Drone cells in the Treatment Free world - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
    Posts
    2,661

    Default Re: Drone cells in the Treatment Free world

    (Just a note that I do not practice TF beekeeping.)

    One Spring I inserted foundationless frames into a robust and vigorous hive. I put one foundationless frame into the center of each box of the brood nest. The bees built the frames out post-haste as drone comb and went to town producing drones. That hive produced huge amounts of drones, and the hive itself was quite big. However, roughly 50% of the hive population was eventually drones. There were so many drones I could never find the queen with all the "big" bees on the frames. Despite the large hive population, that hive did not produce much honey. My goal is honey production, and that experiment was a disaster towards that goal. Never doing that again.

    But, I do find that some drone comb has value. It is good for spearing with a cappings scratcher and examining the drone larvae for mites. If you see few-if-any mites on the drone larvae, you know the hive has minimal mite numbers.





    .
    Last edited by shinbone; 06-03-2019 at 10:49 AM.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,735

    Default Re: Drone cells in the Treatment Free world

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I have a lot of foundationless frames. I have a lot of drone comb. I put it on the outside of the boxes. I never cull it. I never remove it. I never kill drones.
    I believe you have said that honey is not your main product
    Frank

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,748

    Default Re: Drone cells in the Treatment Free world

    >I believe you have said that honey is not your main product

    No. Queens are my main product.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Perris, California
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Drone cells in the Treatment Free world

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I have a lot of foundationless frames. I have a lot of drone comb. I put it on the outside of the boxes. I never cull it. I never remove it. I never kill drones.
    I live in So cal. Killer bees or Hot bees are a problem in some hives. I do not want those to reproduce. I think taking the Drones out will keep those hives from passing on the aggressive behavior.

  6. #25
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Hot Springs, AR, USA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Drone cells in the Treatment Free world

    I am not a card carrying TF keeper, I just haven't had to treat in 3 years. I use foundationless deep frames in all my brood boxes and the brood area in my horizontal hive. My bees make the most drones in spring, then some in summer, and then less and less until fall. What you describe seems like a low number for this time of year. If you are worried about swarming keep an eye out for backfilling nectar in brood areas along with a drastic increase in drone brood.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Foster City, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Drone cells in the Treatment Free world

    NoWIBeek - Hi, there is a beekeeping club that meets in Iron Mountain,MI on a semi-regular basis, and we have a number of beekeepers from northern Marinette county. I am also a newer beekeeper from the UP and have yet to be successful in
    getting bees to overwinter, I have been trying for the last couple years. I have 4 hives this year and will keep trying. The club members are all very helpful and like helping new beekeepers. I also work in Marinette, PM me for more info if interested.

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    2,762

    Default Re: Drone cells in the Treatment Free world

    I'm mostly topbar hives and all foundationless and don't use the standard treatments to take care of varroa in my hives. However, I think drones may have more duties in a hive than research has shown, so I mostly allow them to exist. Some hives can be 50% drones if I don't rearrange the bars or pull queens so they fill them up with honey. I also raise queens so I like the diverse genetic material flying around in the DCAs.

    In the summer months, I will take the 100% drones frames that are capped and either freeze them or pull out the grubs to do a mite test count. If it is exceedingly high in a hive, I will try and eliminate all the capped drones at the time (and do some of my other mite management measures).

    DSCF3178.jpg

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    10,036

    Default Re: Drone cells in the Treatment Free world

    .
    I'm not even treatment free, but since we are doing pics i'll show off one of my beautiful drone combs. A comb like this can churn out more than two and a half thousand drones per cycle.

    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  10. #29

    Default Re: Drone cells in the Treatment Free world

    Drones are haploid and therefore all weaknesses show in their phenotype. Mite pressure affects drones in many ways: some donīt hatch, some are not able to fly, some have few sperm, some have other disabilities.

    If drone brood is culled it serves only as short time help for existing colonies. In long term it does great deal harm for varroa resistance breeding.

    Breeding advance in varroa resistance is likely to be faster via drone raising than queen raising. But of course doing both is the best.

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    1,442

    Default Re: Drone cells in the Treatment Free world

    I have always wondered how many Varroa affected Drones make it to the DCAs and mate? If they don't, then they wouldn't be passing on the ability to survive mites, or would they?

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Boaz, KY, USA
    Posts
    1,157

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AHudd View Post
    I have always wondered how many Varroa affected Drones make it to the DCAs and mate? If they don't, then they wouldn't be passing on the ability to survive mites, or would they?

    Alex
    Alex:

    Great question. Hopefully someone has some good anecdotal information on this. It seems logical to me that only the fittest drones successfully mate, so the varroa-impaired drones would be very under-represented in reproduction.

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
    Posts
    1,442

    Default Re: Drone cells in the Treatment Free world

    I've just never understood how breeding for varroa resistance could succeed if neither parent had been affected by them.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

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