Autumn Management: Worker Bees Kicking Out the Drones

For a beginner, seeing a lot of evicted or even dead bees outside the hives is startling. We’re here to tell you that this is completely unusual, especially for this season!

So why do the worker bees kick out the drones? 

First of all, you must understand the role of the drones in the life of the bees. We’ve discussed this on our previous blog, read here.

You can pretty much call the drone a king of the hive. They get to be fed and cleaned up just as much as the queen does! However, they do not particularly help in the daily activities of the hive. 

But why do they kick them out during this season? 

Basically, autumn is the season for the extreme cool temperatures during the winter season. This goes the same for the bees. Firstly, the worker bees start to change the shape of the brood cells to tell the queen to decrease the laying of eggs for brood. 

This is because the bees would have less mouth to feed. Foragers will continue to search for pollen and nectar sources until they cannot find any for their honey stores. Honey stores for the winter season are essential for their survival. 

Once the queen bee has started to decrease laying eggs, worker bees will then start to starve the drones. This is also relative to how much foraging activity is done. When the foragers do not return with much nectar and pollen stores, there wouldn’t be enough for the brood, queen and the workers. The worker bees will then weaken the drones slowly so when they kick them out, the drones cannot come back, leaving them for dead in the cold. 

You may have the urge of pity for the drone and help him get his way back to the hive, but this won’t do as the workers will kick him out again!

Beekeeping has all of its wonders. The bees follow their own timeline and it is up to us to understand them and work with their unique way of life.