As we close in on winter, the colonies cut loose all the free loaders in the hive. Sounds harsh but their survival rests simply on making sure they have stores to last them the winter. And theres no room to feed anyone who is not going to carry their weight. I went through a couple hives today to see that all the drones (male bees) had been exited from the hives. The drones dont do alot (none) of work around the hive. They cant feed themselves, dont do any housekeeping, and have only one thing on their mind. During the winters months there is no need for them in the hive so all the worker bees (the ladies) gather together and push all the drones out of the hive and dont let them back in. The queen will start laying drone cells in spring when there is again a use to have drones around the hive. Next on the list is all the older worker bees. Together with the queen reducing the amount of eggs she lays each day and kicking out the freeloaders the overall mass of the colony is reduced.
Its our job as the beekeeper to make sure that they have enough stores for winter and that there are enough bees in the colony to keep each other warm.