I lifted off the roof from the hive and saw at the same time how the dead drone on the roof slowly began to glide off it down into the grass. During a fraction of a second I saw that the drone had the mating organ depleted. It had mated, died and fallen down on the hive roof. That is, it had mated just above the hive or not far from it. The apiary was a drone congregation area. It had to be documented. I had the camera with me lying in the car.

But I realized when the drone fell down into the grass that it was too late. I would never find the drone and put it back on roof and photograph it. And I never did.

The apiary is situated in a little hollow, not a perfect place according to some as it would keep cool air in the winter. But the sun warmes the place and it has bushes and some trees that give shade during part of the day. Close to spring flowers, water supply and good summer flow. Upwinds are said to be a part of the forming of drone congregation areas, where virgin queens mate. It seems that the apiary happens to be a drone congregation area.

By the way there were two splits that had virgins ready for mating now.

Drone Congregation Area

2 thoughts on “Drone Congregation Area

  • July 13, 2013 at 17:42

    Back along we hunted drone congeration areas here in new england. we hunted DCA for drone comets. we succeeded in finding DCA. But failed in queen comet observing or queen breeding observing.Most naturalists say most all breeding in nature is by scent and color.The idea was to observe the angle and wind direction of the queens approach to the DCA. IF she approached the DCA from below with the wind in her face it would be scent and contrast or all black bees .If from above then scent and color .If at the same level then mostly scent.Hunting DCA is all about drone scent you find them in wind sheltered areas where drone scent is not dissipated by wind. AS the wing speed increases the DCA lowers.As the wind speed lowers or stops DCA go up out of sight from ground.also pick a day to hunt DCA when the yard is breeding and there are mixed high white clouds ,so go to wind sheltered areas in a moderate wind look directly overhead and contrast to the bottoms of white fare weather clouds.DCA show up good in right conditions. your drone maybe was on a glide slope from a DCA. DCA stay in same place day to day so its a good chance 50 yards or so .I”ve found DCA that close Thank God bees were not made to perfection ,But only made good and left to other creaction

    • July 13, 2013 at 21:45

      Thanks for the interesting comment Kennedy. Actually the apiary is the one to the right of the three pictures in the header picture. I’m standing on a small hillslope (going round the apiary) facing south. It’s farmland around it except to the east. But not to far away there are forest areas.

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