Lesson learned the hard way
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Hamilton TN USA
    Posts
    38

    Default Lesson learned the hard way

    3 weeks ago my hives were running low on stores. I had a feeder shim on with mountain camp. One of my hives died earlier in the year so I had a fair amount of honey left over. I didn't want to be super intrusive in the colder temperatures so instead of removing the feeder shim I just set the box of honey on top of it. What could go wrong it's wintertime after all? Well I checked the bees yesterday and they filled every square inch of that feeder rim between the boxes with comb and tons of drones. I am guessing they took the honey and converted it to fresh comb??? Nothing is blooming yet. Anyway the lesson is not to create any space even in winter because they will find a way to fill it.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,699

    Default Re: Lesson learned the hard way

    Sounds like you left the feed and shim on too long or the bees didn't need the feed, or both.
    Cut it out, all that drone brood is quite the varroa trap and dispose of it.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    4,140

    Default Re: Lesson learned the hard way

    rt
    I always liked shims. When I saw a little comb being drawn in them, It told me it was time to open the brood nest or add space. It was the earliest thing that I would watch for. I am a newer bee keeper though and so this is just how I thought and not so much advice.
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,637

    Default Re: Lesson learned the hard way

    Ya, give them space and warmer weather and they will build in it! I’ve forgotten to take the shims off and gotten into some interesting situations too.
    Rod

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,234

    Default Re: Lesson learned the hard way

    Wait?! What??? There's an easy way?
    Zone 6B

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,544

    Default Re: Lesson learned the hard way

    Give the bees a foundationless frame to build drone comb on and you won't see so much drone comb in the feeder shim. Once capped you can remove it as part of a mite management strategy and melt it down for wax.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Canandaigua, New York, USA
    Posts
    40

    Default

    That's a good idea JP. Other than chickens, what's the best way to remove the drone brood?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,234

    Default Re: Lesson learned the hard way

    You can freeze it and then give it back to the hive. The girls will clean it up. It seems like a lousy chore but they don't seem to be complaining.
    Zone 6B

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Canandaigua, New York, USA
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Will the ladies utilize the frozen remains or just chuck them poor males?

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,544

    Default Re: Lesson learned the hard way

    Unless there is a severe protein shortage, I think they just drag the poor done larvae out the door. Auf wiedersehen. I just boil them with the wax and strain as I no longer have chucks to feed them to.
    Last edited by JWPalmer; 02-19-2020 at 03:50 AM.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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