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Author Topic: foundationless frames in brood box  (Read 960 times)
hoku
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« on: March 26, 2009, 02:15:03 PM »

I put some frames with starter strips in my brood box, maybe 2-3 of them.  The bees seem to have drawn one out as honey storage size cells(very big cells).  Will the queen be able to lay in this, when they are done using it for honey, or should I pull it out and start over with a sheet of foundation?  Or maybe move it to the very far right of the box?  thanks for any ideas on this........
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BjornBee
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2009, 02:22:13 PM »

If they are in the middle of the brood chamber, and that's where they should of been, then they were drawing drone comb, not honey comb.

Move it to the outside edges or simply scrape it off.

Bees will make drone comb. It's not a bad thing. It's just something to manage.
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jimmy
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2009, 03:46:13 PM »

I also put a small swarm that I caught last week in a Med. with starter strips at top ,maybe an inch long. They also were drawing large cell comb but, on the right front edge only. I did not find the queen when I installed them but,
 assumed if they are working they have a leader?Huh

I should have combined them with another hive but not finding a queen ,I just had to do something to try to save those ferals. We are in our beginning flow season.

BTW: I have been feeding sugar water 1:1 but they don't seem to be drinking it ,maybe cause the whiskteira and clovers are blooming.

Thanks jimmy
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irerob
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2009, 05:30:09 PM »

   Just a thought from a newbie.
   In a TBH  Ive been told that the bees will build drone comb then after the first generation back fill it with honey.
     Could you guys be experiencing some thing similar?
     Is it all over the frames or where the honey would be stored?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2009, 08:12:49 PM »

I'd move any drone comb in the middle of the brood nest to the outside of the brood nest once they are drawn.
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Michael Bush
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2009, 09:52:26 PM »

I'd move any drone comb in the middle of the brood nest to the outside of the brood nest once they are drawn.

The reason for this should be obvious.  The outside frames are always storage combs regardless of the cell size.  Moving the larger cells to the outside of the box makes the bees use those as storage combs and allows the beekeeper to replace them with frames that can be drawn out with worker brood sized combs. 

Drone combs are usually the outer combs within the brood nest so the brood boxes are configured thusly in a strong hive:

S S/D D/W W W W W W/D D/S S  where S = storage comb, D = Drone comb, and W = Worker comb.  The / means the comb is mixed with each side being used as denoted.

As you can see, if you want the bees to draw Worker comb you need to place the frames (foundation) in the 4 & 7 slots.

Of course bees will be bees and they can do some crazy things but as a general rule the brood box lay out is as illustrated.

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gwalker314
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2009, 10:16:30 PM »

If using foundationless method. Why do the bees draw the drone comb? Does the colony think they need more drones when a foundationless frame is placed in the center slots?  Just wondering how the colony might decide on what is needed.

Gene
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BjornBee
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2009, 10:35:52 PM »

Comb size is directly related to flows, environmental factors such as elevation, need of a particular type bee, etc.

I have a TBH that I have been tracking the comb in now for three years. It is amazing that bees will build a comb of worker brood, right next to comb of drone. And most times it's either a split comb of half and half, or an entire comb. You would think they would scatter the drone comb around so it would be available to any location so drones could be raised anytime. But it is not. Its usually only in a couple places and a kind of all or nothing type thing. Completely different than the scattered drones on standard frames where bees make it anywhere they can.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2009, 06:06:39 AM »

In the end they make the same number of drones, no matter how much drone comb they have, but they also have a target threshold for drone comb.  They like to have a certain amount around and will make it whenever they get the chance until they meet the target, assuming they have enough worker brood etc.

With foundation that drone comb requirement is seldom met.

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Michael Bush
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