I like the idea of using running the plastic foundation down through the horizontal division bar to give a comb guide for the bees to start off straight with.
I dug this thread back up to ask a noobee question. I've got two hives equipped with green drone frames that have been in service about 6 weeks now. Painting a stripe of burr comb wax across the tops of these frames did generate a little interest, but they're still not drawing them out much. One of them has a little nectar stored in it. Drones are being squeezed in to comb elsewhere.
It is finally sinking in to my thick head that I might not have put them in the right spot. If you want them to raise drones in these frames, wouldn't they have to be adjacent to the broodnest? Not just in the brood box, but adjacent to combs in which brood are being heavily tended?
And if you pull them out to freeze them, I presume you need to close up the broodnest if it has spread beyond the drone comb?
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yes they need to be where the queen will lay in them so put them in the brood area next to a frame of brood. When the queen starts laying in them you need to pull them and freeze them about ever two weeks. The idea is to let the mites settle in with the drones but kill the mites before they can reproduce and infest more bees. If you wait too long the drones hatch and you have actually increased your mite load. When you take out a frame replace it with another drone frame. The day before you plan to switch pull the other one out of the freezer to thaw. Scratch the caps off and shake out most of the dead drones. The bees will handle the rest. After you get drone frames built out You can rotate them every two weeks all summer long. /by the way even if you don't shake out most of the dead drones the bees will still clean out the comb it just makes more work for them lugging the dead out so I try to save them a little time and energy.
>If you want them to raise drones in these frames, wouldn't they have to be adjacent to the broodnest?
That would be the most predictable place, yes. But I've seen a queen cross several supers to lay in drone comb when there was none in the brood nest.
I worked on a University study which seemed to indicate the frames could keep mite levels low all summer. Then I did a very strict trial with my own hives where I put in empty frames and cut the combs out whenever there was sealed drone brood (or honey, sometimes they get filled up with honey).Drone brood culling can be effective but the beekeeper must be absolutely diligent.
The technique kept mites from building up until late August when the mite numbers went through the roof. I think they pick them up from robbing other mite infested hives. Lost the whole bunch, doing that technique. Can't recommend it.
Yes plop it i the right brood area, they might draw it faster.
I did go to a lecture by Dr.James Tew he did say that's the green frames for drones did not work well in the Southeastern part of the USA they did work well in the Northeast.
BEE HAPPY Jim 134
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA.
I have some observations of my hives (all TF) that strong hives which have mite load (infestation) going up, above some limit maybe, make a lot of dronebrood and "trap" mites themselves. Then they drag out the infested drones and get the varroa mites in control. Drones are also, because of their haploid genetics or just because they are made in the sides of broodnest, more vulnerable against chalkbrood and other diseases and viruses, and these diseases fight the mites too.
( My hives have 2 inces free space under the frames of the bottom box)
Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html
Not mine in Kippenheim too!
Stephen 26 hives. 4th year. Treat. Germany.
So far what I'm seeing is no drones on the green frames. Where they've drawn it out they seem to be using it for nectar.
Maybe next year.
The green nectar frame is one of those that I failed to place next to the broodnest.