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Author Topic: Who here is using the drone foundation?  (Read 8520 times)
DayValleyDahlias
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« on: June 11, 2007, 09:14:09 PM »

How many of you use this method to control varroa?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2007, 07:04:21 AM »

Not I.
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2007, 08:24:14 AM »

I don't use it.

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Brendhan
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pdmattox
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2007, 09:11:35 PM »

I have bought the foundation but have not put it on frames or in the hives yet. I just havent had time to treat this year yet.
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2007, 09:42:27 PM »

Why Bother
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ndvan
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« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2007, 08:54:04 AM »

I do not use it.  However, this spring I talked with the bee inspector for Arkansas, who was a very knowledgable person.  He says that all he uses to control Varroa is Russian bees and drone comb.  He is not on small cell, but he does not use chemicals in his hive.  He was using Nematodes for small hive beetle control.  Essentially, he was using drone foundation instead of small cell.  As for small cell, he said that he knows some people report good results with it, but he did not really have an opinion since he did not use it himself.
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hairbear
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« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2007, 10:19:24 PM »

I started using powdersugar three weeks ago, as I have seen mites for the first time. It is too soon to tell if it is going to work. One cup per deep. First time I did this they did not like it at all. now it is not so bad.
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Metrobee
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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2008, 08:56:15 AM »

I'm new to beekeeping this year and am using a combination of drone foundation and powdered sugar shakes to control varroa. I keep one frame of drone comb in my hive, remove it when most of the cells are capped over, freeze it overnight and use my capping tool the following day to remove the frozen brood onto a white surface and begin looking for mites--there are always too many mites to count. I've never done a formal count of the mites falling from the bees through the SBB so cannot report on the effectiveness of the drone foundation but seeing so many mites thwarted in their efforts to make it into my hive makes me feel as if there's some kind of benefit. After most of the brood are removed I scrape out the honey (since I have yet to extract any I feel a slight recompense for all my work!) and put the frame back in the hive. I don't smoke the bees when I take the frame out or put it back in since it's such a quick invasion of their space they don't seem to mind. I think this last cycle will be the last of the season and the number of eggs/brood in the frame this time is significantly less than in the height of summer. I do feel badly about the waste associated with this process and if I had chickens would feel the brood to them (I know of one beekeeper who lets the chickens clean out the drone brood from the frame). Since I don't count the mites, I feel the true test will be whether the hive makes it successfully through the winter.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2008, 07:14:51 PM »

Want to control varroa, cage the queen using a push in cage for 10 days to 2 weeks, do some sugar shakes, and turn the queen loose.  The interruption in the brood cycle will put the varroa onto the bees, the sugar shakes will make them fall off. 
That is if you have a varroa problem.

My fix has been to go with bottomless hives.  I slide a mite board under the hive every few weeks to check for them but to date, after a big brood cycle interruption caused by near starvation (dearth), I have no mites.  At least I can't ever find any on the mite boards when I check.  So if I have any the population is too low to identify.  The bees have also helped by keeping the brood nest fairly small all summer. 

My observations are that brood cycle interruption combined with open bottom hives goes much further than any other method for controlling varroa.  It also gives the bees an opportunity to develop resistance or adapt to the parasite.  If they show up, I'll interrupt the brood cycle and treat with a series of sugar shakes and be good to go for another year of 2, but I honestly expectd to never have to worry about varroa again. 

The small (natural) cell from foundationless frames probably helps too.  Notice that I'm using more than one approach, as needed, to do the job.  There is no solo silver bullet.
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annette
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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2008, 08:34:48 PM »

I do not have any special drone frames in the hive, but I do remove a frame of drone brood occasionally to keep the population down. This combined with the sugar dusting I do seems to have worked out this year. Also my bees seem to have regressed quite a bit this summer. 

This is still all very experimental for me and time will tell what is working best.

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Metrobee
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« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2008, 09:08:23 PM »

Why do you think bottomless hives work better than screened bottom boards? I haven't heard of completely bottomless hives until now. How are they supported and how much of a gap do you leave between the support and the hive?
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rdy-b
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« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2008, 09:16:32 PM »

I have bought the foundation but have not put it on frames or in the hives yet. I just havent had time to treat this year yet.
        TIC- TOC cheesy cool RDY-B                                                                                                 
Worth Repeating
Date of Mite Treatment   Frames of bees in December*
August 15   17+
September 15   9
October 15   2.5
*from August 2005, ABJ, p.631.  Assume 2,000 bees per frame
The August 15 treatment will be more effective if mite levels are kept down in the summer.  And unless you’re using a residual material, or your colonies are broodless, you will have to re-treat at 10-day intervals to get the mites sealed in the brood cells (for every mite in the open, there may be 10 inside cells).
http://www.beesource.com/pov/traynor/agnewsmay1008.htm
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rdy-b
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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2008, 09:32:07 PM »

Why do you think bottomless hives work better than screened bottom boards? I haven't heard of completely bottomless hives until now. How are they supported and how much of a gap do you leave between the support and the hive?
       the problem with bottomless hives is that your bees are always exposed to predators like yellow jackets and skunks -the bees seam to be on the defensive all the time and are easily irritated -some have said that after they had tried bottomless hive technic that just walking up to the hive would set there bees off and hives where difficult to work with this temperament-RDY-B
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RogerB
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« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2008, 07:01:16 PM »

I use drone trapping ala Randy Oliver's article in ABJ until the first of June.  At that time Pierco drone comb frames go into the colonies to have a drone population for breeding queens in July.  I also use powdered sugar and SBB.

Roger
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Roger
mtman1849
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« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2008, 08:24:11 PM »

i don't either
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2008, 12:54:23 AM »

 
Why do you think bottomless hives work better than screened bottom boards? I haven't heard of completely bottomless hives until now. How are they supported and how much of a gap do you leave between the support and the hive?
       the problem with bottomless hives is that your bees are always exposed to predators like yellow jackets and skunks -the bees seam to be on the defensive all the time and are easily irritated -some have said that after they had tried bottomless hive technic that just walking up to the hive would set there bees off and hives where difficult to work with this temperament-RDY-B

I use slatted racks on the bottom as a spare room and mouse guard, those that experienced proddy bees when using one didn't provide any type or barrier to keep out preditors.  The slatted rack sits right on the stand and the stand has 8 inches of clearance under it.   I can slide in a mite board to control entrance size, monitor mite load, etc.

I go into my hives and haven't found them any more proddy than any other hive.  I go into them with only a veil, and would even dare inspect the hives like I did when I was a kid, in my swim suit.

Those who know me know that I consider a slatted rack more essential than an inner top and a lot of other equipment.   
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Landphil
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2008, 02:42:35 PM »

I'm new to beekeeping this summer and was sold a nuc with advice on using drone foundation.  I just pulled my first frame of drone brood out and checked for varroa- plenty of the little buggers in with the drones!  I noticed an adjacent frame with a few drone caps which I decided to leave alone- they need some drones, right?  It seems like an efficient way to use non-chemical methods to keep the population in check.  I replaced the frame of drones after freezing with the cap scratched off, and all of the capped honey above them, so they will continue to produce drones in the bigger cells.
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BEES4U
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« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2008, 11:34:51 PM »


 :)I use the Pierco drone comb. But, it is for the production of mature drones for queen mating which is sometimes overlooked by queen breeders.
We checked the drone mothers/producers often and did not find Varroa mites!
I have 5 cases in storage for next season as it sold out rapidly this last spring.
Regards,
Ernie Lucas Apiaries
(Queen Breeder)
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eivindm
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« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2008, 10:09:38 AM »

In Norway, drone cutouts and acid treatment is the common way to treat against varroa.  Apsiatan and checkmite is forbidden.

But we don't use drone foundation.  As long as we use worker foundation for the rest of the frames, the bees will build drone cells in a empty frame to get the number of drone cells as they want, since there is little or no drone cells in the rest of the frames. 

We normally put a empty frame parted into two or three parts as frame number three from behind (the frames are parallell to the fly hole). Depending of wether it is parted into two or three, we cut out one part (the one with drones about to emerge) every 10 or 7 days. 

This is a picture of my drone frame:
http://bieblog.morkland.org/wp-content/uploads/_mg_3462.jpg

I have two hives at the moment.  One have had drone cutouts regularily all season.  The other almost did not (jsut a bit), and in addition had a lot more drones due to a laying worker making a lot of drones for a couple of weeks.  When treating with acid, I now see a huge difference, but of course, I can't know that this is because of drone cut out.
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BjornBee
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« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2008, 04:47:42 PM »

I use drone comb in my two queen tower colonies, mainly for demonstration and teaching purposes. I do not use it for my main v-mite control. But I think for those wanting to get off chems, this is one approach.

The two queen tower colony system eliminates the one barrier that most have with using drone comb, that being removing the supers in a timely fashion. And you do not need to remove any supers or lift any boxes.

If I had two colonies, I would use it. But for practical reasons, it is too much work for large numbers of hives.

Here is a link to a 2 queen tower colony. Note the side half lids for easy access to the brood chamber on both sides.

http://s186.photobucket.com/albums/x236/BjornBee/?action=view&current=beepictures161.jpg
« Last Edit: October 24, 2008, 06:27:26 PM by BjornBee » Logged

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