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Author Topic: Pierco Green Drone Comb  (Read 2312 times)
paulh
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« on: February 06, 2009, 11:21:47 AM »

I'm looking at some mecanical methods to control Varroa, including the Pierco Drone Comb. 

Anyone use it and find it helpful?  Can, or should, it be used in a "foundationless" hive?   
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BjornBee
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2009, 11:49:46 AM »

You can do anything you want.

The best way to use drone comb is when all other drone comb is kept to a minimum. I find that hives that started with peirco plastic, with no drone comb being added, will allow the optimal use of the drone comb. That way, all drones are concentrated in one area, and better control can be achieved.

A good equipment setup for easy access of the drone comb would be the two queen tower system. Keep in mind, many who use drone comb will fail to remove it in time and end up raising MORE drones in the process, thus increasing mite levels. It must be changed out every 23 days as a minimum.

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gmcharlie
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2009, 01:28:37 PM »

okay,  thats something I have not seen before,  seems kinda cool,  whats the point and how does it work?   I assume you have a queen in each deep?  and a queen excluder above???
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2009, 04:23:54 PM »


 end up raising MORE drones in the process, thus increasing mite levels.




Not that I'm disagreeing with your statement Bjorn as it stands alone, but wouldn't this only be true if you are using foundation?  He referred to using foundationless, so I'm assuming he plans on using it(always a mistake to assume I know).  With foundationless they'll build as much drone comb as they want and you won't be able to use drone capture anyways correct?

I guess I have a question about this as well.  If you supplied a frame of drawn drone comb in and otherwise foundationless hive would they be inclined to use it almost exclusively or would they still build more drone comb in you empty frames in addition to the provided frame?
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BjornBee
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2009, 05:09:30 PM »

fremented,
I agree with your comment.
Of course they will perhaps when using natural comb, build more drone comb as they sit fit, it not being programmed by the foundation. What better reason to provide the drone comb they need by using a few frames of drone comb? It may actually suppress the need for them to make it in other areas of the hive.

charlie, you can read a little about the two queen colony here....

http://www.betterbee.com/resources/images/dronereport.pdf
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2009, 10:03:58 AM »

Hmm for some reason I can't get that link or even the site to come up???  any suggestions ?  I am very curious about it.

Charlie
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BjornBee
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2009, 04:20:34 PM »

It works fine for me. Anyone else having problems? Is there anything odd that could happen due to it being a pdf file with some computers?
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2009, 05:20:20 PM »

hmm tried it on my other pc and its fine.  must have a outdate pdf reader,  thanks!
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BjornBee
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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2009, 05:24:06 PM »

Ironically, I just got my Bee Culture in today's mail. The same report, has been published as per the website.
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2009, 05:29:49 PM »

okay  I read and studied and understand its easier to get to drone frames and get them out,   that said the honey totals were lighter for the tower colonies so if I read correctly its not the best for honey production.  is there another advantage I am not seeing?
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BjornBee
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« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2009, 07:20:08 PM »

okay  I read and studied and understand its easier to get to drone frames and get them out,   that said the honey totals were lighter for the tower colonies so if I read correctly its not the best for honey production.  is there another advantage I am not seeing?

Here are the points.....

1) I have seen many times, good intended beekeepers put in drone comb, expecting to keep drone comb removal going as needed. That being removals at least every 23-4 days. But I would say, that 8 out of 10, never did that. They in fact were just producing more drones (and thus mites) than if they never put the drone comb in. Excuses were, a) forgot b) too many supers on.

So the two tower colony does in fact allow easy drone comb removal all summer, without lifting honey supers off.

2) Mite levels. The average mite count the beginning of September was 25 in colonies not using drone comb. But averaged 8 with drone comb.

3) The samples of the initial testing was a small amount of colonies. The honey production was not significant, but they also pointed out that a couple of things could of played into this. It is well known that many honey producers of the past used two queen colonies for maximum production. That knowledge is well known. The testing was done in 2005. Since then, additional testing has been conducted. I think a conversation I had with Dennis in the past, indicated that about a 10% increase in honey production would be seen. This may of been attributed to synergies in heat retention between the two colonies making them use less energy, or even a leveling out of work force (adapting) being able to handle increase nectar, etc. Honey production would actually be expected to be more with the tower colony than two stand alone hives.

So this tower colony allows an easier implementation of a known IPM strategy to lower mites. Mites are 1/3 lower by using drone comb. And honey production will not suffer. Other synergies, may include comb protection if one side dies, to even allowing the work force to over compensate in areas to help one side that may need resources or bees for heat, feeding, etc.

It may not work if your moving hives around.

But if I was a backyard beekeeper trying to go without treatments, this fits nicely.
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golddust-twins
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2009, 01:38:13 AM »





This is a great pic, BjornBee
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