeks at least.

I overwintered in a single deep and I’m worried about a lack of space. Next weekend should be reaching 16°C so I’ve planned a quick inspection then, and to remove a frame or two and replace with an empty foundationless to give them a bit of work to do. I’ll also be feeding them some sugar syrup to boost them up. By the end of August I want to have put on a second brood box (I only have two drawn frames in storage).

Is this too ambitious and just asking for chilled brood?

I did a quick inspection today and there was no evidence of comb building since late May. Squished half a dozen SHB and checked on my traps (the clear ones that hang between the outer frames) and in the oil there were a couple beetles and dozens of small black spherical objects (SHB poo?).

Since there’s room for more comb on one of the frames I decided to leave them alone for a few weeks before removing frames and feeding. Plenty of bees and resources. :+1:

What foundation are you using? If you are going foundation-less then the bees may have built drone comb last season. You could have lots of drones because of the size of the comb.