What to do with drone comb?
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Benton County, Oregon
    Posts
    408

    Default What to do with drone comb?

    9 days ago I put 3 foundationless frames in the top deep of a hive that otherwise had all drawn comb. Those 3 frames are now drawn into 100% drone comb and there are eggs/larvae in the cells. The hive population is gaining rapidly.
    My question.. What would you do with the 3 full frames of drone comb?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    123

    Default

    Put them in a deep box above the brood chamber with a queen excluder below; big cells for honey storage.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Default

    when it is capped put frames and all in the freezer for 24 hours then reinstall 1 frame to a hive. The bees will clean out the comb. Now you have helped eliminate Varroa in that hive using IPM.
    Clint
    Clinton Bemrose<br />just South of Lansing Michigan<br />Beekeeping since 1964

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,314

    Default

    My tropical fish love them. I wait until they are capped, then pull a fair number of them to inspect for varroa, and then freeze the rest.
    Troy

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,833

    Default

    >3 foundationless frames in the top deep . . .
    First, I might relocate the brood nest to the BOTTOM chamber by "reversing".
    Once the frames are capped, I'd remove them, place in a plastic bag, and freeze them. After 24 hrs, I'd remove from freezer, allow to thaw, and open 100 cells and look for Varroa (yes, you can even count V-mites here, too )

    Meanwhile, as I remove them, I would place ONE new foundationless frame in the middle of brood nest to: a) get more drone comb filled w/ mites OR b) hopefully the bees will draw it into "smaller" (SC) worker comb.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Benton County, Oregon
    Posts
    408

    Default

    And so it goes with beekeeping.. one question leads to another.
    Thanks for your responses. I guess my question(s) should have been:

    1) Once drawn as drone comb is it later useful to the bees for any other purpose, ie as LET proposed (though in my case the frames in question are not wired)? If not it seems to me something of a waste of their effort in drawing all that wax (with respect to my purpose of gathering honey).
    On a related note, so many drones in a hive must consume a tremendous amount of honey, no?
    2) For future foundationless frame adventures.. when would have been a 'better' time to introduce blank frames so as to get worker comb?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,866

    Default

    I've had the same experience. Apparently the bees feel the need for drones. I simply moved them upstairs, and once hatched, the bees use them for honey.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default

    >My question.. What would you do with the 3 full frames of drone comb?

    I'd put them on the outside edge of the brood nest and leave them. If you remove them, they will just make more.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    79

    Default

    I found five medium frames in one hive. I just cut out the drone comb with the hopes that they will draw out worker comb. Just my experiment. I don't think I have much too much to lose. Yes, I know that it will take considerable effort for the bees to replace the drawn out comb and they just might replace it with more of the same.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default

    They will stop making drone comb when they have enough drone comb. As long as you keep removing it, they will never have enough drone comb.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Midland, Michigan
    Posts
    76

    Default

    My understanding is that drones do not have a particular hive where they live, that is, they will randomly go from hive to hive to be fed and to spend the night. If this is true, it seems that the number of drones in a given area will tend to equalize between all the colonies without regard to how many were produced in any given colony.

    How do the bees determine how much drone comb is enough? Do they sense the testosterone level or other chemical marker, such as a pheromone, from adult drones much like they can tell if there is a queen present? If they need a certain percentage of drones, and feral colonies supply enough, wouldn't the colony be happy without any of its own drone comb?
    Or does drone brood emit the markers and if the level is too low, they build more drone comb? I can't imagine they inventory their comb to see if there is enough; it must come from the chemical markers that govern most of bee activity.
    If the markers come from the brood, couldn't using drone comb as part of IPM (remove, freeze, return to hive) allow a high enough level of markers to be present that the rest of the brood comb could be drone-free?
    David

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Larkspur, Colorado
    Posts
    38

    Default Drone Frames

    I use the plastic pre-drawn brood frames for IPM. After 2 weeks take them out and freeze them and put them back in. Short season here in Colorado and I don't want them wasting time building wax. Otherwise if I'm into wax I would cut it out like in the videos from Germany.
    Steven Lechner<br />[email protected]<br />303.657.5360

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default

    >How do the bees determine how much drone comb is enough?

    I don't know but there have been studies on the subject.

    >Do they sense the testosterone level or other chemical marker, such as a pheromone, from adult drones much like they can tell if there is a queen present?

    Yes, but that's a different thing than enough drone comb. That's enough drones. Both have controling factors in the hive.

    > If they need a certain percentage of drones, and feral colonies supply enough, wouldn't the colony be happy without any of its own drone comb?

    No, because there is still the need to have drone comb. How would the feral colonies supply enough drones? Some will drift, but I doubt enough would.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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
  •