Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I put a deep box on a hive with 2 foundationless frames. They drew them both out as drone comb.
What would you do? Leave them be and eventually down the road they will backfill with honey? Fix now or leave til next year? Don't fix at all?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
405 Posts
Give them somewhere to lay drones and in my experience you find less between the boxes in burr comb. A couple frames shouldn't hurt anything. Maybe yank them out at some point when laid up fully and capped for a small mite removal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,577 Posts
So I put a deep box on a hive with 2 foundationless frames. They drew them both out as drone comb.
What would you do? Leave them be and eventually down the road they will backfill with honey? Fix now or leave til next year? Don't fix at all?
little lion:

In addition to what vtbeeguy said, and if you've got room to spare, you could consider moving these two drone frames to the periphery of the nest (i.e. 2 and 8) and then install two more foundationless frames in the core of the nest such that they will likely draw them out worker-cell sized now that they have scratched their drone production itch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
495 Posts
I label my drone frames, because they can't be used for a nuc for laying space with a new queen. Those are not useful as worker cells! But... for a full sized hive, they are fine as 1) expendable heat source this time of year, AKA drone brood, and 2) eventually honey storage for winter. Having drones is good in my book because more drones means all queens have a better chance at success - and those queens will eventually lay drones for your queens, down the line... The queen will likely refill with drones once or twice more, and those may not open up until August. But they will open up in time for winter honey storage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
these are in nucs. 5x5 with a medium above them. i'll probably pull one of them and start over. hopefully they will draw it out before winter,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
Just found this old thread. Maybe you are still wondering? Most of my frames are foundationless. I like to have 20% drone comb in each colony. (10% minimum) When having a fullsized colony draw comb on flow if I don't want them to draw drone comb I put in extra drawn drone comb before putting in foundationless frames. I prefer to have the individual combs 90%+ worker or 90%+ drone so it does not get too mixed up. Mostly I put drone comb in 1,2,9,10 positions. In nucs just 1 or 5. Usually small colonies don't build drone comb. In general, don't remove drone comb in hopes they will do better next time. You can move drone comb up and out if it's in your way but don't REmove it. Consider: the bees want drones; beekeepers want only worker comb. We create an unnatural imbalance in the hive. The bees will take every opportunity to create balance, such as ladder and brace comb. Once they have the amount of drone comb they want they will go back to building worker comb. If your nuc built a bunch of drone comb it feels big enough to support the local drone pool and is hoping to swarm this year. Give it some more space and more combs to draw in or on the side of the brood nest. Use them as a comb drawing colony.
Mentioned above: you can remove capped drone brood to freeze as a mite management/ treatment. I wonder if this would put selective pressure on the mites to prefer WORKER brood instead of their current apparent preference for drone brood? Maybe not a long term solution, but certainly could be useful in the short term (for those with only a couple colonies; try removing drone brood from 100 colonies and freezing it all on schedule....) Good luck. There's nothing like a perfectly drawn foundationless comb evenly full of brood. The bees make wonders... 🙂
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top