Honeyflow.com | FAQ's | Community |

Bees cannibalizing drone larvae, Normal? (short video)


#1

In one of my hives (my stronger one) i saw the workers pulling out the drone larvae and cannibalizing them. There were 2-3 workers literally heads inside the drone hollowing him out then discarding the husk that was left. I made a short video. Is it normal for them to eat their larvae? Turn to 1080p for best viewing. :slight_smile:


#2

Yes, it’s normal. It usually indicates a pollen dearth and possibly a general dearth.


#3

Fireweed is in bloom so they have tons of nectar available. I’m not sure of the pollen value of fireweed, i don’t think its much compared to other flowers around here in Alaska.


#4

Is that the hive you looked into 4 days ago?
Perhaps you are looking in too often?
Fireweed pollen is dark green/blue so you should see them bringing that in


#5

was more like 7. takes a couple days to edit/upload. I have a week straight of rain coming or else i would have waited.


#6

What was the state of their stores?
It’s the middle of summer here with lots of forage being battered by rain for the last two weeks; I’m feeding two of mine.


#7

This ones stores are good i think. I have a longer (probably too long) video uploading now. I show every frame so you all can remotely mentor/monitor me. That was the idea anyways. I’m working on getting faster. I did cover the top box when i took it off to preserve the heat this time.


#8

Then don’t worry about the drones :slight_smile:


#9

my flow hive has only one solid frame of nectar and that’s it… they are eating pollen patty like crazy. I should probably start feeding the flow hive. I have a top feeder for them would that be appropriate?


#10

Flowers do not a nectar flow equal lol.
Too little rain, too much rain, etc can shut down a flow. Some years the Locust trees fill box upon box, other years…nothing.


#11

I will keep that in mind. Ahh the intricacies of beekeeping. I only say there’s nectar because they are filling alot of comb with it and i haven’t fed them for over a month.There’s a lot more in there than after i fed.


#12

VSH (Varroa Sensitive Hygiene) bees are well-known for this behavior.


#13

Excellent information. I hope others learn from this as much as me :smiley:


#14

Here is an article discussing it:


#15

Crossed my mind too…


#16

I’ll look more closely next inspection for mites.


#17

Visual inspection is pretty unreliable, and I am not sure that this is the best time of year to do it anyway. I like to get an idea of mite load going into fall - say late August, unless there are other signs of a heavy load such as deformed wings. Sugar roll or alcohol wash are the most accurate ways to count. I use the sugar method, as you won’t kill so many bees doing the test.
http://www.tc.umn.edu/~reute001/htm-files/powder-sugar.html
This is a detailed description of how to do it, but I actually bought a “Gizmo” to do mine this year - pretty cool device, and the plans are free if you want to make your own.
https://www.kelleybees.com/Shop/23/Queens-Bees/Bee-Health/4018/Varroa-Sampling-Gizmo


#18

You might find it difficult to see them.
pop in your inspection tray for a couple of days. dead mites fall to the floor. It’s not an accurate method of determining infestation but it will give you an idea


#19

Good link for Varroa management and testing.


#20

Seconded. It is a great link! The only thing missing is a stronger recommendation (and guidelines) for vaporizing oxalic acid, but the US is a little behind in that regard… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: