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Swarms and Drones


I have a new top bar hive. Bees were installed March 16th. To say they did well would be an understatement! After only 2 months in their new home they swarmed! Unfortunately, I did not have another hive ready or I could have collected the swarm. :cry:

Anyway, I just opened them up to check on the status of the queen cells. Didn’t see a new queen yet, but I have several capped queen cells. I also noticed that there were a huge number of drones in the hive. I would guess that close to half the remaining population of the hive is drones.

My question is: When a hive swarms, do any of the drones leave with the swarm, or do they all stay in the hive? I guess if they all stayed that would explain the greater number of drones in relation to the workers that are left.

Also, what do bees do with empty queen cells once the new queen is in place? Do they dismantle them? Or should I try to pinch them off?




Hi, Susan,

No experience, but from what I’ve read the bees will dismantle the queen cells once they are convince they won’t be needed.





Don’t worry about the drones. Some drones leave and some stay when the colony swarms. A booming colony will often create a LOT of swarms.

Sometimes they take down the queen cells, but most of the time they seem to leave empty queen cells – maybe for later use?