View Full Version : Cordovans Drones
11-02-2004, 07:38 PM
I'm going to raise Cordovan Queen's this coming spring.Ordering breeder Queen's from Glenn's out of Ca.There was no bees around here for a long time (Mites?),anyway most of my bees are Cordovans now.2 bee yard s which are several miles apart are nothing but cordovans.I was thing about getting Drone foundation & place in some of the hives so I can completly cover that area with drones.I've got ALOT of 6 5/8 foundation that I'm not going to use & was wondering if I use it in 9 5/8 frames would that be about as good as using the drone foundation to get enough drones.I'm awful cheap & hate to waste the 6 5/8 foundation.>>>>Mark
Scot Mc Pherson
11-02-2004, 07:54 PM
Just be careful. Allowing a full frame of drone comb to brood full cycle can make your hive go frame nearly miteless to being infested in a very short period of time. Drone comb is usually these days as a mite magnet that can be removed after the comb is capped and before the brood emerges. This is because when given a choice varroa will almost invariably choose the drone brood first. Letting the drones be raised in such high numbers is asking for trouble.
Scot Mc Pherson
Foundationless Small Cell Top Bar Hives
BeeWiki: <A HREF="http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/beewiki/" TARGET=_blank>
11-03-2004, 06:15 AM
Scott is correct that drone comb is used for mite trapping. I have thought about doing the same thing but how to do it without creating a lot of mites. I have an idea but have not tried it, so take it with a grain of salt.
Select one hive that will only be for drone production and not honey production. Insert 3 or 4 frames of brood comb. Treat this colony continuously for mites with OA and occasionally with Apistan strips. Finally make a drone escape that the drones can exit the hive but cant return through it. All bees must enter and exit through this escape. Keep this hive near the other hives and the drones will drift to your regular hive and live there.
You will likely have to feed this hive and give it the occasional frame of pollen and worker brood.
The down side of this plan is that you have to work the hive and you cant select any old queen to produce just drones. You have to select one of your better queens for drone production and not honey production. The queens you produce might be better honey producers from this method.
In regards to damaging the queen with a lot of OA treatments. I would keep this hive one brood chamber high. You could capture the queen before treating with OA if you want to. If I need more frames, I would make a custom box to hold more frames.
Dont know if this will work and it is a lot of work. It would be interesting though.
11-03-2004, 01:56 PM
This doesn't answer your question, but heres a thought. I cull out brood comb with too many drone cells and throw it out or recycle. Perhaps a beekeeper in your area might like to swap you some drone comb for some foundation or queens that you plan to raise. That way you could have plenty of drones as soon as weather permits and you don't have to spend the time and money drawing drone comb.
11-03-2004, 04:18 PM
Mark you said you were awful cheap. Did you know that their unproven breeder queens are $75.00 each and proven breeders are $250 each?
11-03-2004, 06:48 PM
Hehe,yep I'm cheap,I've done called on 2 unproven Queens The shipping is another $25.00,But I can sell all that I can raise, although I'm more interested in requeening all of my hive's also.I've done good with the cordovans,made alot of honey this year.never thought I'd see the day I'd give that for 1 bee.>>>>Mark
11-04-2004, 06:08 AM
Drone brood will make the mite migrate to them but if your on a schedule with FGMO or OX acid then I see no problems. I use FGMO weekly when the bees fly and have had no great mite problems. I have one medium frame in each box in the hive dedicated for drone brood for my breeding of queens. Each hive is 4 suppers high, since each supper has one frame of drone then the total frames of the hives is 4 frames of drone. As you can see that's a lot of drones in the hives.