The other thing we're seeing is a lot of bee activity and interaction, and we think the workers are kicking the drones out of the hive. Trish saw a couple of specific incidents where it was like one bee was escorting another bee out of the hive, just flying it right outta there and dropping it across the yard. I know bees will remove dead bees from the hive, too, but these seem to be interactions between live bees. Another theory is that maybe there are some robber bees from other hives trying to steal some honey. Well, maybe both of these things are happening!
A couple of savvy yellowjackets have been hanging around the hive, just waiting for any bees who happen to die. The yellowjackets don't care if they snack on drones or robber bees or just plain worker bees at the ends of their busy lives. I guess you might say that yellowjackets are the vultures of the insect world, at least in our backyard.