Scratching drone brood versus cutting it out?
I am contemplating scratching out drone brood for mite control in my production colonies this year or cutting it out. I was wondering what those that do think of each method, and how they do it? My initial thoughts were that putting in a couple of foundationless frames in positions 2 and 9 in the brood nest may be the way to go and giving them a space would stop them reworking decent worker comb into drone comb. I would cut it out drone comb when sealed.
Then what about just scratching the sealed drone comb? I remember seeing that some folks do that, and I wonder, does it kill the mites or just liberate them? If I am reading Huang's article correctly from ABJ October 2012 p983. "Indeed, Martin (1994,1995) calculated the effective rate (i.e. the number of vial/mature daughters per invading mother) as 1.3-1.45 in a single infested worker brood, while for drone brood it was 2.2 -2.6." So I could see that if you liberated the mite and she was able to go on again into worker brood - presumably the only medium if the drones are scratched out - the mite reproduction rate would be slower than allowing the drone-fed mites to emerge.
Anyone have any thoughts on this, or a system that seems to be working?