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Discussion Starter #1
Last year we started using drone brood removal for varroa control. We hung empty, foundation-less frames into the hives, and the bees built the drone comb, filled them with brood (and varroa), and after 20-22 days we cut out the drone brood.

Problem is, what to do with the drone brood.

I tried melting it down, but then I ended up with a whole bunch of unattractive, stinky gunk.

Anybody have any ideas?

JH
 

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In many African and Asian countries, brood combs are considered a delicacy and consumed immediately when available. They are also particularly rich in protein since they usually contain quantities of beebread, i.e. the slightly fermented pollen stores of the hive. In some Asian countries, worker or drone pupae (in their white stage) are also prepared for human consumption by pickling or boiling. In canned form, they are found in some European or American specialty stores and can be considered a value added product, even if there is not much demand or a broad market perspective in the West.
 

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JH,

There are 2 things you need to consider:

It is expensive for bees to build comb.
A colony likes to maintain a certain amount of drone brood,
(if you remove drone comb, the bees will usually want to replace it).

This is costly to the colony as well as your honey surplus.

I recommend that you freeze the drone brood, and place it
right back in the hive for bees to clean out and reuse.
Get two frames going so you can rotate.

Joe
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/HistoricalHoneybeeArticles/
 

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I recommend that you freeze the drone brood, and place it
right back in the hive for bees to clean out and reuse.
Get two frames going so you can rotate.
That is what i am planning to do. I have several special drone cell sized wax foundation in wooden frames. I put one in each of my two hives. One hive (10 days old now) is already building out drone comb all over the special drone frame. When the drone cells are capped, I'll freeze that frame and then put it back for them to clean out (dead pupae and mites and all) and reuse the drone come again. There seem to be plenty of drones flying around already, perhaps from some other hives within the area. I will leave the scattered drone cells on the edges of the 'regular' brood frames alone so they can raise a few drones.
 

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Although wax production does consume energy and carbohydrates, Randy Oliver article looked at honey production from hives with drone cut-out. Honey production was actually increased. May be that the improved health of the hive out weighs the wax production costs.

Don't forget, there is significant energy used by the hive to clean out the dead brood and make the comb suitable for the queen.

Regarding the wax, he recommended using a solar wax melter or using as feed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Honey production was actually increased. May be that the improved health of the hive out weighs the wax production costs.
I have looked at freezing the frames in previous years, and have found that as mentioned above, significant resources are needed to clean out the frame.

Also, I believe (not supported or proven by "scientific studies" as far as I know) that having the bees build out the additional wax decreases the swarming tendencies.

JH
 

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Use the brood to catch you some nice panfish that will taste better than the brood itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
In many African and Asian countries, brood combs are considered a delicacy and consumed immediately when available. They are also particularly rich in protein since they usually contain quantities of beebread, i.e. the slightly fermented pollen stores of the hive. In some Asian countries, worker or drone pupae (in their white stage) are also prepared for human consumption by pickling or boiling. In canned form, they are found in some European or American specialty stores and can be considered a value added product, even if there is not much demand or a broad market perspective in the West.
How to find a recipe or a market for this stuff???? :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
In many African and Asian countries, brood combs are considered a delicacy and consumed immediately when available .... (in their white stage) are also prepared for human consumption by pickling or boiling.
How to find a recipe or a market for this stuff???? :D
 

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I go along with naturebee and omie on this one jus freeze the comb and before you put it back in run the flat of your hivetool over the frame to uncap the drone brood makes it easier for the bees to clean it out.
It will be cleaned and ready to go again within 2 days.
The bees that clean out the brood frames are not the bees that are collecting the pollen and nectar so you wont lose any honey by doing it this way and they will be quite happy to do it :)
kiwi
 

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