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Thread: Drone Comb

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    161

    Default Drone Comb

    Did a hive inspection this morning and saw an entire comb of drone brood. I've never read anything about this. What should I do with it....?? Move it to the end of the brood nest, so they can back fill it with honey?? The hive is definitely queen right. I saw the queen as well as various stages of larva. There were, however, 6 queen cells that were uncapped with no larva. The queen seems to have plenty of room to lay. They are 20 drawn bars. 3-4 currently storing uncapped honey, 4 pollen storage, and the rest brood. Suggestions???

    Drone Comb.jpgDSC_0033.jpg

    P.S. I pulled out 2 drones to check for mites. There was nothing on either.
    P.P.S. I did a homemade hopguard treatment. I'm wondering if the odor caused the queen cells. Possible that they didn't know if she was in the hive?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: Drone Comb

    You can move them to the outside position next to the hive wall and when they get things like they want them they will fill them with honey.

    It is possible with a big explosion of drone brood that they may be doing some swarm prep. So be on the look out for a possible swarm in a week or so. They may not swarm, but sometimes lots of drone at once will be followed by a swarm.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: Drone Comb

    Hi, Chri157y, I did a partial inspection today, and I think I'm in a similar situation that you found yourself in. Just curious what you ended up doing.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Drone Comb

    I'm going to move the bar of drone comb to right before the first honey bar, and they give them an extra empty bar to replace the drone comb. I'm concerned about giving them another empty bar, b/c they barely have any honey stores. However, since it seems like they're going to swarm, I'm not sure what other choice there is.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: Drone Comb

    Thanks for the response. Fingers crossed for you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Arbovale, West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Drone Comb

    I often see almost all drone brood on some combs, like what you are reporting here. I just leave them be. They know what they're doing. I do open space in the brood area if I see two very nice capped worker brood combs. That seems to discourage them from swarming, and the two brood combs on either side of the empty bar serve as guides to get you nice new straight comb. As for the empty queen cups, that too seems to be perfectly normal.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Greater Hartford area, CT
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: Drone Comb

    Thanks, DrWeevil!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Montgomery Twp, PA
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Drone Comb

    Just thought I'd do a quick follow-up. I moved the drone comb to right before the first honey bar. They continued to build wax on the comb, and it's the first bar that they've attached to the sides and bottom. Crazy bees! It's been in the 90s here all week, so I'm going to let it go until things cool down. I'm anxious to see if they've been backfilling it or it there will be fresh larva.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Drone Comb

    I try to put the drone on the edges of the brood nest because when they are done rearing drones they tend to backfill the drone comb with honey. If you have a complete comb of drone that gets capped it splits up the brood nest and the queen may fail to cross it to lay on the other side.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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