Around this time of year, a behavior known as “expulsion of the drones” may be seen. Female honey bees will begin to kick out drones by mid-August because mating season is over and drones are no longer necessary. They will only drain the colony of previous food stores needed for winter, so the colony wants them gone. Female worker bees drag drones out of the beehive and blockade the entrance so they cannot return. Though a bit harsh, any living drones this time of year were unsuccessful during matin season, and there is no need for the drones to stick around draining the colony of food and resources that are instrumental to winter survival.
While this is happening, the queen’s laying will fluctuate, and she will generally start to slow down as we move toward fall. The next 2-3 brood cycles will be very important for winter survival, so we are evaluating if the queens are laying plenty of eggs and raising a healthy brood.