Vita Bee Health Global Honeybee Health Experts

Higher or lower?

Vita’s blogger has been out again with a radio-controlled (UAV) drone chasing honey bee drone congregation areas (DCAs)

At the site of the first documented DCA (by Gilbert White on Selborne Common, Hampshire), I’ve been successful in finding DSCAs just 4m or 5m above the ground but have often wondered what is happening higher up. So, a UAV drone acquisition seemed the way to provide the answer. And it did.

At the end of the honey bee drone season, a few drones showed up at 10m. Not very convincing, but it was the end of the season. The drone flew higher – up to 40m – but nothing could be seen from the ground, until the video was downloaded and there they were! Not many, but clearly some. How many might there be up there at the height of the honey bee drone season?

And are there really two distinct flying levels? Some research has said that Carniolan and Italian bees do indeed mate a at different heights. Roll on next season.


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