Immature drones thrown out

I noticed this at the entrance of my FlowHive. Is there a reason for this?


It could pay you to see what in on the core flute slider. Also do a thorough brood inspection to see if there is any SHB damage on the drone comb.

I agree with @JeffH, there is some mischief going on, which could use an inspection and perhaps some photos if you can. Chalk brood can look like that, although often there are black mummies and detached bee segments too. Hygienic bees will throw out pupae which they consider unhealthy too, often before you can see which disease they detected.

A photo of some capped brood areas could be very helpful, in addition to a look at what is on your slider.


I’m with Jeff n Dawn on deeper check n investigation inside the brood area. Try to get several clean brood frame pixs (good ones like the one you posted). Check n photograph the SBBoard slider too. I have trained myself to see n find (good/bad/maybe) evidence pulling the bottom core slider once a week. This doesn’t disrupt my girls (even during our chilly wet winters < 0dgs C> here near Seattle)…

. Here’s several example pix’s from my Flow-hive core slider showing dead mite drop after recent treatment.

Good luck n happy :blush: Beekeeping,


Thanks all for your concerns and tips.
Today I checked first the slider board underneath and except for a few small droppings from a small gecko, and a few ants running around in 1 corner, I did not see much disturbing signs of disease or infection,:

But at the feeder area there were several discarded drone bodies again:

So I prepare together with my boy Thijs to check what is happening. I must tell here that is is now “winter” in Thailand, that means the temperature drops at night to 17-20 degrees Celsius, which is cold for these bees that are used to normally 30-44 degrees Celsius. The activity outside the hive is very low and in fact I feared an empty hive, with massive die-off.
Luckily, nothing of that!
There were quite some bees , mostly young, above the divider and between the Flow frames.

Then looking between the lower frames it was clearly packed! Between all frames and the sides fully loaded with bees! I guess they just feel cold and are not willing to fly out!

I did not see any pests or signs of disease, didn’t spot the queen this time but plenty of brood in different stages.
I hope I can relax now… but please tell me if you spot any disturbing signs.

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Thank you for the extra photos. Your hive looks pretty good to me, and I don’t see anything immediately obvious.

If your bees think you are going into winter, it is normal behavior to throw out drones. I haven’t seen them discard drone larvae like that, but drones have to be fed by the hive once they emerge for 3-5 weeks, and it would be sensible to remove that drain on food stores if your colony feels that winter is approaching.

The more common thing to see is adult drones being chased out of the hive. There was a nice little blog about this recently here:

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Check your varroa load. Some of those bees have deformed wings.

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Interesting, I looked but I didn’t see those. Good thought though, it would explain the discarded drone larvae if the bees are a VSH strain. I saw a few chewed pupal caps in the photos, so it looks like they are preparing to throw out more.

Might I suggest a sugar roll test for the mite count, @RobThai? It is the second most accurate method.

I don’t doubt the suggestions made here, i will look into that. Regarding the deformed wings, could you circle those bees in my pictures and attach here, so I know what to look for?

I looked into many cells with larvae and I never saw any little black or brown spot on them, that could suggest mites. I’ve seen them on pictures and I was looking for that, but nothing so far.


That is the worst possible method for counting mites. Over 99% of them are invisible - either sitting in capped brood cells, or tucked away between segments and bee parts, probably so that they are out of reach of grooming by the bees.

You really need to do a sugar roll, alcohol wash or an accelerated mite drop using Oxalic Acid Vapor. That is the only way to get an accurate count. If @Dee can see DWV, you should probably be treating anyway, but personally, I would still do a count.

These may not be the best, but if I had to pick a couple of bees which concerned me, it would be these:

My own bees with DWV look like this: