Benefits of drone combs

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Crofter, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I had an experience yesterday that is firming up my thoughts to put dedicated drone combs in all hives.

    I was thoroughly going through a hive that I had made a small split from as it was getting crowded. It is my best performing hive and I plan to breed from it a bit later. The frames were badly gunged up with wild drone comb along the bottoms and it was difficult to get enough space to pull frames up without tearing the face of adjacent combs. The wads of wild comb were as much as 2 inches wide. I was smoking the third frame to get some of the bees off it before scraping and saw the queen come running out of a tunnel in the drone comb. Pure luck that I didnt kill her. Like I have said before these are elusive queens. I grabbed her and caged and marked her, though I know that has its risks. Now that I was sure where the queen wasn't, I pulled a couple more frames to put in the split as it still has not started replacement queen cells.

    A couple of other hives that I have full drone combs in seems to have decidedly less wild comb building. I think when the frames are tidier there is less chance of rolling bees and accidentally doing in a queen. Makes a lot easier to spot queen cells too.

    I must have pulled out and examined around a hundred drone larvae and pupae and did not see any mites.
     
  2. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I had one capped drone frame in the freezer and let it thaw for five minutes and took the cappings off very handily with a wire hand brush; dont know if it saved them any work or any more thorough but the ground is covered with grubs about 6 hours later. It makes a very good mite count method and if it makes the combs less cluttered it is a double blessing. I wonder if the trigger is the number of drones in the hive or the area of drone comb?
     

  3. Mosti

    Mosti New Member

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    Excuse my ignorance but I cannot get the grip of 'wild comb'
     
  4. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Omie, I followed your link---
    1. great pics.
    2. I assume that Strumelia is your web pseudonym, based on your banjo strumming activities. That set me to wondering about how you chose the forum name Omie.:grin:
     
  5. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    After reading the words and listening to the song :)shock:) it didn't take much for me to select Strumelina as a more apropriate name for you. :smile: