drone cells - now ?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by CeeGee, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. CeeGee

    CeeGee New Member

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    Pulling supers and checking the deeps, I come across one hive that has two of the outer frames filled (I mean filled) with drone comb. Having not checked in a while, I think " #$%^!@ - drone-layer or laying worker"
    As I keep inspecting I find frames packed with worker brood, open and capped. Textbook pattern.
    So why, in mid-Sept, as the temps start dropping, is she laying frames of drones AND workers?
    I've only been at this about 6 years or so, and only have 10 hives, so I realize there is a lot I have yet to learn, but I've never come across this before (and nobody else has drone cells now) and I cant find much out about this anywhere. Why drones now?
    Thanks!
     
  2. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I have drone combs in but they are now filled with honey and nectar. Haven't layed any drones in a quite a while but there are still lots of mature ones in some hives.
     

  3. Wolfer

    Wolfer New Member

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    A few days ago I had two patches of drone brood each about the size of the palm of my hand in one of my hives. I still have lots of drones flying.
     
  4. Ray

    Ray Member

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    [​IMG]
    Keep us updated and maybe we'll all learn something[​IMG]
     
  5. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    If the comb is full of capped drone brood, pull it and freeze. Instant mite reduction. If it's full of nectar..................enjoy!
     
  6. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    All of my drone comb is being backfilled now.
     
  7. CeeGee

    CeeGee New Member

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    Thanks.
    I scraped a few - they're purple eye, hardly a mite in sight - and I froze them, but it struck me as odd for them to expend resources, in fall, on drones. Not to mention taking up valuable honey real estate.
    That said, anyone attempting a late split...?
     
  8. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Combs built without foundation, when they are intended fpr storage are usually of drone-sized cells. Wax wise, they are more economical for the bees. It means absolutely nothing about the quality of the queen or the presence or lack of laying workers. Sometimes, even on worker foundation the bees will try to build drone cells--but only because they want to save on wax when storing honey, not because they want to raise drones.
     
  9. CeeGee

    CeeGee New Member

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    Yeah, they enlarged the cells from drawn worker foundation, drawn out a couple years ago. Which really just deepens my curiosity as to their motivation. Obviously they know better than I, because I would not have recommended making drones in the Fall.