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  Saturday, 20 December 2014
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Today in Montpelier was cold but with no breeze and bright sun I noticed a lot of bees in the snow and regular forays out from the outside hives. The snow was appropriately spattered with yellow and I saw bees come out and fly around from my vantage point on the deck above. Some would fly off as if in search of food others would stay close and then go back in and still others would fly around and land in the snow. Very few that hit the snow ever took off again. Being new to this spectacle I couldn't help but go down and look. A few of the bees, when picked up soon enough and warmed in my hand would buzz off and actually go back to the hive but the exposure time seems to be measured in minutes before the white death takes them. As I looked at the hives close up I saw a very large bee clinging to the tar paper wrapping on the side. Inexperienced as I am I thought, "Is that a queen?" so I found something to scoop her into to examine her further. Once I got a good look though I realized it was a drone - the eyes gave him away.Clearly he has been in the hive up until now and for whatever reason suddenly found himself outside and out of luck. Well now I had him in my hand and he was looking up at me and I, being male, sympathized with his plight. So Bob is currently residing in a jar on the kitchen counter near the window. He seems inclined to lap honey from the end of a toothpick and seems more inclined to sit on my fingertip than fly anywhere.I went out tonight and expected Bob to be belly up when I returned but he was quite happy to have another honey feeding and climb up on his pencil perch to sleep it off. I'm now a bit curious to see how long this might go on. I haven't read anywhere about the life expectancy of drones but I would imagine old Bob has been around since September. How he wasn't evicted when the cold weather came is a mystery but I've told him that if he can hang on for about five months, I'll fuel him up with honey and he can head out to the nearest DCA to try his luck. I'm not optimistic but who knows? Does anyone know the life expectancy of a drone?
7 years ago
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#1095
Well, here's to you Bob. Cheers. :lol:
7 years ago
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#1094
I was surprised to see Bob hale and hearty this morning and eagerly looking for another drop of honey. I began to see why the girls kick them out in the Fall. So needy! Sufficiently breakfasted, I took Bob out perched on my finger and pointed him into the upper entrance of the nearest hive. He strolled in as if he owned the place and I trust was able to turn on the charm for the ladies inside. Certainly his chances looked better than all the bees that came out yesterday and met winter face to face and are lying frozen on the snow. Nature can be harsh at times.
7 years ago
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#1093
Not all the drones get kicked out in the autumn. I see some flying about when the temps are warm enough in late winter and early spring...before brood rearing begins. So, I guess some live all winter. Bob might re-enter the cluster if you placed him back into the upper entrance.
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