>Any tips on how to identify the arrival of 'white wax'? They are drawing some foundationless comb now, as I mentioned, but since I am feeding them light sugar syrup to encourage drawing comb, I doubt that counts, right?
If it''s warm enough and you're providing syrup then they are drawing comb. Are they rearing any drones? Here I'd be doing this about early May.
>I suppose I could ask the local beeks club and learn from them when we have 'white wax' in this area. Are there any other signs to look for?
White wax is usually what you look for.
It's usually when they start bringing in enough nectar that they decide to make some comb here and there.
>Also, I am going to go foundationless for the drone cells I allow to hatch.
> Have you ever used the frozen drone brood IPM technique?
I have not. It costs the bees a lot. If you didn't take that frame of drone larvae away from them they wouldn't try to rear another frame of drones. Which then costs them a frame of workers (which they would have drawn if they had that first frame of drones). That's pretty "expensive" in the bees' economy.
> It is supposed to trap mites in the drone cells (which the mites pefer)
It will. But I don't have enough mites to be worth the cost. I saw three Varroa all of last year...
> but the downside must be that since all the drone brood is supposed to be frozen and killed, there must be a lack of drones in the hive.
Which they will make up for by making more. But every frame of brood costs a frame of honey, a frame of pollen and the same amount of water. That's a lot of work.
> Do you think it is an effective technique to control mites
If you have a mite problem, it probably is. But if you don't, then it''s a huge waste of resources.
> and can a green drone trap comb be combined with a foundationless drone-to-hatch comb so that you can have some brood in the hive while killing the vast majority for mite traps?
Why would you want to combine them. There is nothing special about the green plastic other than the bees don't like it.
>Is this IPM tchnique worth all of the trouble?
Perhaps, if you have Varroa issues. Do you? If you are on small cell, I'm guessing you don't, but the way to find out is a sugar shake and/or a 24 hour drop count, and/or uncap a few drones and look for mites... if you don't measure the problem, then how do you know you have one?