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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have yet to see a drone bee around my hive. I didn't see any drones last year either. Is it possible that this hive will not produce any drones. I use foundation bought from Mann Lake Ltd, not sure the cell size. I guess another question would be, can the hive produce drones if all the foundation is the worker bee size cells?
I'm considering splitting this hive, but without any drones around I fear a virgin queen wouldn't get bred.
 

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Put you a frame without any foundation in it, into the broodnest. If they are ready, they'll draw it out in drone comb and raise you some drones, since you don't have any other drone comb for them. What they normally will do, is raise the drones in the space between the boxes, when there's no other comb for them to use for drones. Adding a drone comb in the broodnest really helps, and that's what I do. I keep a green pierco plastic drone comb frame in my broodnest area of the hives, it's very easy to spot during inspections. Helps them get the drones they want without drawing comb between boxes, and I use it to monitor for varroa mites, and treat for them by culling sealed drone comb.
 

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Good advice from RayM. We add drone comb to our hives also, both drone sized wax foundation or the green plastic drone frames. We dont use it for mite control (too many hives) but we like the higher drone population for queen breeding. Some colonies will re-work worker cells to drone sized some wont. Again RayM is right on the money with the foundationless frames, we have used this method with success also, they will draw it to drone sized cells if they feel they need it. Good luck.
steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That must be the reason they have been building so much comb between the boxes. They are trying to raise drones in that space. I will try one frame with no foundation in it. Thanks for the input.
 

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I have put a medium size frame in a deep box and they will build drone comb on the bottom side. If it is in between two deeps frames they make it even with those two. Just another option
 

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Drone production is late this year in my hives too. I just now have some sealed drone larvae and a very few adult drones that have hatched since I checked last week. My hives had a frame almost fully covered with adult drones this time last year.
 

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My hives will usually make some drone cells within the frames along the bottom bar or in the corners. They just make larger, deeper cells for the bigger bodied drones.

I don't think your new queen will mate with the drones from your small yard--nor should she since they are all "children" of the same queen. She will travel pretty far to find drones from other colonies that she can mate with. I don't think you need to worry about having drones for that purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This hive is really expanding quickly. I would like to start a nuc from this hive. If I go into the deep broodbox and pull out a couple frames of brood and a couple pollen and honey and place them into a 5 frame nuc, This nuc should raise their own Queen right? Even without any drones from this hive.
 

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They will raise a queen if there is a viable egg. The new queen should not mate with your hives due to genetic depression - inbreeding. Inbreeding has the same effect on bees as royal families and hillbillies. The only reason for a non-queen breeder to raise drones is to consume surplus honey/pollen and knock up all the neighbor's queens.
 

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Make sure one of those frames in the nuc has a lot of eggs in it, then you'll get a queen, yes, most of the time. This would be called a Walk Away Split. Check back on it in three weeks, is normally enough time to have a freshly mated queen.
 

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You might want to put the queen in the nuc, and let the established hive make a new queen. The strong hive has more resources and is easier for them to make a queen.
 
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