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I've got some new Sundance bottom pollen traps I will be putting on hives soon. I see that the traps have drone escapes to let the drones out, but they can't get back in the hive. What happens to them; where do they go? As a breeder of queens, I don't want to lose my drone population. Do nearby hives accept them? :scratch:
 

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I was wondering the same thing.... I got to watching my hive today. And noticed, Man those drones are huge compared to the workers. Do the drones bring in any pollen on purpose or not?????? I assume not but though they should be capable....
 

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No, they don't harvest anything, there only purpose is mating and i'm guessing only 15 to 25 out of a thousand (or thousands?) drones will mate with a virgin queen.They can fly from hive to hive to be fed and groomed which is one way mites and disease can be spread from one hive to another, but when around Oct. comes, they are killed or kicked out of the hives to die. I have a few times during winter (on a warm day) found drones in hives? and they have almost always been queenless?
 

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So why don't we kill the drones, esp the drone brood?
 

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Because this was the thinking many years ago when they thought up foundation. It is one standard size and it kept the bees from drawing out comb for drone brood, but bees found other places to put it. Killing off drones is akin to trying to wipe out the genetic pool of the bees. The drones spread the genetics from place to place little at a time. Without drones around to fertilize young virgin queens you end up more queen failures and a big mess. F6Hawk - Think about it this way, if everyone around you decided to do the same thing and kill off drones, then you had a hive that superseded, your virgin queen would go out, try to mate, find no drones to mate with and finally become a drone layer herself and end up killing off the hive if you didn't go buy a new mated queen, which would get rid of your genetics in that hive all together. This is one reason we DON'T kill off drones.
 

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Makes sense. I have read some kill drones, but I figure that if drones were bad, bees wouldn't make them. Remove drone brood, and it may stress out a colony, and they will just make more drone comb, I'd imagine.
 

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You're correct with the thought. Get rid of drone brood and they will make more. It's their nature to want to spread their genetics as much as possible. Sending out drones is one of those ways. The second of those ways is swarming.
 

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...so on the flip side, I've seen places sell drone foundation. Their reasoning was for mite control, but what other advantages would it have? Do you suspect it would even get drawn out in full drone comb? Could be a great way to spread the genes!
 

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...so on the flip side, I've seen places sell drone foundation. Their reasoning was for mite control, but what other advantages would it have? Do you suspect it would even get drawn out in full drone comb? Could be a great way to spread the genes!
Yes and Yes. lol.. It is referred to as IPM (Integrated Pest Management) by some. Others use it for exactly what it may seem. Those people that are doing alot of queen rearing use it to get the number of drones up prior to grafting queens so that they are properly mated. As for IPM it is a method used to try to control varroa mite numbers by pulling it out once all the drone brood is capped and put into the freezer. This kills the varroa and the drone, afterwords put back into the hive for another round of cleanup by the girls and laying by the queen. The idea is that the varroa attacks the drone brood mostly so they have more of a chance to breed and multiply but breaking their cycle helps to reduce the numbers. Good hygenic bees will do the same thing and only get the ones with the mites in it saving the ones without to use for genetic spread.
 
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