Winter drones abound

it’s still winter here in Adelaide but apparently no-one told the bees? Today they are so active- frenetic- bringing in huge loads of pollen and buzzing like there’s no tomorrow. And amongst all those foragers- all of a sudden- there are dozens of freshly minted drones! looks like I’ll have to have a peek inside very soon to make sure they aren’t brooding upon any insidious swarmy plans.


I noticed similar hear in my hive in Perth before I packed it down for winter (mind you, I feel it’s a sham to claim I ‘packed my hive down for winter’ given where I live…not sure any of our Northern Hemisphere cousins would count my winter as a real winter…). Drones were still present but numbers very greatly reduced. I haven’t seen any about the last few weeks though (but then again, I haven’t been in the hive [too wet and windy] and I haven’t been home during the week [unfortunately I need a job to pay for my hobby…]).

I’ll be interested to hear what you observe on the frames regarding the number of drone cells. I’ve got to wait for the skies to clear before I can get in an have a look ( But given I’ve noticed the plants starting to turn as if it’s spring I’ll definitely be taking an early look this year.

I’m anticipating an August harvest…!

1 Like

What I’ve (jealousy) noticed from afar is all the rain you’ve been having. I see Perth has had 271mm so far this winter (in just two months)! Augurs well for a bumper honey crop in late winter/spring over there I guess…

we’ve had hardly any rain all winter- very dry. Someone told me that that can cause the gums to flower heavily? It certainly seems some gum nearby is flowering heavily judging by all that pollen.

1 Like

Over here in SE Queensland on the Sunshine Coast we have all the signs that Spring is here early, JeffH is extracting and doing splits already. I am doing the same as swarm prevention. Loads of pollen and nectar coming in and even better bee weather forecast for the next 2 weeks. All indications are that Winter is over and an early Spring with gums and wattle flowering early. Back into T shirts and shorts, 26C today, not bad for what is supposed to be mid winter…
Cheers Jack

True. Water stress most plants and they flower better. Water them profusely and they grow.

1 Like

My information is that our native eucalypts are opportunistic and will wait for the right conditions before flowering. They may even abort the buds if conditions are wrong.
I see south west WA, SA and Tas are bucking the dry trend happening in the rest of our great continent. I’m seeing many trees with buds on them here as a result, sounds like Jack is too.

1 Like

Hi @skeggley

Really dry in west of NSW from what I hear. Out of interest I have tallied the rainfall for Perth and then Australia’s second driest and driest capitals (long term that is) for the year to date. Perth 473.8, Hobart 354.4 and Adelaide 186.6