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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i've started puting some empty frames in some strong colonies in an attempt to regress to small cell.

most of these frames are already completed. they're straight and in the frame, but they all look like they're going to be drone cell (they're not yet capped, but i'm pretty certain of this) and i've got three colonies that have chosen this size.

all of these colonies are bursting with bees and are ready to be supered, but i don't want to stack supers with all those possible drones hatching down there.

advice please :(

p.s. has anybody else had this problem?
 

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Just keep feeding new frames into the center of the brood nest. Rotate other frames outward.

The bees will always make drone cells and are adept at figuring out what they need. They will not "over do" drones even though it appears they are.

Are the colonies preparing to swarm?

Have you checked for queen cells?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
these frames were fed into the brood chamber and in all three hives they built what looks like drone comb (most likely), total of six frames (two in each hive).

there is no sign of swarm cells, but the colonies have built up QUICK!! i'm going to split soon (just working out the specifics of who goes where).

as i mentioned, these frames look good except for the size of the cell. they're straight and fill the frame.

should i just wait for them to cap these?

when i eyeball it with a frame of "normal" large cell frames, they look bigger (not very scientific, but i've got good eyes.
).
 

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buford

when you say you put in empty frames I assume you mean frames with no foundation
this is what I did when I first tried to do SC and I had similar results
I asked the same question you're asking and had it suggested that when you have a hive on regular foundation, you are kinda suppressing there need to build drone comb (in fact that's one of the arguments for using foundation)
when you first give them an empty frame you all of a sudden give them a chance to satify that urge and they draw a whole frame of drone comb.
Makes sense to me
just move it to the ouside of the brood nest and feed em another empty frame, they'll straighten out

Dave
 

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My hives were doing the same. I put in starter strips and they drew out many drone cells. I had to split this past weekend because they were planning on swarming. I am going to keep feeding starter strips into the hive and wait for their swarm drive to pass. I think they will then start concentrating on building worker brood comb. I did have them draw out one worker brood frame and the queen packed it full. I would just leave the drone comb unless you want to remove it after it is capped as part of your Integrated Pest Management Plan (Varroa are more attracted to drone brood, if you remove and kill the capped drone brood, you will also kill many Varroa mites)
 

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>they're not yet capped, but i'm pretty certain of this) and i've got three colonies that have chosen this size.

Just move the drone comb to the sides of the brood nest and give them more starter strips. They will start building worker brood usually after a frame or two of drone. This is the time of year they want to make a bunch of drones. Once they have them they will happily make workers.

One way or another they would have reared those drones anyway. You just let them. They will be much happier for it.

>i don't want to stack supers with all those possible drones hatching down there.

Why not? Drones are not bad. They are reality.
 

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Michael,
Any speculation or experience in what would happen if these hives were given frames of drone comb? Would that satisfy them?

Waya
 
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