I was looking at the photos from my earlier post today and discovered that there are drones flying in today's 56 degree temperature. I went out to the hives specifically to see the drones in person - not just in a photo that I took. Sure enough, I saw three drones enter each of my hives in a space of less than a minute. Here they are in all their Frida Kahlo glory - with their eyes looking just like her eyebrows:
Below the large bee about to enter the hive is a drone.
In the photo below, the drone is closest to the raised edge of the entry in center of the photo.
In the photo the drone is right in the center of the photo. I believe the bee away from the entrance and near the center of the photo may also be a drone from how his eyes look, but we can't see his body well enough to know.
Two things to note from this:
1. It's a great idea to take photos when you inspect your beehives. You often learn something from the photos that you might not have noticed at the moment. I never saw the queen in the hive in my first few years of beekeeping but I did see her in photos that I took.
2. We may have an early swarm season in Atlanta with mature drones already on the fly! If there is a swarm call list where you live, be sure to put yourself on it and learn how to catch a swarm if you don't already know. Here's a video of a swarm I caught last year on April 19, 2021:
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