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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Checked my hive today and saw a TON of honey. I don't know where they are finding it but there is a heck of a honey flow. They are really packing it away as fast as they can build comb. There was a beer coaster sized piece of comb they just built and they were already stuffing it with honey. If I was to guess, there was probably about a total of 15lbs worth of honey across 6 bars.

Anyway, on to my question. About 5 bars in I noticed a small 4"x4" section of capped drone comb surrounded by beautiful solid capped honey. They were uncapping and pulling the undeveloped drones out then dragging them off. Some even managed to pull 1 out and fly right off with it by themselves. I grabbed about 3 of them they were dragging off towards the entrance to check them thinking they had varoa or some other nastyness they were killing them off for :eek: but thankfully they were clean and pure white. (half their heads were gone...:( ) I heard that they kick the drone out near winter. Is this about the time they do away with drone or are they making room for more honey? Whats up?

Also how does one tell when to collect honey? I'm not chomping at the bit to get honey. I couldn't care less if I got any if it ensured the hive would make it through the winter. Just curious.

Thanks in advance.
 

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You clearly seem to have a bumper-crop of the stuff right now. Working from the outside frames inward, help yourself to a bar or two, if it is fully capped. Leave the rest, and check back later.

As for what the workers might be doing to the drones, I suggest that you merely leave them to themselves. The insect kingdom is, shall we say, "ruthlessly efficient" when it comes to the Y-chromosome. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, there is no semblance of mercy in the insect world especially to the male kind.

Here is one of 4 bars like this. 3 others are more than half full with brood/drone around the bottom.
Bee Honeybee Honeycomb Beehive Beekeeper


What seem odd to me is the hive box itself is just over half full and roughly 1/4 of that is mostly honey. They are already stuffing honey into what used to be brood comb (it's kinda dark). It seems the queen has to look for holes that don't have honey in them for brood. What will happen if the queen runs out of space to lay? Is it a bad idea to stick an empty bar in between forward brood area and see if they will draw it out for more brood?
 

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That is a beautiful bar of honey comb! If you are anxious for a taste, just lop off the bottom half, cut off the drone brood at the very bottom, and crush and strain. I don't have any bars of full honey, but it did a small cut out section about 2"x6" just for a taste test, and the bees repaired the hole within a week's time.

As far as inserting bars between the drawn comb, yes, definitely. With whatever flow is going on now, they should be able to get the bars built out at least half way. And I would think you would want to keep adding more in between as long as they are willing to draw them out. Hopefully the queen will get eggs laid in them before they pack them with honey. Do you have more bars at the end of the honey bars? My bees mostly prefer to draw the new comb between 2 bars of already drawn comb vs. free hanging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have bars that have string guides with wax melted on them. I could put that in the middle of the brood comb. I'm worried that without enough brood comb to lay eggs in she'll leave for a larger space although about just over half the hive is full of drawn comb. They are back filling brood comb with honey quickly. Some brood comb is peppered with honey and the queen is really cranking them out so much so there is a bar of comb further towards the entrance that is solid capped brood. No gaps. I'm thinking they are killing the drone that is towards the end surrounded by honey for more room. :s
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Would honey bees rob another hive even though they have plenty? I don't know if anyone has a hive nearby but the rate they are packing honey away and considering it's only July makes me wonder. Also, my place is surrounded by fields of blueberry bushes that are in season and loaded with fruit. Would the bees collect sugar from the fallen berries?
 
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