capped drone cells in honey super...

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Joe_P, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. Joe_P

    Joe_P New Member

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    I left a medium honey super on one of my hives with no queen excluder as well....
    I just checked out the super and it is literally full of capped drone cells on every frame.
    No honey at all.
    Since this is September 9th in eastern penna. ---
    Do i let them emerge, for the colony to throw them out in a month anyway ?
    None of my other hives did this so it has me confused on how to proceed.
    *As a note the bottom 2 deep brood boxes are packed with eggs, capped brood and food stores - They look GREAT !
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
  2. ccjersey

    ccjersey Member

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    You could speed up the process by raking them open or freezing them and then raking them open for the bees to clean. A benefit would be destroying a significant amount of varroa. What are your mite numbers running?
     

  3. Joe_P

    Joe_P New Member

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    less than a month ago I did a sugar shake and had 3 mites appear on the plate ...

    I did an oxalic acid vapor treatment the following day on all my hives as well.
    (I know it doesn't get to the mites inside the capped brood but I am going to hit them once more before the winter cold sets in )
    I do think I will rake a few spots throughout that box and check for mites on the larvae.
    If present then I think I will freeze them .

    decisions , decisions

    I always have a two way street in my thinking....
    <--- one way to make my best guesses and try to be proactive
    ---> other way is the bees must have done this for a reason and let them carry out their plans

    decisions , decisions .....

    thanks for your input !
     
  4. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have chickens. they LOVE drone brood. opening it will give you a very solid assessment on mites as well. I would not let the drones emerge, I'd open them up, shake them out for chickens or other wildlife, freeze frames for 2 days and return them to bees after warmed up
     
  5. Joe_P

    Joe_P New Member

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    this drone brood was all in a honey super that was left on the hive , technically making it part of the brood chamber since there was no queen excluder in use... 2 deeps and this medium ...
    I did check some of the drone brood and no mites were present ... the rest of the drone brood was left to do its thing since it is part of the chamber...
    Since my original post the drones have emerged or are emerging and the workers are backfilling with nectar . My shot at letting them make the decision seems to be good so far .
    Thanks for the replies . once they cluster in the cold that medium will most likely then come off .
     
  6. Joe_P

    Joe_P New Member

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    ummmm ..... ok then .....
     
  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    When I see too much drone brood I do start planning on requeening. As long as she is still producing sufficient worker brood I wouldn't worry about it too much, but when the queen starts running out of sperm she will gradually produce higher numbers of drones. Drone comb is a nice size for honey storage, although if the honey frames are too fat I have been known to remove one, also a minor flaw in beekeeping, but it's my hive. I like fat honey frames. i never remove a frame from the brood box.

    And in Texas we call queen excluders: honey excluders. Our flows aren't strong enough to push a hive to go through the darn thing to deposit honey. I do use a queen excluder between boxes when combining hives using newspaper, in case there was a queen I missed

    if that medium is full of honey will your bees need it for winter? I am gonna have to look up where you are Joe
     
  8. Joe_P

    Joe_P New Member

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    They have filled a great majority of the cells now with nectar. ( on the outer frames )
    And in my first post I was incorrect in the amount of drone cells that were there.
    The outer 2 frames on each side of the super had drone cells around a great deal of the edges , but the inner 5 frames were worker cells and in a nice tight pattern . ( I am running 9 frames in all my boxes with a spacer board.)
    So I kinda jumped the gun on the original posting . ( nervous newbie ) ...
    The super is staying on since it is now clearly full of capped brood as well along with winter stores
    . I also am planning to place 16# candy boards on all my hives so they ( I ) don't have to worry too much about enough food for them.
    The lower 2 deeps are in an excellent pattern of brood and food as well so they incorporated the super into their brood chamber very nicely.
    So a "mistake" made in leaving that super on is a lesson learned , but I will gladly do it again if it allows the colony to grow and strengthen as this one has.

    As far as winter goes ... I will gladly give up the honey to the bees so they have it . All the food I can give to them I will to get them through their first winter.

    I have all my stands wrapped in tar paper on the bottom to prevent wind from blowing under .
    And all the hives wrapped as well to collect the suns warmth during the day.
    Candy boards and quilt boxes are ready to go once the daytime temps drop and they cluster up for the season.

    fingers crossed , and thank you for the reply.
     

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  9. Joe_P

    Joe_P New Member

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    yep , like I said , nervous newbie me , i jumped the gun on the original post.
    But hey, it's better to ask than to play dumb.
    I got some good replies and grew in some knowledge that wasn't there before.
    This winter will be another step in the learning experience , I will enjoy it , thank you .
    Do well also my friend , and enjoy the little things that cause a smile.
     
  10. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I do have one concern Joe, and I'm not a northern keep, so take with a grain of salt, but do you have any ventilation going from the bottom of the hive to the quilt box on the top? and the second question I don't know the answer to, is should you have ventilation going up. Do you have a local bee club?
     
  11. Joe_P

    Joe_P New Member

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    Yes, the bottom of the hives are screened , but they will have a tray slid in thus closing the screen off.
    Imagine if you will this is going to be the setup...

    1) Bottom entrance reducer set to a 2" opening with 1/2" mesh over it as a mouse guard.
    2) Then the brood boxes.
    3) Inner cover removed and the candy board in its place.
    ( the candy board has 3 areas for air and bees to move freely through and the front of the candy board frame has a 1" entrance/exit hole also with wire over it to prevent mice entering)
    4) On top of that will be the quilt box filled with the wood shavings.
    5) On the top of the quilt box will go one more ventilation rim with 1/8" mesh screened 1"holes.

    As I've read and heard from others , the heat will pass up through the candy board and quilt box The hot air should pass out the ventilation rim .
    Any condensation that does form on the inside of the outer cover will drip into the shavings in the quilt box , stopping them from dripping back onto the bees.

    At least this is the plan . Always subject to change with very little notice .
    ( I'm in zone 6b southeast Pa.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2017
  12. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know how much snow you get there, but have you considered a top entrance for winter?
     
  13. Joe_P

    Joe_P New Member

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    The candy board has a 1" hole in the frame that will be the upper entrance.
    Below is the you tube video to the candy board I have made, and the way I am planning to feed them etc...

     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
  14. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    very nice video. Thank you for posting it!