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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    65

    Default Percentage of worker versus drone brood

    When selecting a breeder queen, what should be the ratio of drone versus worker brood produced by that queen? Some colonies seem to have much more drone brood than others. Some that already have large amounts of drone cells will continue to draw more when given foundationless frames. Some colonies have almost no drone brood.

    I haven't been at this long enough to know when the amount of drone brood makes a queen unsuitable as a breeder.

    A second part of this is that I have been using foundationless frames for a number of years. That results in a mixture of drone cells and worker cells on the same frame. When putting together a new hive, I have not been paying much attention to the amount of drone cells in the drawn comb. I don't know if the presence of a large amount of drawn drone cells will cause the queen to lay "too many" drones.
    Any advice

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

    Default Re: Percentage of worker versus drone brood

    This is one of the almost uncontrollable aspects of beekeeping. The bees build the amount of drone comb they want and the queen lays in it. They build drone comb on wax foundation and plastic without discrimination. I use some of the green drone combs and some with wax drone foundation. Some hives will have a full frame of drone brood, some will have a small patch or 2, and some hives fill the dang drone frames with honey. As long as I have lots of worker brood I'm happy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,242

    Default Re: Percentage of worker versus drone brood

    Consider that bees in the wild build whatever comb they need containing worker cells and drone cells and queen cups. Being no difference between bees in the wild and bees in you hives, your bees will do the same. Let them decide. Don't worry about it.

    Also, I don't know.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: Percentage of worker versus drone brood

    You may find that the comb drawn in early spring has a higher number of drones because they are thinking swarm so... swarm=mate_new_queen=need_drones=make_drone_comb

    Comb drawn in the mid summer and fall has a lower number number of drones because they are not thinking the swarm thoughts.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Default Re: Percentage of worker versus drone brood

    We've been breeding bees to make less drones for centuries. Now AHB comes along and they make more drones. And EHB has a reproductive disadvantage... is that wise?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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