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  1. #1

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    I have read about drone comb varroa traping,but I need to know,how and why.
    The advice is to uncap the drone brood and then freeze it.But what hapens with the drone brood and varroa in it if I just uncap the brood?
    "Do nothing. Time is too precious to waste." Buddha

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >I have read about drone comb varroa traping,but I need to know,how and why.

    Here's a long version:
    http://www.xs4all.nl/~jtemp/dronemethod.html

    But you can keep it simple. Just put the drone comb in, remove two weeks later and freeze it for 24 hours. Thaw it for 24 hours and put it back in.

    >The advice is to uncap the drone brood and then freeze it.

    No, the advice is to either uncap it OR freeze it, thaw it, and let the bees uncap it.

    >But what hapens with the drone brood and varroa in it if I just uncap the brood?

    If you pull them out with an uncapping fork and dump them out, you'll kill the brood and teh Varroa.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
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    May 2005
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    >If you pull them out with an uncapping fork and dump them out, you'll kill the brood and teh Varroa.

    Plus you get to eat the drone brood if you are so inclined. Nothing wasted....

    A technique I've heard about but haven't tried yet is to uncap the drone brood and "knock" or "shake" the brood out of the comb. Mark B. described this and it sounds feasible. Worth a try anyways.

    One supposed benefit to freezing it and letting the bees clean it out is that the bees will eat the brood and obtain nutrition from it, thereby recovering some of their investment in raising it in the first place. However, I've broken open brace comb between boxes with drone brood in it, and 15 minutes later the pupae were sitting discarded on the front porch so I don't know if the bees will eat the brood or whether you're just making more work for them.

    Any input on this? Will they eat it all, some of it, or what?
    Dulcius ex asperis

  4. #4
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    >One supposed benefit to freezing it and letting the bees clean it out is that the bees will eat the brood and obtain nutrition from it

    I've never seen them eat the brood. They seem to haul it out. I have seen the newly emerged queen suck the juice out of a recently uncapped drone. I wondered if they uncapped it just for her or if she just found it. My guess is they would slavage some of the food in the brood.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5

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    >The advice is to uncap the drone brood and then freeze it.

    No, the advice is to either uncap it OR freeze it, thaw it, and let the bees uncap it.

    >But what hapens with the drone brood and varroa in it if I just uncap the brood?

    If you pull them out with an uncapping fork and dump them out, you'll kill the brood and teh Varroa.


    Hmm,but how to dump them out?We are talking about a deep tbh bar,or at least a foundationless frame.
    Same with knocking or shaking.
    What is the bees response to unacaped brood?Cleaning or caping them again?Plus what happens to varoa on drones?If I only uncap the brood?
    "Do nothing. Time is too precious to waste." Buddha

  6. #6
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    Aug 2002
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    >Hmm,but how to dump them out?

    I haven't tried it, but some say they just shake it out.

    >We are talking about a deep tbh bar,or at least a foundationless frame.

    Gently.

    >What is the bees response to unacaped brood?Cleaning or caping them again?

    Cleaning. They never cap them again.

    >Plus what happens to varoa on drones?If I only uncap the brood?

    The mother mite will most likely survive instead of being killed but it will stop her having any offspring. I would freeze to kill her as long as you're paying the price in bee resources.

    Basically every frame of drones cost you a frame of workers which they would have raised with those same resources if they had the drones.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
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    May 2005
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    >Basically every frame of drones cost you a frame of workers which they would have raised with those same resources if they had the drones.

    I think it's important to remember what Michael just said. First, hives need drones! If you remove all of them, or most of them, the bees won't like it. Also, folks tend to think of drone comb trapping as a free, natural, and cheap method of varroa control with no downsides. It may be natural, but it has it's downside, it's price. Every treatment does.

    The resources the bees spend on raising a frame of drones is considerable. A colony struggling to build up in the spring probably wouldn't benefit from having a frame of drones wasted, even if you did clear out a lot of mites. Drone comb trapping can be a very effective treatment, but like any treatment, timing is important and it shouldn't be used unless necessary and it's cost on the colony should be weighed against the benefits you'll obtain. A good powdered sugar treatment might be a better choice under certain circumstances.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  8. #8
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    Sep 2004
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    >Hmm,but how to dump them out?

    The spray nozzle on a garden hose is one method recommended in the New Zealand book 'Control of Varroa'

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