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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
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    1,830

    Default Laying workers for drone comb production

    I have heard of a few instances of folks using Laying workers for drone production. I recently had a nuc that went to laying workers. They are making me a bunch of drone comb out of worker comb, is this a fesable way to make drone comb instead of buying it? The comb is 1-3 years old and is wired wax foundation.

    mike
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,121

    Default Re: Laying workers for drone comb production

    I though laying workers laid the in-fertile eggs in worker size cells.
    If they are drawing wax do they still draw 5% drone & the rest worker size, Or do they draw more drone size cells?
    Dan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Laying workers for drone comb production

    Well, the thing that tipped me off to laying workers is tons of drone brood, and no queen. My thought is, I spend $3 on green drone comb, and make the bees reluctantly draw it out, or by drone sheets. If I let them continue, I will have good frames of drawn drone comb in no time. Let me clarify, this is drawn comb that was in the nuc, not foundation.
    mike
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: Laying workers for drone comb production

    I have never heard of anyone using laying workers for drone production. Laying workers typically raise drones in worker cells, and any drones that reach maturity and emerge from the cells are small miniature drones. These are not the drone stock I would want virgin queens breeding with.

    Well, the thing that tipped me off to laying workers is tons of drone brood, and no queen.

    Check again. Tons of drone brood is not a sign of laying workers. Multiple eggs in cells is a sign of laying workers, and a very spotty pattern of sealed drone brood in worker cells.

    Tons of drone brood and no queen to be found sounds like a virgin that didn't mate and became a drone layer. Odds are, she's still small like a virgin, and runs and hides so she is difficult to find.

    In cases of laying workers that I have had, they did NOT draw any comb. Young nurse bees draw wax, and by the time the bees develop laying workers, there are no young nurse bees to draw wax.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,939

    Default Re: Laying workers for drone comb production

    I have had only one laying worker hive and I don't want another. Mine didn't lay that many drones. They were scattered. I think that the multiple eggs per cell that is common with laying workers is a problem.

    The hive will die out over a few months so you will need to add bees to your laying worker hive.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Laying workers for drone comb production

    I do not want to produce drones from laying workers! I want to get EMPTY DRONE COMB for next year to use in my drone mothers. They have actually taken the worker comb and distorted it into drone comb. I am almost positive that it is Laying workers. There was a "queen" cell that has about 6 eggs in it, that tips me off more than anything.

    mike
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: Laying workers for drone comb production

    Kingfisher; you're wasting your time and trying to reinvent the "wheel" that the bees have already invented. Buy a bunch of drone foundation and put it on your bees for the next good flow. You'll have all the drone comb you could ever hope for. We usually put on several supers of drone foundation each year to use in our drone mother hives and for varroa control frames. They draw it all out in the larger drone size cells and store honey in it. However, each hive raises a certain number of drones that they think they need and will usually not fill the hive with drones. They'll do the same thing with or without the drone comb.

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