Amateur question about drone cells
I need some help figuring out the topic of drone cells. I have read up on the importance of keeping the hive tidy and clean; scraping off burr comb and such. The one beekeeping class I took (before I ever got bees), the instructor scraped all of the drone comb off, too. I did it for the first time, yesterday, and was so heartsick I almost cried. Most of the drone cells had larvae and bees in all stages of development, even almost completely hatched bees. I was so depressed all night, knowing I had killed those bees. So, what is the "rule of thumb" for drones and drone cells? If they build drone cells in the regular part of the frame foundation, leave it there? If it's on the top, sides or bottom, scrape it off?
I'm also thinking about buying the plastic drone cell frames with the built in drone foundation. Dadant's catalog says to just put it in your box, in place of a regular frame, and the bees will build their drone comb there, instead of in other, undesireable places. Is this true? And then, when full, freeze the whole frame, cut the caps off, and put back in the box for the bees to clean and reuse. My beekeeping For Dummies book also says this is a good way to control varro mites.
Don't we need drone bees in the hive, to an extent (duh!).....and if so, why are we cutting, killing, freezing, etc., all of the drone comb?
What do all of you experts think on this subject? Any help you can give me would be appreciated.
P.S. My Italian ladies are so calm and sweet and friendly, and don't have a problem with me doing inspections or anything.....until I started cutting the drone comb, that is. They went absolutely ape $hit on me at that point! I got finished and out of there fast!
Susan, Extremely New Beekeeper, Santa Fe, TX