Drone foundation for mites
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    Covington Twp Pa
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    Default Drone foundation for mites

    What is everyones take on using the green drone foundation for extra mite control? Why do you like them or why do you dislike them and if you like them what is the best way to use them?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Yuba County, California, USA
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    Default Re: Drone foundation for mites

    I've used them in the past with good results. I'm getting ready to use drone comb removal again this year, but this time I'm going to just use a foundationless frame. I've always placed one just off center in the brood nest. In approximately 2 weeks the drones are capped and I remove them and scratch the cappings open and set out to die. Some people stick them in the freezer a couple days to kill the pupa and mites. This year I'll just cut out the wax comb full of capped drone and place the frame back in the hive. This is an advantage to just using foundationless frame instead of the green plastic frames.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Mooresville, NC
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    361

    Default Re: Drone foundation for mites

    Do you just pull them and freeze them then return the frame for them to clean up, or do you simply scrape the frame out yourself?

  5. #4
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    Jun 2008
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    Default Re: Drone foundation for mites

    Either way will work.

    Freeze for a couple days and just put back in hive. Bees will clean it out and reuse the comb.

    Scratch the cappings and leave outside a few days or week, then put back in hive. Bees will clean it all out and reuse the comb.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Mooresville, NC
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    Default Re: Drone foundation for mites

    I don't really have the space to leave things outside. If there is even a hint of honey it invites some ridiculous robbers. Otherwise, my son's dog, for some reason, loves to eat comb. But I would be afraid, just leaving it outside would attract other less than pleasant visitors, and not actually kill the mites that are in the cells with the drones?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Crown Point, NY, USA
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    751

    Default Re: Drone foundation for mites

    No need to buy special frames for drone comb. Just go foundationless and you will get plenty. Plastic frames are tough to cut the drones out Foundationless is much easier and cheaper. If they draw worker comb great. If they draw drone you have them for queen rearing or drone trapping or both. Chickens love drone comb btw. Two bamboo skewers can be used to support deep frames for strength in case they draw worker comb. Also easy to cut out if they don't. 100 skewers are like a $1 at most stores. They work like a charm for support in foundationless beekeeping. Way faster then wiring or using fish line. I've wired 1000's of frames it is tedious work. Plastic has its appeal after spending all winter wiring and embedding. Then along came bamboo skewers...….

  8. #7
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    Jun 2016
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    kincaid,il.
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    Default Re: Drone foundation for mites

    don't forget them and let them hatch or you will have a mess

  9. #8
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    Jun 2008
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    Yuba County, California, USA
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    Default Re: Drone foundation for mites

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe View Post
    ... and not actually kill the mites that are in the cells with the drones?
    Yes, that is something I wonder about also myself.

  10. #9
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    Feb 2016
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    Mooresville, NC
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    Default Re: Drone foundation for mites

    Pretty sure that is the point of freezing them. No reason to just kill the drones unless you are planning on eating them. But definitely don't want the mites to survive just to get released to the wild.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Drone foundation for mites

    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe View Post
    ..... my son's dog, for some reason, loves to eat comb.....
    Just feed the dog.
    Highly nutritious food.

    I press the drone comb for my own needs - mix with honey and eat as a supplement.
    This is unless I let them raise drones for mating.
    In fact, people in Euro specialize on drone production as food supplement.
    Stuff sells like hot cakes.
    Of course in US, food must be refined to the point of granulated sugar before people will consider it.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Darlington Co., SC
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    36

    Default

    Tried the green frames. Bees never seemed to want to draw them out. Staryed going foundationless last year. This year, I simpky cut out sections of capped drones, check a few formites and throw the comb into my solar wax melter. Bamboo skewers are the way to go.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Bellflower,Montgomery County, Mo
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    120

    Default Re: Drone foundation for mites

    I took a drone full frame out that was foundationless. I just left it outside the hive and they all died. I put it in the back of my truck. I guess I'll just put it back in the colony as I wondered what to do with it.
    Thanks all.

  14. #13
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    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Drone foundation for mites

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Braun View Post
    I took a drone full frame out that was foundationless. I just left it outside the hive and they all died. I put it in the back of my truck. I guess I'll just put it back in the colony as I wondered what to do with it.
    Thanks all.
    You will just create the bees unnecessary work dragging all this cadaver out.
    Mites may also crawl back onto the bees, if any are lurking on the comb.
    These buggers can live for a long time in hostile environment (I kept them alive in the kitchen for few days).

    Cut the dead brood out and toss into compost/for birds into the bushes/etc.
    Put back the blank frame.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default Re: Drone foundation for mites

    I use them, but can't say I like using them. You MUST stick to your schedule and remove them on time. They do help keep the mite population down in the Spring until I treat in late Fall. Best way to manage them is to have 2 frames pr/hive so you can pop one in when you take one out. Put in the freezer and take out when it comes time to swap them and scrape the caps and most of the drone larvae pop out. Leave the rest for the bees to handle.They will usually fill a frame up twice, then fill with honey which I leave for their winter stores. I am modifying my use of them because I am experimenting with partial foundations for OSBN (opening sides of brood nest). I am determining if I can accomplish the same result with removing the drone comb from the OSBN frames and preventing swarming at the same time. J

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Drone foundation for mites

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    You will just create the bees unnecessary work dragging all this cadaver out.
    Mites may also crawl back onto the bees, if any are lurking on the comb.
    These buggers can live for a long time in hostile environment (I kept them alive in the kitchen for few days).

    Cut the dead brood out and toss into compost/for birds into the bushes/etc.
    Put back the blank frame.
    I found putting the killed brood frame back into the hive resulted in a lot of dead pupae being dropped off the doorstep and creating a stinking mess and ants. It may well be that it is more economical for the bees to just draw new cells as Greg suggests.

    I have also blown out comb with air and with water spray; both messy and time consuming. I cull some with capping lifter just as a mite count but not as a mite control.
    Frank

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New Haven, CT
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    448

    Default Re: Drone foundation for mites

    Chickens clean green frames of drone pupae with enthusiasm. No need to even freeze the frames before serving them up.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    1,750

    Default Re: Drone foundation for mites

    Quote Originally Posted by Knisely View Post
    Chickens clean green frames of drone pupae with enthusiasm. No need to even freeze the frames before serving them up.
    That makes for some pretty good, cheap entertainment, too.

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

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM, U.S.
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    283

    Default Re: Drone foundation for mites

    I couldn't stand all the energy wasted on those drone frames. So, I started just cutting off 1/3 of a foundation and running it .
    The bees fill the empty 1/3 of the frame (marked with a big green 'DRONE' in sharpie) with drone comb and early in the season I just cut the capped brood out and put them in the bird feeder.
    The bees are ecstatic to draw comb in the spring anyway and gives that age class targeted work. But later, (like this time of year) I let the preferred drones hatch (from now 'untainted' comb) for mating.
    After queen rearing, they all get cut out again.
    And in the meantime, my 'drone frame' has made me 10-15k workers and I don't have to keep track of an 11th frame for my brood chamber.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Covington Twp Pa
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    16

    Default Re: Drone foundation for mites

    Thanks gang for all the feedback. A lot of good input now to decide which way to proceed.

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