I have several hives with higher mite counts than I would like, some are (5 frame-ish) med nucs and 1 or 2 med super hives... I have been feeding in empty frames, bees have gone ahead and drawn out a bunch of drone comb, most is now capped or will be shortly.
surprisingly (to me) even these 5 frame nucs drew out and the queen lay almost a whole med frame of drone brood when given an empty frame
I would like to freeze these capped drone frames, but I have concerns about the ability of a small hive to clean out the comb afterwards...
I also would like to give the frames back to the same hives they came from, to minimize the chance of spreading disease (nothing I know about, but just to play it safe, these are small swarms or splits, at home where I can keep my eye on them)
So my question is; how much work is it for a hive to clean out these frames? I have seen the bees cleaning out dead brood after a late freeze in the spring, but this will be my first time employing this technique for drone brood/ mites... it seems like it takes a lot of work that Im not sure a small hive could accomplish before things start to rot... What would you suggest?
Could you describe the technique you use for "feeding back" frozen drone brood to normal stronger hives/ and/or any observations that you have made about the process?
Also, after reading through old posts, I have seen reference to "shaking out" frames- I assume this wouldn't work too well in my case, as the frames I used were foundationless, are new white wax, and many are not all the way drawn out to the bottom of the frame... Any way that I could make this work/ worth my time? I read somewhere that uncapping, then (lightly?) spraying down with water might work. Anyone who has actually done this care to comment? have you done the shaking out with anything other than the green drone brood frames? I would freeze first, thaw 24 hrs, then attempt to shake out to ensure all the mites were killed...