Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

Seeded a new package with drone comb - whoops. Now what?

1245 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Michael Bush
In early May I started two new packages and seeded them both with some comb from a deadout (foundationless long hive.) I wasn't paying attention and apparently one of the two received a great deal of drone comb. When I checked on the hive two weeks ago I was greeted by about 4 frames of those lovely bullet shaped caps and I realized what I had done (most of it was capped honey when I did the install.) At that time I slipped a few empty frames between the drone comb so they would draw some standard comb. Inspection today showed that all the drones have hatched and all the drone comb is being used for stores. There is newly drawn comb (non-drone) on two frames which are not showing capped brood yet (although they could have eggs I couldn't tell.)

Should I move all the drone/stores to one end and give them more empty frames/drawn comb so she can start laying worker brood or should I leave things in the order they are in? Is it strange they were willing to raise so many drones rather than building more comb to make workers? Anything else I can/should do to get them back on track?
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
I think I'd move two of them to the outside positions in the bottom box and if they're ready for it, put the other two on the outsides of the new box. If they're not ready for a new box, I think I would move them to the two outside positions on each side.
Cull it, or place it above an excluder, or if not using an excluder...I have no choice here...move it up to the next box. If they're really out of hand...Wax foundation should help.
Don't blame yourself. The folks that relentlessly promote foundationless, also tend to dismiss the phenomenon you now have firsthand experience with. They claim the bees have unnatural prescience and will never over-commit to drones. I disagree: Unless you cull and grade foundationless, one can easily build an unsuitable brood nest with the results you document.

Sounds like you have recovered without losing the hive. Expect to see population drop as the current workers age out, however. Once placed in the honey storage position, that big cell makes great storage. Just mark the bars with a big "H" so the situation doesn't reoccur in the future.
Move the drones to the outside edges where they belong and put worker brood comb in the center.
Thank you for all the advice guys. I really appreciate it. Would it be advisable to add some capped brood from a stronger hive into this one?
>Would it be advisable to add some capped brood from a stronger hive into this one?

If you have a really strong hive that can spare it, sure.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.