I continue to notice signs of drones getting kicked out of their hives. Most recently I noticed drone pupae removed from the hive. Today I noticed this:
The drones are being pestered out of the hive which, in this case, means up through the inner cover hole.
I could tell the drones had been loitering around with no purpose on the inner cover for a while. Most were in a cold stupor from not feeling the direct heat from the cluster. At this rate, most of them will be dead this time next month.
A also noticed a larger-than-normal number of drones in the honey supers of my one hive that has honey supers. And I think I know why it’s filling with drones. I may have goofed. Seeing how the honey supers are full of honey, honey that’s just not all capped yet, I decided after a quick inspection ten days ago to remove the queen excluder. The queen had nowhere to lay in the honey supers, so I didn’t think giving the bees easier access would hurt. But now it looks like honey that was capped a week ago has been uncapped — perhaps because the drones have full access now. Drones need to be fed, right? They’re getting fed honey from the honey supers, maybe? I know it’s a bit of stretch, but… it’s in the realm, possibly? At any rate, I may keep queen excluders on all the time now just to keep the drones out of my honey. Just in case.