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Thread: Drone Brood

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Dover, NH
    Posts
    33

    Default Drone Brood

    Hello,

    I installed a package into a top bar hive on May 1st. They are starting to build on the 11th bar, and the first 5 bars have capped brood. What I wasn't expecting is the 4th bar is almost entirely drone brood. There are also patches of drone brood on a few of the other bars. This particular comb (mostly drone) is also noticeably thicker than the rest.

    I am wondering if when the drone emerges, will the queen keep laying drone in the cone, raising thousands of drones, or will the bees use the comb for another purpose.

    also, should I move the comb toward the back before they hatch, so they can use it for honey or just let the bees have it their way and leave the hive the way it is?

    Thank you,
    Jason

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,937

    Default Re: Drone Brood

    Welcome to Beesource!

    Reports are that bees may raise up to 20% drones, so your numbers sound in line with that. Sometimes drone comb is recycled as honey storage.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,417

    Default Re: Drone Brood

    The bees will raise drones to meet their quota and then they will back off and backfill the drone cells. It's good if those drone cells are at the edge of the brood nest so they don't prevent the brood nest from expanding.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,018

    Default Re: Drone Brood

    Wow, 11 bars in 3 weeks! That is a lot of comb. Is it a small hive or was it a large package?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Bayfield, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    122

    Default Re: Drone Brood

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    The bees will raise drones to meet their quota and then they will back off and backfill the drone cells. It's good if those drone cells are at the edge of the brood nest so they don't prevent the brood nest from expanding.
    So it sounds, from what you are saying, that I could move my drones a bit and insert a bar between them and the normal brood, to give queen more space for "girl" eggs!?
    "Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever." 2 years, 4 langs and 2 top bars
    www.4cornersbeekeepers.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Dover, NH
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Drone Brood

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    The bees will raise drones to meet their quota and then they will back off and backfill the drone cells. It's good if those drone cells are at the edge of the brood nest so they don't prevent the brood nest from expanding.
    Thank you, this is good to know

    Quote Originally Posted by shannonswyatt View Post
    Wow, 11 bars in 3 weeks! That is a lot of comb. Is it a small hive or was it a large package?
    The hive is about 15 inches on top, 6 inches on the bottom, and 9.5 inches tall (inside dimensions). I don't know if this would be considered large or small. It is just under 4 feet long. It certainly isn't as big as the golden ratio hive I have seen. The package was 3 lbs.

    Thank you

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,018

    Default Re: Drone Brood

    Yours sounds very similar to mine other than the top width (the top width of mine is 17.25). I did the math on mine and it came out close to the same size in volume as a medium frame, so yours will be a little smaller than that. Sounds like you have some fantastic comb builders!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,417

    Default Re: Drone Brood

    My point is that the drones should be at the edge of the brood nest so when they backfill them they are not making a wall of honey in the brood nest. How you do that, you can play by ear.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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