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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started putting in some foundationless frames, and I AM finding that they're building it into drone comb. It's not altogether bad tho, because this is a good time of year to "collect" mites in drone comb and destroy it.

I found 2 complete frames in one booming hive yesterday that were completely capped drone brood. I set one on the ground and a chicken came up and started pecking it. Then I noticed it was oozing white fluid. I punctured some more of the cells, and still white fluid, I couldn't decipher larvae.

Then I thought maybe if it's still liquidy and not larvae-y, maybe the mites aren't in there yet, so I put it back in the hive to "bake" some more. But THEN I realized that if the drone brood is capped, no more mites are entering there, so I should go BACK out and grab those 2 drone frames and cut them out.

Okay. So why the white liquid, instead of seeing nicely formed larvae?

And in the cells I punctured, I didn't see any black dots that would be mites. So hmm. Should I just let the drone brood hatch?
 

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When they are newly capped the larvae are quite juicy. It is hard to pull them out in one piece to examine for mites at this stage and there are fewer of the cells potential crop to look for. Later in their 24 day cycle they are much more solid. If you are culling them to kill mites make sure you dont wait till the drones emerge or you will be propagating mites instead of killing them.

Edit; if the cell is newly capped the female mite could be in the liquid feed, having not laid any eggs yet, and not come out with the larvae when pulled. Near cycle completion you would perhaps see three or four of her progeny infesting the pupae of the drone. Male and immature mites are much lighter coloured.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Okay, so even if I pull capped drones in their liquid stage, I'm still getting mites out? I just want to be sure the mites are in there before I pull them out.
 

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Okay, so even if I pull capped drones in their liquid stage, I'm still getting mites out? I just want to be sure the mites are in there before I pull them out.
Yep. You're stopping the female from propagating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you! I'm going back out to grab those frames again.

They should remember me from yesterday when I split the hive.

They won't mind. Right?

LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I found one and it's in the freezer. I guess the other is going to be mating drones for lucky queens out there... Unless I find it maybe next week. No smoker.
 

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It's been my experience that the mites will be at the bottom of the cell, I have to pull the pupa out in order to see if there are mites or not.
 

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Also the mite feces is white and plastered to the cell sides; look in the cells after you pull the pupae or you miss one of the most visible signs of mite presence.
 
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