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Put a swarm trap out today that is one frame of 100% drone cell size and foundation on the other frames. When a swarm moves in will they rework the cell size so the Queen can start laying Brood soon? Or just build wax on a undrawn foundation frame for her to lay?
 

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I know they will rework worker cells to lay drones in them, but not sure about reworking drone cells to lay workers in.
 

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>When a swarm moves in will they rework the cell size so the Queen can start laying Brood soon?

No.

> Or just build wax on a undrawn foundation frame for her to lay?

Yes.

It's too much work to tear down brood comb that has cocoons in it. It is easier for the bees to just build the comb they want.
 

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Reserve drone comb to add to honey supers during the flow period. Drone comb stores honey beautifully. You will want a good honey cap below to prevent the queen from finding the drone comb and just making more drone.

The required grading / sorting of comb is a undisclosed downside of "natural" comb systems.

Best solution I know is to keep two or three boxes on your tailgate and sort and label as you inspect.

I find a deep + medium design works as a natural sort -- Edit the deeps so they are a well organized and balanced broodnest (honey>pollen+drone>worker cell working in from the outside). And let the mediums represent honey supers. When you want a broodnest grab a deep with the confident knowledge, that you have a balanced nest.

The argument that deep brood is "too heavy" is simply not true -- as broodnests are featherweight compared to honey. The argument that all-mediums standardize equipment is misleading, as detailed above -- you have to sort individual frames in an all-medium system. In a deep + medium system the sort is by box, not by individual frames.
 

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The argument that all-mediums standardize equipment is misleading, as detailed above -- you have to sort individual frames in an all-medium system. In a deep + medium system the sort is by box, not by individual frames.
JW, can you clarify this please? Wouldn't you have to inspect and move around deep frames just as you describe doing for the mediums?
 

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Yup, you have to prep the deeps, but once!
Then labeled as complete, they can live as prepared brood boxes, and are recognizably different than the mountain of supers with a hodgepodge of frames.
 

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>In a deep + medium system the sort is by box, not by individual frames.

When I go through frames (very seldom) I always put the drone on the outside edges and the worker comb in the middle in all the boxes. All boxes are the same way. I don't even sort by the box... a box is a box...
 

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I still think it would be a good experiment to hive a package or swarm on 100% drawn drone comb on wax foundation and see what happens. I predict the hive will make the usual amount of worker bees. A well mated queen will find a way to make workers otherwise too much drone comb would be a death sentence and I think bees are smarter than that.
 

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The required grading / sorting of comb is a undisclosed downside of "natural" comb systems.
I am finding that out this year. My naturally drawn full sheet of drone comb that used to hold honey (left on for feed over the winter), is now loaded up with drones *facepalm*

I was just thinking I should have pulled those frames as soon as it got warm, but oh well. At least I know I should have a steady supply of drones for splits when I do them in a couple weeks.
 

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>I still think it would be a good experiment to hive a package or swarm on 100% drawn drone comb on wax foundation and see what happens

Clarence Collison did.

Levin, C.G. and C.H. Collison. 1991. The production and distribution of drone comb and brood in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies as affected by freedom in comb construction. BeeScience 1: 203-211.

> I predict the hive will make the usual amount of worker bees. A well mated queen will find a way to make workers otherwise too much drone comb would be a death sentence and I think bees are smarter than that.

and that is exactly what happened.
 
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