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Larger than normal bees

I’ve just noticed that I have two different types of bees in my hive, the ‘normal’ kind and a larger kind. The larger ones look more like a blow fly and seem rather awkward in their movement. Does anyone know what 's going on here?
Big Bees

The photo is a bit fuzzy for me, but they look like drones. If they are, then that would be perfectly normal at this time of year in your climate. :blush:

Thanks Dawn, that’s a relief. For some reason I have never noticed this before. That hive has already swarmed twice this season, within a month of each other, and they were large swarms.

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Helmut, do you notice any drones while doing brood inspections?

Yes, I actually have noticed them before Jeff, but never so many of them. :slight_smile:

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You have a picture of a drone and some workers. Drones are much bigger and have eyes that are huge and meet in the middle of their face. They also have a blunt back end.

The bee closer to the camera is a drone, (male bee) and will be seen below the QX in the brood area of your hive when you do your regular inspections. You will find more in the warmer weather and much less in cold winters as the worker bees will send them packing out of the hive.

Thank you Michael and Peter, all clear now :).

When hives swarm in early spring- they have generally made a lot of drones beforehand as bees tend to make the most drones early in spring. After swarming there is a break in brood rearing as the new queen goes about getting mated. Drones take longer to develop than all the other bees- so there is often a small point in time (a few days really) where all the workers have emerged- yet there is still a lot of drone brood that is still developing. At this time you might look in your hive and only find drone brood- and get confused thinking you have a laying worker. You then have a period of time then when they have emerged and there is quite a high ratio of drones to workers in the hive- as when the bees swarmed the younger worker bees left- the older ones stayed and now they are dying off. Then the new queen starts making new workers and over summer the drone to worker ratio drops a lot.

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