Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Munster Ontario
    Posts
    192

    Default Do bees draw out drone comb all season?

    Given that all of the frames with regular foundation are worker cell sized, I assume (and have read) that bees will tend to draw out drone comb if given a foundationless frame, as they are short on drone cells. Is this correct? If so, do they do it all season long, or just during the spring/early summer, or...?

    I got thinking about this when I placed top bars for my TBH on top of a 3" riser over a brood chamber on a strong hive, with thin (1/4") strips of foundation as a starter guide. I was hoping the bees would draw comb on the top bars and get things started for my new TBH. Then I thought: "Poop. They are going to draw all drone comb!"

    Thoughts?

    Thanks.
    Grid

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,279

    Default Re: Do bees draw out drone comb all season?

    Drone sized cells are also the size of honey storage cells.
    They normally store honey above the brood nest.
    You put the bars on top of a brood nest, so expect larger drone/honey storage cells. The upside is that you put it over a 3" riser so they will only draw it down approximately 2 5/8 inches. This will give them a good start and give them a honey storage area above the brood area on each comb in your TBH. Hopefully when you remove these bars and put in your TBH with bees, they will draw the rest of the space on each bar as worker sized cells.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Ash Grove MO. USA.
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: Do bees draw out drone comb all season?

    I use more foundationless than anything else. Yes if you have worker cell foundation they will draw only drone comb until they get all they want then they won't draw anymore. They may only raise one or two cycles of drones then use it for honey storage.
    I wouldn't worry about it, when they get started they will draw what they need the most when they need it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Munster Ontario
    Posts
    192

    Default Re: Do bees draw out drone comb all season?

    Thanks all. I was hoping the bees would draw out worker comb and that the queen would lay in it, and I could use that to start my TBH. Not a good plan if it ends up as all drone comb! Long term, starting the TBH some other way (shake in bees, introduce queen) will be fine. Short term, my plan is likely not a good one. Time for plan-B. (Plan-Bee?)

    To my original question though: Given the same ratio of worker:drone comb in a hive, will the bees draw out more drone comb in the spring/summer/fall? Is it affected by swarm season, or typical mating flight season, or...?

    I also want to know because I am thinking of putting marked empty frames into the brood nests. The bees so far draw out drone comb, and I remove it after it is capped as a varroa trap, cut it out and melt the wax, killing the varroa. If the bees draw out drone comb in the spring but not so much in the summer/ fall, that plan may not work well.

    Grid.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads