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Thread: Drone brood

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  1. #1
    Dzug Guest

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    Hello,

    I read somewhere, sorry I don't recall, that when this 4.9 mm foundatin is used, drone foundation should be used as well to encourage the bees to lay drone cells there for the purpose of catching mites. The mite, it seems, prefer the drones. The drone foundation is then frozen overnight to kill the mites and left to the bees to clean out.

    I just wondered what your thoughts were on this. If this is the case, wouldn't this characteristic just be quickly bred out of the mites?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

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    Hi

    You wrote:
    Hello,
    I read somewhere, sorry I don't recall, that when this 4.9 mm foundatin is used, drone foundation should be used as well to encourage the bees to lay drone cells there for the purpose of catching mites. The mite, it seems, prefer the drones. The drone foundation is then frozen overnight to kill the mites and left to the bees to clean out.

    I just wondered what your thoughts were on this. If this is the case, wouldn't this characteristic just be quickly bred out of the mites?

    Reply:
    I know it is advertised with the Dadants to use also with bottom screens and drone foundation, but actually in our own outfit, we use neither!!

    We simply cull the drone comb to natural levels in Nature of about not more then 10% drone cells built on any one comb, while building colonies back up following shakedown for regression to 4.9mm sizing.

    This then starts the bees to learn to automatically chew out and uncapp varroa before it can be a big problem in both worker and drone brood.

    For those however, that still need the mental security of other helping devices, screen bottom boards and drone foundation can still be used though for added help, especially the first year or so following shakedown. But remember with drone comb foundation, you must time its use perfectly and normally only hobbysts and sidelines have time for so grulling a schedule for that ritual. Therefore it's best for commercial to cull drone comb cells in excess of 10% on any one from being more professional.

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby

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