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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have 4 hives all are about 50 feet apart currently.

One of my hives has been queenless since November and it had good numbers. It had a worker layer, so I did the shake out in the yard with a paper combine with one of the weaker hives. Kept hvie closed for 2 days and had branches with leaves in front to make the reorient when I reopened the hive. Well about 40% flew back to the cinder block where the original hive was and stayed as a cluster for two day. Did it again and same result. Apparently a good number didn't like the new hive.

So yep, I placed the old hive box back and gave them some frames of honey. They have filled a frame of pollen which I gave to another hive and they have since made another 2 worker queens. I did a shake out to the first and within a few weeks I now have another drone layer.

I have one other hive just starting to make drone cells on the border of the frame and we are currently 36 degrees outside with freezes being possible until March.

Are these drones being produced by a laying worker ok to breed with?

If I wanted drones from a certain colony early in the spring, is this a method that could be used? Let a worker layer establish and produce drones early. Use these to try to breed early queens with. We have a week or better of days in the low 60s predicted. I would assume as long as the temperature get above that 62 degree mark the drones should be looking. I have frames of honey from cut outs I can feed the hive with.

Thoughts?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>Are these drones being produced by a laying worker ok to breed with?

OK? Yes. Ideal? Hard to say exactly. They tend to be raised in worker cells so they tend to be very small. Hard to say how that effects their ability to mate and their viability.

>If I wanted drones from a certain colony early in the spring, is this a method that could be used? Let a worker layer establish and produce drones early. Use these to try to breed early queens with.

People have experimented with this before. It has never become common practice, but there do seem to be people trying it all the time. Let us know how it works out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
> They tend to be raised in worker cells so they tend to be very small. Hard to say how that effects their ability to mate and their viability.

>People have experimented with this before. It has never become common practice, but there do seem to be people trying it all the time. Let us know how it works out for you.
Didn't think of the potential impacts of cell size. Many thanks for pointing that potential issue out.

I will let folks know what happens. Was curious is it was a sure way to fail.

Thanks again.
 

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If one were to put a frame or two of regular sized drone comb into a worker 'queen' hive would she lay in them and the resultant drones have higher viability?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>If one were to put a frame or two of regular sized drone comb into a worker 'queen' hive would she lay in them and the resultant drones have higher viability?

Yes, laying workers (there will be thousands of them, not one) will prefer the drone cells, not because they are aware they are laying drones, but because they can reach the bottom of the cell. The egg police workers are more likely to leave them in the drone cells, since that is where drones belong, but they will still sense there are too many drones and try to remove them all, along with the ones in worker cells. I think you would probably end up with more full size drones that way, but you'd still end up with worker sized ones. The egg police are simply overwhelmed by the time you see all those extra eggs...
 
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