FINALLY, they're getting rid of the drone comb.

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by heinleinfan, May 27, 2012.

  1. heinleinfan

    heinleinfan New Member

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    I didn't get to do my inspections today, we had crazy crazy wind, but I did want to check on my "drone super". I just went in no equipment or smoke since I was only pulling super frames from over a queen excluder, I was even barefoot in my long skirt...hippie beekeeping at it's best here folks!


    My ladies had put a lot of drone into a super that didn't have an excluder, and this hive just kept pumping out the drones. I stuck the excluder on a few days ago and was going to pull the drone brood for the freezer. I just had to make room in my tiny freezer. (I only have a 3/4 size apartment fridge and oh darn, had to pull out those ribs earlier than planned and grill them and finish off the icecream.)

    I had been keeping the lid propped open with a stick during the day, since the drones would be hatching and not being able to leave through the excluder, but there still a few trapped in there. When I lifted the inner lid, about six of them went tearing outta that super all "get me out of here with all these ladies, gah!"

    I still had one frame nearly full of capped drone and two other frames that were part drone part honey. I pulled them all and cut out the sections that were just capped honey, that's sitting in my kitchen now and I'm just going to manually harvest it for some early spring tastiness. I dripped some right out of one of the pieces of comb into my tea before I sat down at the computer.
    The mostly full drone frame and sections I cut out are in the freezer now. I put in some empty super frames in their place and in a couple weeks I'll pull the drone out of the freezer and (hopefully) pull a few more full frames of honey and put the drone in for the ladies to clean out.

    That was much better than last time, when nearly every frame in the super had some drone comb or brood in it. The ladies have hit those frames well and good, and taken them down to honey size, so I was glad to see that. I've got about 4 half frames covered in capped honey now, they were favoring sides big time on them, so I turned all those around. Every other super frame was pretty much full of uncapped honey, and this was a brand new super with foundations only, and I had 3 frames that were only partially drawn out, but even those bits drawn on those frames were full of nectar. Yay!

    We've been in a weird gap here in the Springs with nothing blooming, because we had an insanely warm March and April, everything early blooming did so REALLY early and then it cooled down all early May. The later spring blooming stuff is just now opening.

    I had fun getting the bees off the frames. At just the moment I was about to do one, my neighbor came over and I told her what I was up to. I spritzed the ladies on both sides well and good with sugar water, then just knocked the frame onto the ground in front of the hive, leaving a pile of them there all grooming that sugar off themselves, and drinking up the bits of nectar that dripped from the open cells.

    I took the frame, now empty but for one or two stragglers, and showed my neighbor, told her which parts were capped honey and uncapped and explained about how and why they do that. She just stood there on the other side of the fence, all wide-eyed with this look of like...wonder...and I used my thumb to scratch off the top of a couple capped honey cells and had her dip her finger in and taste, and she just loved that to pieces.



    Sometimes it hits me "HOLY MOLEY I'M A BEEKEEPER, HOW COOL IS THAT?" and today was one of those moments.