When I first read that bees don’t uncap and clean out drone pupae, as they do of different reasons with worker pupae, I was a little bit surprised as I saw it ‘all the time’. Then I read it another time and I started to realize that maybe my bees were doing something unusual.
When Varroa mites first started to create havoc in my apiaries it was not unusual to see sights like this
Now I can see a few on the cardboard below the entrance. I make a note and look closer on that hive every time I visit the apiary. It may turn up with wingless bees. I see fewer and fewer of them, glad for that. When I do I give the colony one or two pieces of dishcloth with 4-5 grams of thymol each, for at least ten days, but not more than three weeks. Anyway after 14 days nothing left almost of the piece. Some need more than once. More and more nothing. In average this year 5 grams/hive. Previous couple of years 10-15 grams per hive. None-selected colonies are recommended to have at least 50 grams per hive and year, for comparison. I tried in 2008-09 to use nothing and almost lost all, in spite of the African genes and small cell size. The mites that came were virusbombs I suspect. And no epigenetic and genetic adaption and selection had taken place. Now the situation looks much better. And still some drone pupae are seen being dragged out. Even a mite on this picture. Do you see it?