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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes because i like them. They look funny with big eyes and making funky sound. And i think workers like to have them around. They are giving nice wibe, so workers are more inspired to make their thing.. Or maybe im just wierd?

But i dont know how to give them space? One option would be to have separate frames full of drone comb. Maybe move them to the side nearest to wall so they dont take space from brood nest. Or would it be better to cut 10-20% from each foundation and let them build drone comb all around?

Anyone else here who likes to keep drones? Have you found that they eat all of your honey? Or have you found out that they have some positive effect to colony?
 

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If you like drones why not throw a few green frames in your hive, they are large cell and will be used for drones, at least until the girls toss the boys out and fill the large cell comb with honey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thats one option, but wouldnt it be same to put foundationless frames? Usually the build mostly drone first? Im just wondering would it be more practical to have them little at each frame or just few frames full of them?
 

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You really cannot save your drones comes Fall. The workers will drag them out to save some resources
for overwintering. If you want to continue to have them then make some nucs with foundation less frames.
But if you put some drones from another hive into the nuc then they will not make any drone. That is how I
trick my nuc hives to make more worker cells instead of the drone cells. Not that I don't like their bigger eyes
and cute rounded bodies but they eat too much resources affecting the queen's ability to lay worker eggs and
making the workers work too hard for the hive. I have 4 frames all hatched so the hive is full of them now.
Good for virgin queens though. Mating flight will be shorten and laying faster than usual. If you are talking about
weird beekeeper then I am weirder than you. I break all the general rules in beekeeping.
The hive will make them to their satisfaction that there is not way you can control its population inside the hive.
Usually they will make more of them. So a few or more frames does not matter. I think the best way is not to cut
out the existing combs but to give them new foundation less frames so they can make the drones naturally to their
content.
 

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I'm pretty much foundationless so my bees build all the drones they want. As soon as they get their quota they'll stop and fill the cells with honey.

I believe hives with a healthy population of drones just run smoother. But I've always stepped to my own drummer.
Woody Roberts
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thats what i was thinking. They must have some function in hive than only mate. What do you mean by smoother?
 

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Being a guy, I feel sorry for the drones ... even if they get lucky it is bad luck. But they do have the good life for a while.

The idea of keeping drones in their own bachelor pad is kind of interesting for research. Drone brood is a mite magnet, so I can see the possibility of moving my green drone frames to a special hive (maybe in a quarantine flight cage) in order to do some sort of research on varroa control. No worries about anything you treat them with getting in the honey or comb from a productive hive. They might need a few nurses to get them started, and would require donations of food from productive hives.

Beats being stuck in a freezer.
 

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How would you keep drones alive by themselves? I don't think they can even feed themselves without help, and they certainly wouldn't replenish any resources they do manage to consume. Most likely they would quickly realize that their bachelor pad isn't very cool without some girls around, and would fly over to the other hive.
 

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The description I've seen is that they'll beg food off nurse bees for a few days after emerging, but then they learn to help themselves to the stores. It might be interesting to see how fast they can learn to feed themselves with no girls around to help.

I figured any such effort requires keeping them in a small flight cage of #8 hardware cloth, to keep them from interacting with other bees, but allow cleansing flights. The only practical reason I can see to keep them this way is for research on things like miticides.
 

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Thats what i was thinking. They must have some function in hive than only mate. What do you mean by smoother?
By smoother I mean when I see a strong healthy foundationless hive they usually have several drones running around.
By the same token when I see too many drones in a weak hive I expect supersedure anytime. They know what's coming.

At the risk of catching some flak I'll give my theory on this. I have lots of theory's. Most have been proved wrong already.
Workers are female. They can be sweet one day and mean the next. If you have a big office with only women working there you can count on lots of strife. If you mix in a few men things will run a lot smoother. I don't know why.
Most women who have worked with only women will tell you , it can be brutal.

Go ahead ladies, I have tough skin.
Woody Roberts
 

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Finland may be a bit cooler than my location.
I find hives with designated drone comb (green Pierco) a constant supply of 1:1 and pollen sub will produce drones nearly continuous often close to year round.
 
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