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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    842

    Default Drone comb: Freeze or cut?

    Next year I'm planning on putting in some foundationless frames in the brood chamber to get some drone comb drawn. I'm still not sure if I'll freeze it and then uncap and put back in the hive or cut it out. It seems like a waste of a resource to cut it out. But, it is a lot quicker to just cut it out.

    I'm leaning towards freezing it. I can then choose to put it back in the brood chamber or put it above the QE and let them fill it with honey.

    Tom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    786

    Default Re: Drone comb: Freeze or cut?

    Why not just get a supply of the plastic drone foundation? So far, my foundationless frames have been drawn in mostly worker cells. -james

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: Drone comb: Freeze or cut?

    Place a medium frame in the deep brood box. The bees will draw out comb on the bottom bar to match the depth of the other deep frames. Most of the new comb will be drone comb. For varroa control just use your hive tool and cut it off into a bucket for melting, after it's full of drone brood of course. The bees will quickly build it back. If you need drones for mating just leave it in there.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Economy, Indiana
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Drone comb: Freeze or cut?

    Here is a link to Randy Oliver's page on the topic.
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/figh...al-tactics-ii/

    I've mainly used the plastic drone frames with decent results. I pull them at 21 days, check for mites and freeze if there are many mites. The freezing is kind of a hassle since I only have our meat freezer to use. I don't like to put a frame right out of the freezer in next to a frame of brood and I seem to have a hard time remembering to take them out of the freezer in time to warm up. I've made a few frames like Randy does and I like the method, although I hate to make the bees draw comb each time. I also haven't got the timing down as well. With the plastic frames, I know that three weeks after a drawn frame from the freezer goes in, it will be time to pull it. It's amazing how fast the bees pull the dead larvae which have had the cappings scratched. I'll probably use both again this year and tend to want to move more to the Oliver method for simplicity. I put about a 15 degree vee on the bottom of the bar under the foundation to facilitate comb building. So far they have only built drone comb there. I have the frames in position 2 or 3. A side benefit has been that it seems like about 50% of the time, I can find the queen on the drone frame. Go figure. At present I have about a dozen hives and I try to do about half of them one weekend, and half the next.
    Ken

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Benton, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Drone comb: Freeze or cut?

    Wow great info!! Thanks for the link to scientificbeekeeping!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,212

    Default Re: Drone comb: Freeze or cut?

    I do neither. I leave them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Keno, OR
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Drone comb: Freeze or cut?

    Just watched a video from the Florida University. In the video they stated having screened bottom boards will reduce mite population by 15%. Having one frame of drone cells you put in the freezer adds another 35-40%. A 50% reduction is pretty good, but it is labor intensive.
    Klamath Basin Beekeepers Association: www.klamathbeekeepers.org
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/kbbafb/

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