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Kicking drones out of new hive (was: Under attack?)


Noobee here, Western North Carolina mountains.

Installed my bees two days ago. Made an entrance reducer from cardboard. Put the syrup can over the hole to give them something to start with (though there is lots of blooming around).

Today, noticed some drama at the entrance. Seems that the ones that they are pulling out are a little bit bigger and darker, but it’s hard for me to say for sure. Also seems the bigger ones are buzzing louder as they come in to enter the hive.

At 0:35 you can see one get pulled out, and they drop to the ground. One on the ground, they seem to try to pull it away for a couple minutes, then leave it.

Are they just pulling out dead/dying bees, or are they getting attacked from a neighbor hive? (There are not any hives in sight at least.)

Bigger, darker one that was dragged out is on left.

Related, is there a resource with a collection of videos to get to know their language? Was cool to see @Michael_Bush explaining the circling (getting to know the area) in the installing video.


The big bees are drones.
Check out the big eyes and blunt abdomen

No sign of fighting.
Drones come and go at their leisure between hives.
They may be from another colony somewhere but the most likely explanation is that your bees’ different fathers are responsible.


OK! It’s all new to me. The wrestling looked like drama. Are they just cleaning dead ones out?

Looking forward to knowing what the different motions and sounds mean.


They likely were shipped with drones and they don’t feel they have the resources or nectar flow to support drones right now so they are booting them to conserve resources. Same thing that happens prior to winter, or during derths.


Drones from other hives in your area will turn up and reside in your hives, if you are in the midst of spring they shouldn’t be getting kicked out, however @adagna may have a very good point, the colony may not be mature enough to support any freeloaders.


I am seeing something the same. I am seeing dead smaller bees be brought out and sometimes the larger (darker) one will even fly off with them, but usually just leave them on the ground.
I just installed my NUC yesterday and so far today there are maybe a dozen on the ground that I’d say just died.

Here is a video I took of one of the times I watched a bigger bee haul a smaller one out from inside of the hive. This time the small dead one was left, but twice before I saw them flown out of my sight. Thoughts?

In my own post about my install I showed some videos of the bees seeming happy and busy along with them fighting off a wasp (over and over until I was able to kill the wasp myself).

P.S. I did see around a 6-8 (maybe a dozen) drones in my hive when I installed the NUC yesterday.