The days are getting shorter, the leaves are showing their colors, and my hives are starting to smell like toffee (or some would say dirty socks) from the goldenrod pollen. The end of another beekeeping season is drawing near as the drones receive their eviction notices.
Drones, male honey bees, live to eat and mate. Heck, they don't even feed themselves nor do they have stingers to protect the hive. But before all you guys think this is a great thing, you must know that they live for only one season. They either die after their male part is ripped from their body during mating or the girls kick them out because they are eating too much food.
This is a short video with lots of drones (they are bigger) who are hanging out (mostly in the upper right hand corner) just hoping that they can get back in the door. Occasionally, you'll see a bossy female worker bee herd them into the bachelor corner. Unfortunately, the guys won't last long outside the hive without any food and most will be found laying in the grass tomorrow.
So sorry, big dudes. You really are an important and often overlooked piece of the honey bee life cycle. We'll see you next spring!