One of our Warre Hives dragged out its drones around the week of 22nd August, as normal this year. Subsequently, from September onwards it has been gripped by a second honey flow fervour which has seen its numbers increase dramatically so that in October it was flying as vigorously as in the main honey flow in June. Nothing on this scale has happened to this hive in the last two years. (by contrast our other warre is just ticking over, a few bees coming out, drones a distant memory & well hunkered down for winter).
On the 1st October drones re-appeared from this hive in substantial numbers and throughout the month our garden has echoed to the sounds of the noisy old beggars flying incongruously around yellowing autumnal vegetation. As I write on 12th November, during a brief sunny interlude in the rain, Drones are still flying unmolested by house bees even though there are dead bees littering the ground in front of the hive as the years workers gradually expire.
What is interesting is the excitement of the hive – hard to describe, but they seem to be scrambling to get at the forage even though by now supplies must be dwindling fast. I’ve read that the physical presence of Drones can have an effect on the behaviour of bees in the hive..?
I’d be interested if anyone else has experienced the same as this exceptionally warm autumn comes to an end, in the meantime I’ll be savouring the sounds of summer while they last!