Lots of otherwise healthy drones crawling all over garden?
I have 3 hives in my garden, all from swarms I caught this spring. I have posted about my strongest hive fairly recently. They have two deeps and medium filled with brood and stores. I put another medium on with a queen excluder this past week.
I have been in the garden all day and there are drones crawling EVERYWHERE. I am pretty sure they're from my biggest hive. They don't look or act diseased, but they can't fly. As an experiment, I set a couple on the landing board of the mega hive, and they were immediately kicked off by the guard bees. There's still plenty of drones flying in and out of that hive.
I'd say there were probably 30 that I found crawling up my plants and on the ground. This isn't the first time it's happened. I saw one mention online where someone said they noticed this prior to their hive swarming?? I haven't noticed any other behavior that would indicate swarming is imminent.
Anyone else get crawling drones? If I had to posit a theory, it seems to happen after orientation flights. Maybe older drones are being thrown out in favor of new, fresh ones??