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Drones are taking over


lasted checked my hive about month ago, today was surprised to find a ‘new’ queen.
the last one was dark and this one is light colour.
also very surprised that my hive had so many drones, only drone covered cells [there is some capped honey though] but no brood covered cells.
i am assuming my lady queen has not mated yet???
any suggestions to have her do a flight??


She won’t do that. Once she is laying she will not fly out again. You’re sunk I’m afraid. You’ll have to squash her and get a new queen.


thanks dee… thort that was the case, going to take some time to get a queen so guess might have to start again because most of the hive are drones


So sorry. It’s a hell of a thing.


On the other hand if the queen has good genes from her mother and father those drones will expand the local gene pool :wink:


Where are you. What season is it? If there is time you could let them raise a new one? Do you have another colony or a mate with one? Kill the queen and put in a frame with eggs and young larvae. They will make their own with no more interference from you. You won’t even have to thin emergency cells down. Just leave them to it.


yep onto it, altho beginner with only one hive… am in melbourne australia, just started spring. attempting to find someone who will give me frame, maybe lucky enuf with queen cell already because not many workers left in my hive.


are you absolutely sure they are all drone comb? I don’t want to sound condescending and it sounds like you know what you are seeing- but just wanted to be absolutely sure before you do anything radical.


this is what i have, new queen down bottom and i am assuming the cells are drones, and they are quickly eating up all our honey…


That’s a shame - but yes all drone comb.:confused:

That queen looks really long?

For the experienced beeks: would it be possible to save whatever workers are left by putting all the drone comb in another box above a queen excluder- and adding a new nucleus package and queen to a new brood box underneath?

Also can you be sure those drones come from that new queen- or is there a chance workers laid them in the interim between queens?


Are the drone cells in a solid block or are they scattered?
The other thing to consider: could your old queen have been failing, laying mostly drones but enough fertilised eggs to enable the colony to replace her? They might have kept her on till the new one managed to get mated. Have a good look for single eggs in worker cells.
If your new queen is a drone layer the drones should be in a solid pattern.


That looks like drones in worker comb. There may have been a laying worker for a while. The new queen may be alright, given a little bit more time.


ta jeff, yes the drones are where previous workers where hatched… and most are not clumped together. guess will wait week and see if queen does her job


Hi Dennis,
Did you get any more pics of your frames? Would be good to see if there is an issue, from the one photo your frame looks normal to me. Some picture of the other frames will help us to build a picture of your hive. I have loads of drones in my hives at the moment, coming into spring queens will lay up drones for swarming season, is not unusual.


more pic… thanks all for your help


yeah, your comb is not looking too good there. Did any of the other frames look better than this? My suggestion is as Jeff suggested, wait a little longer to see if this queen begins to lay. But in the meantime call up some Queensland Queen breeders and see if they have any queens that they could ship. The concern is that there may not be enough bees to take care of the brood. The alternative is to get your name onto swarm lists, swarming has started and will ramp up in the coming weeks, you could combine a swarm with these bees (being careful of disease of course).


thanks for your info… thort i was in trouble


my poor queen has just gone to meet her maker??? interestingly she had gone a bit darker in color.
there was no brood altho there was a number of dead drones half hatched. hive is 1/2 drones and 1/2 ladies.
question… what now, do i just leave the hive to die out naturally or do i open it up to hurry the process. i have another nuc coming in about 3weeks to ‘try again’


Where in Melbourne are you? If not too far away, I can help you with a frame of Brood if you are still interested in seeing if they can make their own Queen. I may even be able to help with frame with Queen cells? I’m not absolutely certain re Queen cells, will have to wait till inspect Tuesday (if weather permits) I am going by numbers & behaviour at this point. Am definitely able to help with frame of brood though.


wow did i need u couple weeks ago… the whole hive is gone now as the workers and drone have died. now waiting for new nuc. hopefully better luck this time