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Discussion Starter #1
A speaker at our club last Thursday made a very interesting comment regarding drone comb in honey supers.

He says it is irresistible to the bees for storing honey, and they work extra hard to fill it all through the nectar flow.

He says the bees do not react the same way to an empty super or bare foundation - but only to drone comb.

In fact, he said you can add as many supers of drone comb as you want and it will get the girls to working extra hard. Regular foundation comb must be added a super at a time, to keep them from getting bored, (or something.)

Anyone ever heard this?
 

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I had hives with drone comb in the supers once. It wasn't on purpose as I usually don't use excluders, but it was effective. If it does make a difference, perhaps it's that they are afraid the queen will lay in them so they fill them with honey. :)
 

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For me, its a mystery at this point. My friend who made the comment has 40 years of BK under his belt, and is highly informed. I take his comments quite seriously.

I am really curious as to the nature of this phenomenon. He said regular super foundation or drawn comb does not have the same effect as drone comb. He said the workers are very unsettled by it and work extra hard to fill it with honey.
 

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Hi all

I also have a friend with 40+ years of experience in BK. When I first met him, he had thousands of droney supers which he placed above an excluder, so that the queen couldn't get to them. But basically, this technique was to avoid having to reinstall foundation, more than anything else. To get a few more years of use out of a bunch of shabby combs.

The idea that bees can adjust the amount of honey they gather based on whether they have drone comb or not is a misunderstanding of bee behavior. They get as much honey as they possibly can. They regulate the amount of pollen they gather but not the amount of honey.

What you are seeing is the difference between what they do with the honey, not the quantity that is being brought in. If there are combs to build, a lot of honey is consumed in producing wax, some would say up to half of it. It is true that bees build and prefer drone comb for honey storage. But there is no net increase in the amount of honey.

Allowing unlimited raising of drones, on the other hand, will result in lower honey production
 
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