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So I am a complete beginner but I have a question about drones.
Since culling drones is/was a method of reducing mites in the hive, I was wondering if there was a time in the Fall/ early winter when you could pull out the drone comb, or cut it out without causing them to immediately waste energy building more. I.e. get rid of the drones when they would but while still likely to reduce mites.
 

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Toward fall and early winter the bees are no longer raising drones so the varroa are in other cells. The time to cull occupied drone comb, if you choose that route is when the bees are starting to raise drones in large numbers. Putting a foundationless frame in beside your brood nest will result in two things, swarming will be reduced by relieving congestion in the brood nest or the bees will build 100 drone comb that can be removed after the bees cap the larvae and potentially remove thousands of mites from the hive.

The counter argument is that we might be breeding mites that prefer worker cells and that it is indeed wasteful of the bees resources.
 

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>I was wondering if there was a time in the Fall/ early winter when you could pull out the drone comb, or cut it out without causing them to immediately waste energy building more.

They would not have built them if they didn't want them. But sometimes in the fall they change their mind because of weather and resources... but then they remove them (mites and all).

I want mites that prefer drones. To select for that you should remove all the worker brood... ;)
 
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