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  1. #1
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    does the queen smell the drones since there are so many, or do the drones smell the queen?

    What tells any given queen to make more drones? For example, if queen from hive C is growing weak, (and rumors are spread in the bee hair salons) do the bees in hive D detect it, tell their queen, and have her make more drones so that these hive D bees can spread their genetics when Queen C is superceded? And don't tell me it's random, even chaos theory has some measure of cause and effect and predicability.

  2. #2
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    predictability

  3. #3
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    Jul 2004
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    I think it has to do with the fact that honeybees main purpose, as per Walt Wright, is to swarm and reporoduce. With that said, drone laying is part of the process to swarm and survive.
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    They both seem to follow the same landmarks to find the DCA. If you take a cigarette filter and soak it with queen juice (old queens soaked in alcohol) and put it on a balloon in a DCA or even on a flyway, the drones will follow it around. It think it's clear the drones smell the queen. I don't know if the queen smells the drones, but she finds the DCA.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Whitefield, Maine USA
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    The way I understand it, hives like to have their quota of drones. I've heard that this is between 5% and 10% of the population. The presence of drones or the lack of sufficient drones factors into the whole smell/ordor/pheromone equilibrium of the hive. If there aren't enough drones to make things smell right, they'll raise more. If there are enough drones, they'll raise less. It's also a seasonal thing- bees stop raising drones in late summer. I don't remember where I read about this.

    I've wondered, since I intend on using drone comb to trap mites this year, what the effect will be of adding a frame or 2 of drone comb and later, removing them. I guess I'll find out.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  6. #6
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >I've wondered, since I intend on using drone comb to trap mites this year, what the effect will be of adding a frame or 2 of drone comb and later, removing them. I guess I'll find out.

    Just that they will spend more resources making drones.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
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    The simplest way to raise drones is to put an empty frame in position 2 or 3 of a brood box. The bees will fill the space in with drone comb which can be cut out as soon as it is capped. The factors you must consider to do this are:

    1. Is the cluster large enough to cover the empty comb?
    2. Is there enough nectar available to stimulate comb building?
    3. Is there enough pollen available, without pollen, the bees won't rear drones?

    Fusion

  8. #8
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    This also assumes they NEED drones and drone comb. If there is already an adequate supply of both they will just draw worker comb. Since most hives have worker foundation only in them, the bees are usually looking for more space for drones so they usually draw the first empty frame all drones. If you were to leave that one and add another, it's less likely it will be all drones and if you left that and added another its very unlikely the next one will have much drone comb on it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Elkton, Tennessee, USA
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    All, I apologize if I seem to be tooting Walt's horn, but I think he deserves it. On this subject, great minds must think alike. We have just submitted Walt's latest article to Bee Culture 'Drone Management'. It should appear in the April issue.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2004
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    Seattle, Washington State
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    How about on plastic where the size of the plastic starter frames is the size of the worker cell? Do they ignore this and draw out bigger cells for the drones?
    Chef Isaac..Culinary Arts and Honey are a sweet mix! http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com & http://www.adoptahive.info

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    They will cheat here and there, but the tendancy for bees is to try to cooperate. One bees keeps picking up where another left off, and since the cells are started already they don't tend to cheat too many into drones. But they will build some somewhere no matter what.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    I find when drawing a large amount of foundation in a hive without drone comb, they tend to mess the foundation up alot more than if there is drone comb present in the hive.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
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    Roy, you can toot Walt's horn whenever you wish. In fact I've been putting off getting my BC subscription. But I'll make sure I get it in time for Walt's article. (If I can remember how.) lol

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

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