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I have a colony with several frames of buggered up comb left by a drone laying queen. The worker brood field is not flat and even. It has rolling valleys, lots of cells widened after have held a drone bullet. If put in a strong colony, will the bees level out the field and resize those over-sized cells? Or will those over-sized cells always from now on only have the queen laying drones in them?
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I don't think they will. Drone cells, when not employed to raise drones, are often used for honey storage within the broodnest. Being foundationless, I have lots of drone combs, and combs with large sections of drone cells. Many of the full frames will be rendered for wax, partials will be trimmed to remove the larger cells and then placed back in the center of the broodnest. With any luck, the bees will fill the open area with new worker-sized cells.
 

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Of course they'll fix them - where has this idea come from that they won't ?

Not only will they repair worker-cells occupied by drones, they'll also convert pukka drone comb into worker comb if they really need to - and that's a lot more work. Here's an example - it's not the best example, but if you look at the size of worker cells at the top left and compare that size with the converted cells along the bottom row, you'll see that they're exactly the same size. The rest are less obvious, but it should be fairly clear what the bees have been up to.



The key wording is "if they really need to" - so, if the bees are given no other comb than a worker-sized drone comb to work on - of course they'll fix it - they have no other choice. :)

I'll try and find a better example.
LJ
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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"If they really need to" must be the reason I have never seen it. I am always removing drawn comb for splits, so the bees have plenty of new frames to work on instead.
 

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I had a queen go drone layer and laid up large areas of comb that was capped with those bullet nose drone additions. I requeened and scratched up the cappings a bit and the workers hauled out huge amounts of drone brood. They trimmed those cells down and it got laid up worker. Where entire cells from the base up have been drawn drone they stay drone. If they have any place else to draw worker comb it is less work than having to entirely chew out drone comb.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Frank, I will give that a try. I recently had a queen go drone layer and she laid two very nice worker frames with solid drone brood. The bees have since superceded her and it would be nice to recover those frames.
 

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I had a drone frame this year in one of my hives. Since the drones emerged they have all been converted to regular brood. This is within a 2 week period.
 
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