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Do Drones ever forage? Or is this one just confused?


today in the garden i saw something I don’t recall ever seeing before- a drone on a flower seemingly foraging. I did a quick google and google said drones don’t forage… Is this one just confused as to its gender identity? If I was Cory Bernadi I guess I might be tempted to blame this on the Yes campaign…


Hi Jack, I think it’s only Humans (Homo sapiens) that get confused as to their gender. He might have been grabbing a feed before joining the rest of the mob at the drone congregation area.


So drones feed themselves sometimes? That’s news to me.:grinning:


Hi Jack, I have absolutely no idea:) I was just being silly. A lot of things in nature have us scratching our heads at times.


@JeffH I have a question about drone brood for you: I saw in two hives ugly looking drone brood where the capping looked ‘saggy’ for want of a better description. Instead of the perky bullet shaped capping you normally see. This was on burr comb underneath frames- and on one outermost ugly frame face. At first I was worried it was AFB- so I did the matchstick test- inside were normal healthy looking white partially formed drones. No goo at all. Everything else looks perfect in all my hives- no queen cells, beetles, wax moth or anything else out of order to be seen.

Do you know what I mean by saggy looking capping? Could this be the result of partially chilled drone brood at extremities in the hive?

I’ll take a photo next time I look in on them.


Yes Jack, I was thinking along the lines of what you concluded with as I was reading. It could be the start of chalk brood for those cells. It’s kind of funny with drone larvae, I don’t think the bees look after it as well as they do with worker brood. But then we have to consider that if a lot of recently hatched drones are congregating in that area, it’s difficult for the workers to look after the brood properly with all the young drones in the way.

It is interesting to note that according to a video I watched, the workers will assist the drones while they are emerging, while at the same time allow workers to emerge unassisted, for the most part.

I will sometimes find chalk brood in drones, while at the same time find the worker brood relatively clean.

One of my recent musings was to wonder if the raised drone cap was to make it easier for the workers to assist the drones out, & not just for our convenience to easily identify them.


Interesting… chalk brood is a possibility as one of the hives I saw this saggy looking drone brood had chalk brood last season. The 'mummies’ckeared up months ago though- since then its seemed perfect- nice brood pattern and full of bees. I think I’ll remove that ugly comb and put in fresh foundation…


I have read that they can and do, sometimes. Especially if they get caught out overnight (which can happen). The only difference is, they forage for emergency personal use, not for the benefit of the hive.



Help myself… help my hive :sunglasses:

The lord looks after those that look after themselves (which seems a bit redundant but there you go- he moves in mysterious ways…).

I watched that drone for a while- he wasn’t just resting he was getting right into the flowers.


Wow. Wonderful. I’ve never seen that. Lucky you.


Drones do and will feed themselves if they need to. Pretty neat though to see one foraging, I have only seen them feed themselves in a hive. Presume that worker bees give them something extra that helps with semen production but have never seen any research on this, just confirmed from observations while inseminating a couple of hundred queens a year.