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 11:49 AM.
(1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')