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Author Topic: Drone Frames  (Read 3285 times)
Hopeful
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« on: December 05, 2007, 07:24:41 AM »

 

My friend here in OK, who is the prez of the local beek assn, says that they use a single foundationless frame for a drone frame in the brood box. He says the bees will always make drone comb on it and then you freeze it to kill everything, and then put it back in, just like the green plastic drone frames. Told me not to waste my money on a plastic drone frame.

Also says that small cell is not the answer to mite control and that it is not large cells, but drones themselves, that mites are after. Not sure I understand this one. What do you think he means by this? Does this make sense?
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2007, 07:51:46 AM »

The only issue I have with the drone frame method is the timing.  If you loose track of it or forget,  it turns into a varroa reproducing machine and you can end up with more varroa than if you didn't use the drone frame.

I won't get into the debate on the effectiveness of small cell, because everyone has their own opinion.  But just something to think about.  Why are the varroa after the drones?  Because they are male?  Because of their size?  At what point does a man made "bigger the better" worker bee appear big enough for the varroa?
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« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2007, 08:13:13 AM »

some people have a lot of success drone trapping mites, drone frames will be used around here this coming year for drone saturating from drone mother hives while queen rearing
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« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2007, 08:35:38 AM »

Yes, if you put an empty foundationless frame into the middle of your brood box, they will draw primarily drone comb.

Sometimes they will draw half drone and half worker.  Then you have to cut out the drone side, makes great fishing bait.  Sometimes you forget and they all hatch out, not the end of the world by any means.  Sometimes half will be capped and half not, then you have to decide whether to lose the opportunity to kill some extra mites or take a chance that some extra will be released if the capped ones hatch.

The nice thing about the drone frames is the color...you can tell from a glance which is which.  On the other hand you could just spraypaint the top of an empty frame and use that.

Varroa has been shown to have a preference for drones...I don't know if they know why, whether a hormonal thing or a size thing.  And since drones have little benefit to the normal day-to-day workings in a hive, they are a natural target to cull.

I'm not getting into a small cell debate...anecdotal experience says that it works, the studies don't.  I want to try it, but am not up to that challenge yet (want to try the honeysupercell but the $$ is an issue)...

Rick
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2007, 11:39:10 AM »

Varroa has been shown to have a preference for drones...I don't know if they know why, whether a hormonal thing or a size thing.
I believe it's a timing thing. Drones take longer to emerge, typically 14 days after they're capped, versus workers which emerge 11 days after they are capped. Thus drones provide a longer window of time for varroa to reproduce. How do varroa know that drones remain capped longer? I don't have a clue!
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2007, 12:12:13 PM »

>>>>How do varroa know that drones remain capped longer? I don't have a clue!<<<<

The same way that last year's squirrels knew that a hard winter was coming and took every last pecan off the trees before they were ripe on 85 degree days in September. The same way last year's mice (Tons of them) knew to come into my house and begin nesting indoors on 85 degree days in September, stashing almonds by the bagful (We were not aware of that many almonds

Guess what? This year: no mice and plenty of pecans. Looking forward to a mild winter in OK. Looking ahead to plenty o' bugs next summer....
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2007, 12:54:41 PM »

That drobe frame question have made too ceremonial. To use whole drone ftame brodues too much drones. It takes  brood raising and energy from worker brood.

Bees do however drones, where they can. High cells harm handling of frames when you pull them off.
When you have space for drones, bees concentrate theuir interest in those areas. Then you cut area off, and bees have new space to make their necessary job. Drone area  is good even if you have hot mites.

 I do not ordinary catch mites with drones, but it is easy to see, how mites aregoing in hive. Icut drone area off I it happens to bee in front of my eyes.  It is unnecessary to freeze drones. It is too big job.

I give often the drone area to birds or I digg it into ground. OR I go to clear pond to feed fishes.

Don't make this too difficult. That does not deserve it. I put in Langstroth frame a medium foundation. These frames I give to hive 2 pieces.

Look at the picture:






 
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2007, 01:27:29 PM »

I believe it's a timing thing. Drones take longer to emerge, typically 14 days after they're capped, versus workers which emerge 11 days after they are capped.

That would be WHY they choose drones.  But how do they know which little worm is a drone and which is a worker?  They do successfully breed in worker brood too, but will pick a drone over a worker.
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2007, 01:46:20 PM »

But how do they know which little worm is a drone and which is a worker? 

Nurse bees can tell and obviously varroa can too.  I know it is hard to understand "how" since we can't.
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2007, 02:07:10 PM »

Oder? Dogs can sense someone with cancer.
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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2007, 02:21:42 PM »


That would be WHY they choose drones.  But how do they know which little worm is a drone and which is a worker? 

Ther meaning of life is to reprocue and fill the globe.

Bees instincts say that it is time t make drones. Drones deliver genes to another clonies.

They make drone cells. Queen measures the cell, and lay unfertilized egg. That makes a drone. Hoe and why it happens, useless to know.  It hapens.
Bees plays with odours.





 
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2007, 04:20:50 PM »

So, do you like a frame with drone foundation or an open frame with no foundation better?  I plan to try both, but I did wonder if ever you would find worker brood in an undrawn frame with no foundation.  Thank you, Scadsobees, for addressing that issue.  It seems a waste of bee energy to make them refill the empty frame with wax every time but maybe with only one or two empty frames for drones this is not an issue? Is it one or two frames per hive for drone trapping?(assuming it is a "full sized" hive)

When you use the drone brood for fishing bait can you actually save them in sawdust or something in the refridge?  Do you pop them out with the cappings scratcher?  I hear some humans in the world find them a delicacy so maybe I can leave my own lunch at home too? Undecided















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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2007, 04:41:39 PM »

but I did wonder if ever you would find worker brood in an undrawn frame with no foundation. 

Do you think they build only drone cells in the wild where they have no foundation or frames? I use foundationless frames and/or starter strips.
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« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2007, 08:47:54 PM »

The only problem with drone trapping is that the bees have to spend all those resources to make those drones and you kill them, so they have to spend more resources to try to replace them.  There is a threshold they are trying to meet.  If you let them raise those drones they could then raise some workers instead.  While I think drone trapping is an improvement over poisons, with small cell I have not found it necessary at all.

As for leaving it in causing more mites, they will raise that number of drones no matter what you do (Levin, C.G. and C.H. Collison. 1991. The production and distribution of drone comb and brood in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies as affected by freedom in comb construction. BeeScience 1: 203-211).  I leave them all the drone comb they want (natural comb) and I have too few mites to count.

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« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2007, 10:00:03 PM »



My friend here in OK, who is the prez of the local beek assn, says that they use a single foundationless frame for a drone frame in the brood box. He says the bees will always make drone comb on it and then you freeze it to kill everything, and then put it back in, just like the green plastic drone frames. Told me not to waste my money on a plastic drone frame.
I think Plastic Drone frame is probaby not needed. As far as bees making the foundationless frame a drone frame. It depends on what the other frames are. If they are brood and honey frames than they will probably make a drone frame.

Quote
Also says that small cell is not the answer to mite control and that it is not large cells, but drones themselves, that mites are after. Not sure I understand this one. What do you think he means by this? Does this make sense?
That statement simply is not true. Hives do not end up destroyed because Varroa just went after drones. Hives end up gone because varroa overwhelmed the entire hive. You will see plenty of Varroa on workers. With Apis Cerena the Varroa Jacobsoni is looking for drones. That is not the case with varroa Destructor.

Small cell does not have a reviewed paper behind it yet. There are some ongoing studies right now. Small cell has a certain acceptance among some beekeepers based strictly on word of mouth and personal results. However those who like it really like it. Michael has probably been able to show the best results out of any of us with it. And has had an inspection show his hives are mite free. I haven't seen any real mites for a while now. This year for me is going to be an interesting one because I should have some results with some backing on it.

One of the things to do is try. I will tell you bucking the trends in beekeeping is tough and you will be viewed with a sceptical eye. I have no problem with being a rouge but others may not like that so much. But I will be a mite free rouge any day.  afro

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« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2007, 01:04:59 AM »

  I plan to try both,

It is so simple that no need to say try. However, whole frame full of drones is too much.

Drone's cycle is 4 weeks. Drone larvae should be presen all the tim ethat they catch mites. Capped pupae does not catch.

So it is better that you have several small patches, some allways having open larvae.

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    It seems a waste of bee energy to make them refill the empty frame with wax every time

Bigger energy goes when bees feed larvae. When you give whole drone frame, it enormous measure when hive has only 10 brood frames.

Is it one or two frames per hive for drone trapping?(assuming it is a "full sized" hive)[/quote] 


One or two whole frames are too much even to big hive. My hives are in midsummer  5-7 langstroth boxes.

When I give a foundation with small gap, it is early summer and hives has 2-3 boxes. They have alltogether 10 brood frames.
If you give 2 drone frame, it 20% of brood area. It is really too much. You should raise workers to main yield.

AND, when you have handled properly your hive against mites, you will not find many mites in drone cells.

Our duty is make honey, not mites or drones.  This again is not this big question.
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« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2007, 01:22:41 AM »

[That statement simply is not true. Hives do not end up destroyed because Varroa just went after drones. Hives end up gone because varroa overwhelmed the entire hive. You will see plenty of Varroa on workers. With Apis Cerena the Varroa Jacobsoni is looking for drones. That is not the case with varroa Destructor.

And this statement is self made. Mellifera does not act like cerana. Nothing to do with each others.

Varroa lives in both, workers and drones.
Drones attracts 12 times more mites than worker larva.
Brown old worker cells atracts as much mites as new drone cells

When autumn is coming, bees stop drone raising. When pupae emerges, all mites rush into last worker cells
which were meant to winter bees. Winterbees will be severely violated.

THAT IS WHY YOU NEED TO KEEP MITE LEVEL AS LOW AS POSSIBLE THAT HIVE STANDS TO NEX AUTUMN  or you handle mites that they do not violate winter bee brood.


If hive rob in late summer an another hives which has too much mites and it is not able to protect it's hive, that robber hive may collapse during one month even if it did not had much mite load before robbering. I saw this happen this autum to very goog hive.

When I use drone areas, I saw 2 summers ago only 10 mites in whole yard. However with oxalic each hive dropped about 300- 500 mites. Last summer I saw a lot mites in drone brood.

.

.
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« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2007, 06:15:09 AM »

>but I did wonder if ever you would find worker brood in an undrawn frame with no foundation.

The bees have a threshold both for drone comb and for drones.  Once they reach that threshold they stop building drone comb.  If you keep removing all the drones and all the drone comb they will keep trying to make drones and drone comb.

This is outlined in the study referenced above.  They will make the same number of drones no matter how much drone comb there is and they will stop making drone comb when they have what they think is enough.

If this were not so there would be no feral bees.
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« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2007, 08:16:47 AM »


When you use the drone brood for fishing bait can you actually save them in sawdust or something in the refridge?  Do you pop them out with the cappings scratcher?  I hear some humans in the world find them a delicacy so maybe I can leave my own lunch at home too? Undecided

I can't speak to them being a human delicacy rolleyes.

Drone comb can be successfully frozen for fishing, though.  Since each drone is sealed in its own little sealed container, they stay quite well. (IQF drones anyone?? grin).  Take a chunk out of the freezer with you and just uncap them and stick them with a hook to pull them out.  The trick is to get drones that are turning color, if they are still white they will not stay on the hook.  I'd say they rival wax worms.  They get a little messy if they have some honey on them.

This alone makes drone comb and cutting worth it!!   It makes quite a scene on the pier wondering what the world that is that I'm using for bait.  I even had a guy who wanted to buy some.

Nothing catches gobies on the pier like drones.  Keeps the kids happy feeding the seagulls.

Rick
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« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2007, 09:36:58 AM »

In nature bees have a sence how much they raise drones, yes, but if you want a good yield, stay very far off that limit.
But no one recommend to catch mites as much as possible. It is not handy.

i have used 20 years drone areas and i cannot see any philosophy here. It is handy raise them in some place and cut them off.
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« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2007, 10:00:45 AM »

Stickin' to my oxalic acid vapourizer for whenever mite levels get too high.  The vapour does not harm the brood and can be used any time (except of course during that wonderful nectar and honey flow).

When I performed this a couple of weeks ago, I was astounded at how many mites fell in 48 hours.

It went like this basically:  I call each colony by a name.  I like to count mites because it really gives me a good idea of what is going on in the colonies.  After losing 10 colonies last year from varroa issues, I am pretty crazy about mite stuff.  I put the sticky boards back in again after the vapourizing and counting.  I will be taking them out soon to see how many more mites may have fallen off since the vapourizing count.  The debris on the sticky boards may be quite alot though, not sure how visible the mites may be -- we'll see.

Nov.6 mite count                Nov 14 vapourizing, mite dead           
3 day sticky board
Nuc 3                  28                     215
Nuc 4                  52                     164
Nuc 2                 246                    600
P4                       31                     171
P3                       64                     350
Swarm caught
on Sept 6               1                     123
P2                       10                     247
P1                       13                      53
Old C.                  35                      53
Nuc                     14                      56


As you can see with the Swarm, after the three day sticky board prorated count, it only had 1 mite showing up.  BUT.....with the oxalic acid vapourizing there was 123 mites.  That really goes to show the numbers, eh?  1 mite to 123 dead.  Hmmmmm.  There was no brood present, so no further mites could have developed within cells.  Have a wonderful day, love our life we're livin'.  Cindi
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« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2007, 12:21:26 PM »

One pal used oa vaporizer and mites falled 4 weeks
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« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2007, 09:59:29 AM »

I took out the sticky boards yesterday, they have been in since the last mite counting.  The bees have obviously mostly been in the winter cluster because of the positioning of the debris on the bottom of the sticky boards.  Have not had a chance to count these mites yet, but I will be doing that today and then setting the traps back in tomorrow to see if any more fall.

I am a keeper of records, I like to know exactly what is going on in the colonies as far as record keeping and so I count mites.  I look like something from the alien world because I have a head apparatus that I strap on and it magnifies the board, I have a clicker on my left hand and click each time I see a mite, I have a little sharp pointer thing that I have so that I can move the mites if there are two together for more accuracy.  Sometimes, like the last time, my thumb got kind of sore from so much clicking, hee, hee  Smiley Smiley

So, I will post the results tomorrow morning.  Some will find this the most boring thing on earth and some of you will love these accountings, I love to account things, so that is where I sit.  Have a wonderful, beautiful, fantastic, and great day.  Our sun is shinin' again.  Cold -6 Celsius (21F), clear, also gonna look for those frost flowers that might be on some tree branches, any frost figures are not on the ground here, but on the tree branches.  Those were beautiful frost flowers we saw posted on our forum. Ooops, almost called them snow flowers.  Cindi 
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« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2007, 04:42:08 PM »

I would like to see a photo of you in your counting outfit so I can have a good laugh.

But I am interested to know why you are counting mites now?? I thought it is not necessary when they are in the winter cluster?

Annette
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« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2007, 06:33:01 PM »

>In nature bees have a sence how much they raise drones, yes, but if you want a good yield, stay very far off that limit.

According to the study referenced above, no matter what you do, the bees will raise the exact same number of drones.  It's only a matter of how hard they will have to work to accomplish it.
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« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2007, 08:21:26 PM »

Why Worry about something the Bees handle so well let the bees take care of it
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« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2007, 11:17:34 PM »

Si my question is for those of you using small cell plastic:  Where do the bees put the drone cells--burr comb?

It's been my observation, over the years, that if the bees are prevented from drawing drone comb they will then turn to building burr comb like crazy and filling it with drones.  That's another reason I like strips or foundationless--the bees build the type of comb they need, where they need it.
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« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2007, 01:06:08 AM »

According to the study referenced above, no matter what you do, the bees will raise the exact same number of drones.  It's only a matter of how hard they will have to work to accomplish it.


this is something I will find out for myself this year, because I will have hives with drone comb and hives with out and see which has more drones, personally I dont think it will be close!!!
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« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2007, 08:56:06 AM »

Apologies, I am off topic and getting on topic.  Have a wonderful and great day, Cindi
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« Reply #29 on: December 08, 2007, 12:59:23 PM »

.

According to the study referenced above, no matter what you do, the bees will raise the exact same number of drones.  It's only a matter of how hard they will have to work to accomplish it.


that is real nonsence, as i have said before.

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« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2007, 07:01:44 PM »

>that is real nonsence, as i have said before.

Most research by renowned entomologists is. Smiley  But in this case I happen to agree with them.
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« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2007, 07:38:13 PM »

colony size has a lot to do with producing drones and the amount of food they have. the queen won't lay in the drone cells with a five framer...usually she starts in a 10 framer and up.  the presence of a lot of drones usually means the colonies feel strong enough with enough reserves to trigger the swarm impulse.  i agree with michael that theres a certain threshold for number of drones and once they reach that produce no more unless you remove the drones.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2007, 10:52:05 PM »

THE clearest indicator of adequate protein intake is that the colonies will be rearing drones RDY-B
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Finsky
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« Reply #33 on: December 09, 2007, 03:47:34 AM »

Drone area system is the most simple. I cannot understand how it may turn to science or snmething else unpractical discussion.
i noticed calculation. If you put a whole drone frame and you kill pupae in half way, then bees raise new larvae, so during natural cycle they have raised 2 frames in 4 weeks. It is awfully much .

another harm is that you forget destroy drone area but iT is not end of world.  if you have not the area however droners are there.
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