honey bee behavior

Drone eviction in July?

The temperature dropped to 46 degrees F last night. Alder leaves are falling by the bushel. It rained all last week. I wore a sweater all day yesterday. Instead of brown and crispy, my lawn is still green. What is going on?

Summer never really started here in the Puget Sound area and I’ve kind of accepted all the cold and rainy weather. But this afternoon, when I saw my drones being evicted, I totally freaked. It is July! What gives?

I searched my posts and discovered I saw drone evictions last summer on August 14. At the time, I thought that was early, but the 14th is over two weeks from now.

So while the rest of the country is sweltering in oppressive heat, I’m giving up on summer this year. It just ain’t gonna happen. I trust the bees: if they say it’s over, it’s over.


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  • I just had two hives swarm on me yesterday in Granite Falls, and judging from folks I’ve talked to, this week is a big week for swarms. I haven’t seen any sign of drone eviction yet here.

  • I was just noticing some forlorn drones at the entrance of my top-bar hive here in the Willamette Valley and I thought the same thing! How can this be? I guess we really aren’t going to get any tomatoes this year. Well the bees did substantially improve my raspberry crop, yum.

    • Phoebe,

      Yes, it seems to be the year of the berry. I have more (and bigger) black raspberries and huckleberries than I ever had. With such a late (or non-existent) summer I think the bees concentrated on the berries.

  • Hey Jeremy,

    I had a colony swarm on the 19th. It would have swarmed around 10 days earlier but I kept cutting queen cells out. Finally I gave in and let nature take its course. My fear was if I delayed the onset and they swarmed in late August I would have two colonies too weak to make it through winter, that is assuming I caught them. At least this way I have a chance to build the two of them up for fall.

    White clover just kicked in this week so I assume there is still some summer left. Fireweed is starting to bloom now and then there still Goldenrod and asters as well.