Bee Behaviour in Autumn

From: Backyard Bees

Drone Culling by Bees in Autumn

Drones have a very important purpose in the lifecycles of honeybees. As the carriers of important genetic material, they are the conduits of genetic information that is vital to the diversification and resiliency of future colonies.

Drones are created in the early summer months and are raised from unfertilized eggs laid by the Queen with the purpose of spreading her genetic code to other colonies. A queen and a colony will primarily lay drones when there is an abundance of surplus of nectar and pollen, and the health of the hive is at its highest.

Because drones do not take part in pollination or in the nursing of young bees, they are a drain on the resources of the hive, and therefore will not be tolerated within the beehive for the fall, winter and spring months. The limited storage of pollen and honey are put to better use with the more efficient and hive supportive members of the colony: the female workers and the queen.

In the fall you will see drones being shoved and or dragged out of the hive and left for dead. This is a natural progression of the hives lifecycle. These drones offer sustenance to other members of the habitat: wasps, birds, and small animals before the winter comes.