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  1. #1

    Question

    I believe this topic has come up before, but now that spring is here and brood nest buildup is in full swing, I thought I'd survey the group again.
    --
    In a top bar hive that hasn't artifically been provided whole sheets of worker-sized cell foundation (i.e., the bees have been allowed to draw out the comb "naturally"), what percentage of cells would you estimate are drone cells?
    --
    I realize there may be a lot of "variables" that influence this, but probably none as much as the bees having drawn out the comb, themselves (with the possible exception of a old, failing queen).
    But the main thrust of the question is, do you see a difference between a TBH and a Langstroth-style hive as far as the percentage of drones in the colony?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Post

    >In a top bar hive that hasn't artifically been provided whole sheets of worker-sized cell foundation (i.e., the bees have been allowed to draw out the comb "naturally"), what percentage of cells would you estimate are drone cells?

    Somewhere around 10%

    >But the main thrust of the question is, do you see a difference between a TBH and a Langstroth-style hive as far as the percentage of drones in the colony?

    No, I don't and the studies I've seen show no matter how much drone comb or how little drone comb the bees will find a way to raise the same percent of drones. They will tear up worker comb if they have to or build them in every nook and cranny, but they will build drone cells and will make drones at the exact same rate no matter what you, as the beekeeper do.

    The number of drones is more dependant on the time of the year.

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