First DCA of the season
Vita Bee Health’s blogger is back on the DCA hunt. Here’s one near Vita’s offices in Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK.
Drones often get a bad rap. Varroa mites prefer their cells to breed in, they gather no honey, they use up hive resources … but, surprise surprise, without them there would be no more colonies. And, left to their own devices, free-living colonies will produce lots more drones than a managed colony, which is provided with worker foundation.
Although it’s known that many colonies in this area suffered badly (and died) in the winter, there are still plenty of drones around and they came out to do their patrol duty in a nearby drone congregation area (DCA).
A drone’s working day is short. At 16:41, drones were seen returning to one colony quite nearby at the rate of two every five seconds – obviously their day’s work was done.