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I'm listening to Michael Palmer's Sustainable Apiary, thinking I'm going to try this method this year. Is there a sub-forum for resource hive management? Swarm management seems especially important in my area. I'm curious - do people who use resource hives find that bees really don't draw drone comb? That seems almost too good to be true!
 

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Bees establishing a colony such as a new nucleus colony are not rich enough to waste resources on reproductive activity and raising drones is just that. Nothing is always but for the most part, good worker comb will be produced.
 

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When a colony becomes strong enough it will raise drones whether you want it to or not. When they don't have a place to put drone comb they will put it between frames and between boxes, causing a mess of busted open cells and white goo at inspection time and angering the bees,. I've found that giving them a place to raise drones keeps that mess down so I'd be careful about creating only worker comb.
 

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Resource hive is a rather broad term. I think the poster is thinking of 4 or 5 frame stacked nucs. A ten frame colony could be dedicated to drawing comb and raising brood that is being taken away to support nucs etc. It will continuously be in establishment mode so wont build as much drone comb. Since you are not worrying about honey contamination you can feed sugar syrup or treat as you please.

I have found stacked 4 and 5 frame colonies do not seem nearly as inclined to build drone even when they get three high. Instead of 4 outside frames as in a ten frame box the frames are all treated as brood. That is conjecture of course and I am using foundation. Perhaps someone who is doing them foundationless would chime in. If they dont draw a lot of drone in foundationless frames that is the real test!

I haven't used them to supply brood frames but when you let them grow three boxes high they winter well and that is more than a full ten frame colony come spring. You have a queen who has not been pushed to lay as heavily as one who laid up a double deep colony that made a hundred pounds of honey. She is in her prime.
 

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I had a few hive that were in ten frame single deep with a medium box above for honey storage. I put some starter strips towards the outside of the brood nest. All of them filled them with brood comb. This was about 3 weeks ago.

I live about 80 miles west of St Louis by Interstate 70 for a location reference for you.
 

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I had a few hive that were in ten frame single deep with a medium box above for honey storage. I put some starter strips towards the outside of the brood nest. All of them filled them with brood comb. This was about 3 weeks ago.

I live about 80 miles west of St Louis by Interstate 70 for a location reference for you.
I would like to know your charm Jim! It seems I would have to have about 4 other drone frames in a ten frame box before the bees would draw all brood on foundationless frames. Sounds like good management of single deep colony.
 

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Frank,
If I put foundationless frames either on the end or second to the end of the brood nest it's almost always brood comb. There have to be about 7 or 8 brood frames. That is if it's far enough into swarm season.
 

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Since I started going foundationless last year, I have found that my hives requeen much more succesfully due to the presence of way more drones.
Remember too, that removal of capped drone IS an accepted varroa control method.
I simply remove capped drone that is in the center of the frame where I woyld prefer worker brood.
 
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