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  1. #1
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    Default Plastic drone brood frames

    I've heard that using these is very helpful in fighting varroa mites. Does anyone have any experience in using them?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Plastic drone brood frames

    I've never used them and yes they are a tool to fight varroa.

    My brother in law is a very experienced beekeeper and used them. He does not like them. He waited for them to be capped and stuck them in the freezer to kill and put the full frame back in the hive. Specifically, his issue was that his mite population was not reduced enough by using just the frames, he was giving up valuable space and he had issues getting his bees to draw out the frames. But then again he may not have been using other not chemical prevention such as screened bottum boards.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Plastic drone brood frames

    If your bees are reluctant to draw out the plastic drone frame, you can always just buy 10 sheets of drone sized wax foundation and put them in deep wood frames. My bees drew the wax out in drone comb right away last year. If you don't want to fuss with freezing, you can just uncap the capped drone brood, knock any loose larvae out, and put the frame right back.
    If you freeze it, be sure to let the frame come back to room temperature before putting it back in the brood area. I found the larvae got really oozy and gross after being frozen and thawed, so I just quickly uncap whenever the frame seems mostly full of capped drones, and put it right back in immediately.
    After they threw the drones out last fall, my bees filled it with honey for the winter. I'm waiting to see now whether they empty the drone comb to let the queen start raising drones in it again.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  4. #4
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    Sullivan, MO
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    Default Re: Plastic drone brood frames

    I don't get the whole drone thing. I understand that drones take longer to mature and so that gives the varroa longer to do more generations in the cell. I get that. What I don't get is why use this method to kill the varroa, it seems like a monumental waste of resources. There have to be better methods.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Plastic drone brood frames

    I've used them and consider them to be one of many tools for mite control. Like any single method, they don't get the job done all on their own. When a hive is doing well, it's not a terrible drain on resources. The queen can easily keep up with the need for bee's. One thing to watch out for is taking the frames out when the time is right. If you leave them in, you're really creating a nice mite factory. Again, all tools have their place and used correctly, can help the situation. I still use them from time to time but I don't always have the time to swap frames out.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Plastic drone brood frames

    Sacrificial drone comb is a method to control Varroa without chemicals. It is quicker and easier to just scrape or puncture the drone cells than freeze and thaw to room temperature before putting them back. you also need an extra frame to put in with one in the freezer. Varroacides are a poison designed to kill mites not too distant genetically from another insect, our honey bees. Bees will raise drones regardless of what we think they should be expending resources on. It makes sense to exploit this behavior, as well as the Varroas attraaction to drone cells.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  7. #7
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    Harsens Island , Mi , USA
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    Default Re: Plastic drone brood frames

    About the mites ...bear in mind that i have a iq the size of a shoe lol.This the reason i went with vhs bees,,,but heres what i learned off of the you tube . Im not sure what number of the confrence it comes out at but Mike Bush had some very helpful points ..heres the link so you have to watch to get it ...the point was cell size...smaller cells then the mites dont have enough time to hatch . My understanding with vhs bees is that they will decap infected larva ...i could be wrong but it sure was a selling point to me .This vid is really worth the time . Watch them all so start at the 1st one ...I'm kicking this question up to someone smarter than me .Its not hard..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOePxKgMh-o

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Plastic drone brood frames

    VSH, SMR, Minnesota Hygeinic, Buckfast and any sub-species with hygeinic behavior helps control Varroa. The reference and video demonstrates the results of changing to hygeinic queens in healthy hives with no chemicals adding stress. Varroa are unaffected by cell size. There are scientific studies at several universities and countries. Results with thousands of hives only changing one factor - cell size are neutral or increased Varroa population.
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/tria...ll-cell-combs/
    http://www.ent.uga.edu/bees/documents/m08138.pdf
    http://www.reeis.usda.gov/web/crispr...es/211868.html
    http://www.beebehavior.com/small_cel...rroa_mites.php
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Plastic drone brood frames

    Yes, but isn't it true the mites like the longer incubation time of drone brood?
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 04-30-2011 at 07:48 AM. Reason: UNQ use reply button

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Plastic drone brood frames

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericasBeekeeper View Post
    Sacrificial drone comb is a method to control Varroa without chemicals. It is quicker and easier to just scrape or puncture the drone cells than freeze and thaw to room temperature before putting them back. you also need an extra frame to put in with one in the freezer.... Bees will raise drones regardless of what we think they should be expending resources on. It makes sense to exploit this behavior, as well as the Varroas attraaction to drone cells.
    That's right, and Cornell's Dyce Lab says drone pupae culling is one of the effective tools we can use to keep mites down. I like it because it easy to do and it requires no toxic substances at all.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  11. #11
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    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
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    Default Re: Plastic drone brood frames

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericasBeekeeper View Post
    Results with thousands of hives only changing one factor - cell size are neutral or increased Varroa population.
    Thanks for the links. I'd been looking into the small cell issue. Like so many things, one should never jump in a change a common practice or the way you have been doing things if it would take considerable effort to change. Like changing out to small cell. Study, study, study. If even a few experts tell ya something it still may not be the right thing to do in one's own situation.

    I know this is not a small cell thread but it does link back to the drone issue in that they are different frames as well in what has become a standard cell world. I'm not given up even one frame of brood to drone frames. Even if they do help or not. Hate to be on vacation of have a week of rain and not have a chance to pull the frames - mite factory possible!
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Plastic drone brood frames

    I stopped using the plastic ones, the bees didn't like them, & they where a pain for me.
    We switched to one foundation-less frame in position 4 of the top box. Its a lot easier for me to cut it out, & put the frame back in. Also the bees draw out the foundation-less frame better than they ever drew out those green plastic ones.
    Dan

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Plastic drone brood frames

    Another option is to run a shorter frame. They will build natural comb on the bottom of the frame. If they want drones they will be there and it is easy to cut off and discard.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Plastic drone brood frames

    Quote Originally Posted by KQ6AR View Post
    I stopped using the plastic ones, the bees didn't like them, & they where a pain for me.
    We switched to one foundation-less frame in position 4 of the top box.
    I've been reading about others doing the same. Knowing they are inclined to build the drone comb they think they need, would they not build out less volume of drone comb on foundation-less frames compaired to plastic drone comb (assuming they even build out of the plastic)? Again, I don't use drone comb and the only experinece I have with is the negative comments from by brother-inlaw who used them at times.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Plastic drone brood frames

    Quote Originally Posted by AmericasBeekeeper View Post
    VSH, SMR, Minnesota Hygeinic, Buckfast and any sub-species with hygeinic behavior helps control Varroa. The reference and video demonstrates the results of changing to hygeinic queens in healthy hives with no chemicals adding stress. Varroa are unaffected by cell size. There are scientific studies at several universities and countries. Results with thousands of hives only changing one factor - cell size are neutral or increased Varroa population.
    You are going to start a war with the small cell folks and give the moderator a lot of work deleting posts that are not thread specific! I'm glad you posted the links so folks know to consider all sources before making a decision to start switching out equipment.
    Try living life with the attitude it's not about what you want to do but what you should do!

  16. #16
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    May 2008
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    Concord, CA
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    Default Re: Plastic drone brood frames

    The bees like 5-10% drone brood. All the other frames in my hive are drawn small cell.
    My foundationless frames have an upper 2" section of small cell foundation. The bees draw the whole open section with drone brood. Thats less than 5% of the 20 frames in the hive.
    My frames are very similar to these Randy Oliver frames. http://www.honeybeesuite.com/wp-cont...ks-tweaked.jpg
    Dan

  17. #17
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    Mar 2007
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    Oregon City, Oregon
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    Default Re: Plastic drone brood frames

    The biggest problem with the green frame method is timing, you miss the pull date when the frame is all capped and BOOM your mite problem just exploded not very reliable. you are much better off going with VSH queens if you dont like using chems.
    Honeydew

  18. #18
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    Jul 2009
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    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Plastic drone brood frames

    Thanks for all the input.

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