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Discussion Starter #1
I have never used queen excluders but his year unlike the past 10 years I have queens laying in the supers,. I have done brood at the bottom edge of about 20% of the supers. I use 2 bottom deeps and I have noticed that the top deeps is are no longer filled with honey as they were when I place the supers on. We had a very bad spring and would appreciate your thoughts. What is the cause of drone brood at the bottom the supers. I don't think we have that many done laying queens or workers.
 

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I often see the workers rework comb in superes to drone size even when there is an excluder on. With no excluder they fetch the queen up to be laying eggs when the cells are less than half drawn. Their instinct I suppose. I only tried a few times to let them self regulate the drone laying or brood in general without excluders; with my bees, climate and flow conditions I did not like the results. I extract early and do not like having to work around brood in the honey supers.

If your climate and flows suit, you can wait till later in the fall and those cells will have the brood emerged and filled with honey.
 

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I have a very early and only flow so the only way I can keep the queens out of the supers is with queen excluders and have entrances in the hand holds of the supers, also bring up capped brood above the supers to draw bees up. With drone brood I have found that if you do not provide place in the brood boxes for drone brood you get burr comb all over the place where they try to raise drones, so I do as Laurie does and cut platic comb in half and put each half into the middle of 2 frames and have one of these frames in every brood box. The bees draw worker comb on the plastic half then draw drone comb on the outsides of the plastic comb. If you do not need drones you can cut them out when capped using a knife, discard then put the frames back and they will again draw drone comb.
Johno
 

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Discussion Starter #4
JOHNO
Can you explain again how you cut your frames. Are you saying you just cut 1/2 of the plastic in the frame?
I have a very early and only flow so the only way I can keep the queens out of the supers is with queen excluders and have entrances in the hand holds of the supers, also bring up capped brood above the supers to draw bees up. With drone brood I have found that if you do not provide place in the brood boxes for drone brood you get burr comb all over the place where they try to raise drones, so I do as Laurie does and cut platic comb in half and put each half into the middle of 2 frames and have one of these frames in every brood box. The bees draw worker comb on the plastic half then draw drone comb on the outsides of the plastic comb. If you do not need drones you can cut them out when capped using a knife, discard then put the frames back and they will again draw drone comb.
Johno
 

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Planner I do not cut the frames, I cut a sheet of Ritecell foundation into 2 pieces and fix each half in a new frame, you can pin it in the center of the frame with a couple of small nails or whatever. I use the Ritecell they call quick draw which has extra wax coating. when the bees draw out on the Ritecell there will be worker brood and they will draw drone comb on either side of the ritecell. I try to have one of those in every brood box. As I mentioned if you want to cull drone brood just run a knife around the capped drone brood and remove otherwise as the season moves on you can move those frames to the sides and if they no longer need drones they will use the drone comb for stores.
Johno
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks I fully understand and will try next year. Thanks. We have had a very poor year in terms of production. I would estimate about 1/3 of previous years. Late spring, cold and rain. When ever we need more bees we purchase NUCs but this year they also were very poor qaulity. Then came drone brood.
Planner I do not cut the frames, I cut a sheet of Ritecell foundation into 2 pieces and fix each half in a new frame, you can pin it in the center of the frame with a couple of small nails or whatever. I use the Ritecell they call quick draw which has extra wax coating. when the bees draw out on the Ritecell there will be worker brood and they will draw drone comb on either side of the ritecell. I try to have one of those in every brood box. As I mentioned if you want to cull drone brood just run a knife around the capped drone brood and remove otherwise as the season moves on you can move those frames to the sides and if they no longer need drones they will use the drone comb for stores.
Johno
 
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