Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,861 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, All! Going into early Spring here I wanted the bees to draw out more small cell worker combs. That did not happen.
They are drawing out more drone cells than any other cells. Since making more drones is the most
important priority now to take advantage of the early Spring flow, I did an experiment on my nuc splits
which are also drawing out drone combs on the new frames. These are foundation less frames with a 2" small cell starter strip.
So after the strongest hive got some drones that hatched, I put in 40 or so into the small nuc hives with a laying queen.
Seeing a sudden increased in drones, the workers quickly drawn out more small cells switching their tactic
right away. So this frame got bigger cells on top and smaller worker cells at the bottom where as the frames in the other
hives got the big drone cells all the way down. Isn't this interesting to change their beehavior? Anyone every tried
that before with a different result?
I also have a queenless nuc in the making for a new queen soon. They are also drawing out drone combs in anticipation of a new queen.
What if I put some newly hatched drones in there, will they change their mind to draw out some small cells also? With the drones in
there will all the new frames I put in going to be small cell combs? What do you think?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
13,203 Posts
If it is something you are trying to learn through observation I am all for it. If it is a tactic to control what the bees do it is wasted effort.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
763 Posts
If it is something you are trying to learn through observation I am all for it. If it is a tactic to control what the bees do it is wasted effort.
Wisest quote of the year right there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Hi, All! Going into early Spring here I wanted the bees to draw out more small cell worker combs. That did not happen.
They are drawing out more drone cells than any other cells. Since making more drones is the most
important priority now to take advantage of the early Spring flow, I did an experiment on my nuc splits
which are also drawing out drone combs on the new frames. These are foundation less frames with a 2" small cell starter strip.
So after the strongest hive got some drones that hatched, I put in 40 or so into the small nuc hives with a laying queen.
Seeing a sudden increased in drones, the workers quickly drawn out more small cells switching their tactic
right away. So this frame got bigger cells on top and smaller worker cells at the bottom where as the frames in the other
hives got the big drone cells all the way down. Isn't this interesting to change their beehavior? Anyone every tried
that before with a different result?
I also have a queenless nuc in the making for a new queen soon. They are also drawing out drone combs in anticipation of a new queen.
What if I put some newly hatched drones in there, will they change their mind to draw out some small cells also? With the drones in
there will all the new frames I put in going to be small cell combs? What do you think?
If you have added foundationless frames to your existing foundation hives or nucs, you will get a lot of drone cells until the bees feel like they have reached the amount they need then they will stop building drone cells. That is my experience and is in line with what I have read as well.

It may take several generations of bees, removing comb and replacing with foundationless to regress them down to small cell size.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,649 Posts
Ya, profound indeed Ace, bees will do what they want to do to, there ain't no training them.
Bepro, it's not just drone comb, it's for honey storage also, if you want more worker comb built, you have to get the get the bare frame closer to the brood nest. At least that's what I found with my brief experiment with foundationless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
Ya, profound indeed Ace, bees will do what they want to do to, there ain't no training them.
Well, maybe rw. But they can be manipulated. If you put empty frames into a queenless nuc most of the comb will be drawn out worker cell size. Whereas, if you do the same w/ a queen right nuc that frame will be full of drone comb.

I have a friend who spent part of his winter months cutting drone comb out of deep frame combs, sometimes knocking out all the comb only leaving the wires. Come spring, when he made nucs to raise their own queens, those holes in the combs were rebuilt worker cell size.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,310 Posts
Do you have any (mostly) empty drawn worker comb frames? If it were me and I wanted more workers then drones, I would drop an empty worker cell frame in where I thought the queen to be located, hoping to influence more worker brood.

Phil
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
13,203 Posts
Well, maybe rw. But they can be manipulated. If you put empty frames into a queenless nuc most of the comb will be drawn out worker cell size. Whereas, if you do the same w/ a queen right nuc that frame will be full of drone comb.
What is the manipulation? Are you forcing the bees to do something they don't want to do? If they build drone comb does that create more drones or is it a more efficient way to store honey? How do you know what their intent is and what difference does it make if you do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
Maybe I missed something again, but I though the discussion was about brood comb, not honey comb. I don't care how they draw honey comb. Any possible difference between how much honey can be stored in a comb fully drawn drone or fully drawn worker is insignificant to me. And I would think to you also, Brian.

Maybe I should have said that we can take advantage of the honeybees "natural tendency" rather than that we can manipulate them. Is that better? As far as intention, I figure that if there is any intention it is to do what is best for the colony.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,183 Posts
Mating nucs also build little if any drone comb - even when queen right - even foundationless. I recon little hives need workers not drones. Mating nucs can build a relatively large amt of comb for their size - on a good flow.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
13,203 Posts
Maybe I missed something again, but I though the discussion was about brood comb, not honey comb. I don't care how they draw honey comb. Any possible difference between how much honey can be stored in a comb fully drawn drone or fully drawn worker is insignificant to me. And I would think to you also, Brian.
They can construct drone comb faster because it uses less wax.

Maybe I should have said that we can take advantage of the honeybees "natural tendency" rather than that we can manipulate them. Is that better? As far as intention, I figure that if there is any intention it is to do what is best for the colony.
Yes, we agree.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
In a bee's hive all comb is honeycomb and brood comb. Drone comb indicates a bore size, as does worker. Visually discernable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,265 Posts
In a bee's hive all comb is honeycomb and brood comb. Drone comb indicates a bore size, as does worker. Visually discernable.
Large new comb with nectar / honey in it was constructed to store honey....
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top