What if? re. Drones and IPM

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by kemptville, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. kemptville

    kemptville New Member

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    Hello All!

    Here's an oddball question for ya!

    So I've recently started removing the foundation from my plastic Pierco frames and inserting these "foundationless" frames into my hives. Everytime I place one in the hive, the bees draw it out in just over a week with the majority of the cells built as drone cells.

    Now, if I decide to use these frames for IPM, instead of pulling/freezing/re-installing - I'd like to place them in an empty nuc away from my hives on the other side of the property and allow the drones to hatch out. The question is, would these drones somehow find their way back to my hives and be accepted back into the colony from which they were taken?
     
  2. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    What will they do for temperature/humidity regulation while they hatch? won't you be losing a good part of the pest management effect?
     

  3. kemptville

    kemptville New Member

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    Thanks Frank - I understand temperature/humidity is crucial with open brood but is it the same with brood that is capped - would temperature/humidity still be an issue then?

    All that I'm looking at doing is if one day I find an infestation of mites in my hives that I can resolve it easily without freezing these foundationless frames or installing the green IPM frames. Looking ahead for ideas :)
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    The mites will hatch with the drones and hitch a ride on them to whatever hives the drones visit, whether your hives or someone else's.
     
  5. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    As Iddee says; maybe I am misunderstanding but there seems to be a paradox. For pest control generally the process is to kill both mite and drone larvae/pupae or the mite gets turned loose at emergence. being remote from an occupied hive reduces the ones that just jump out but not the ones riding the drone. If the drones are for breeding purposes that is a bit different. I dont know what is the survivable temperature range of capped brood for drones to emerge but dont think they would do well with temperatures dropping into the 50s like they have been doing until just a few days ago.

    I think drone culling can hold the line with mite numbers but dont think it can be used to drop a discovered high count. I have frozen, uncapped and water hose flushed foundationless drone frames but with a remote location cut out and toss would be my inclination. If you wire or fishline the frames they can be placed to the outside and make nice frames of honey. They still look quite nice after one round of service as drone comb.

    What are you doing with the cut out panel of foundation?
     
  6. kemptville

    kemptville New Member

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    Thanks! The reason I was asking was simply for an IPM approach if the case arose. Instead of throwing a green Pierco frame in there, I thought I could use what the bees have built so far. I'm trying to remove as much plastics as I can from my hives and have too many plastic Pierco frames on hand that I instead of throwing them out and buying wooden frames, I'm reusing what I can. In this case, I've removed most of the plastic foundation from these frames leaving a little strip on the top and bottom for support which seems to work just great. There's a few pics of them on my site apiary43.com A fellow keep told me when going foundationless that the bees will build drone comb until a balance in the hive is achieved and that's exactly what they're doing currently. I'm not concerned about it just curious to see different approaches in terms of IPM.

    The leftover plastics have further been recycled. Some of it cut into small strips to act as starter strips for the top bar hive were about to establish.

    Making do with what I have :)

    Marc
    www.apiary43.com
     
  7. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    They draw out foundationless drone very nicely and supposedly keeps most of the "no building permit" construction of drone brood frome between frames that is a curse when inspecting. I have a hive with I believe three drone frames in it that I haven't been into in a while. Will see if it has less interframe comb. I likely have to provide my own drones for queen breeding as I have no ferals or kept hives around. I know you dont have that problem where you are!
     

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  8. kemptville

    kemptville New Member

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    Very nice Frank, where abouts in northern Ontario are you?

    I've always had the inter frame construction issue with my previous hives, I wonder if it was the cause of queenless colonies last year. I hope the new foundationless frames will ward off bees from building drone comb going forward.

    Marc
    www.apiary43.com
     
  9. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    Roughly a hundred miles west of Sudbury.

    I worry about crowding frames back together that have mating fingers of "ticky tacky" burr comb. I see many bees get grabbed. Sometimes there is time to clean it off the frames but other times you cannot take the time. Cutting it off kills bees too! giving them dedicated drone comb may be the better solution with other benefits if you can work it into mite management. I checked what drone brood I uproot and so far have not spotted any mite sign but I did do an Oxalic vapor treatment early spring when there was no, or very little brood. I am isolated and have bees with some record of mite resistance so may not have too much trouble keeping mites under control.

    My son is down your way and lots of other bees around him; it appears no way he can get by without fairly aggressive treatment. We saw deformed wing virus signs last fall and lost quite a few hives. Plan to pull honey earlier and treat. Sometimes you get a good long autumn but if you plan on it and it doesn't happen you are going to take higher winter losses. The bit of extra honey you might get is not worth the potential grief.
     
  10. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Just a thought, but you could heavily and constantly treat the drone-nuc with something like Apistan or whatever to kill the mites on the drones but then let the drones drift to whatever colonies they go to that way you'd still get the mite kill and you'd get the benefit of all those drones for queen breeding without having to treat all the hives for mites... and that's the only benefit of doing it that way that I can see.