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Author Topic: Homemade Drone IPM Frames  (Read 5141 times)
Carriage House Farm
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« on: March 20, 2009, 10:10:10 AM »

I attended the IBA conference back in February and attended most of Randy Oliver's sessions.

Rather than using and storing those green plastic drone frames he suggests using a wood frame that is easy to remove the drone comb by cutting it out.

Here is a link: Randy's Page On Bilogical Mite Control (IPM)

Here is my version of it, which is pretty much the same.






I'll be using these in one bee yard.  I have a couple colonies that I will be splitting once split the ones raising their own queens will have a brood cycle interrupted which will end mite propagation till there is a laying queen.  The one with the queen will get the drone frames.

That's the plan at least.
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Richard Stewart
Carriage House Farm
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2009, 10:39:49 AM »

The are placed outside the brood area early on.   Honey is usually stored in the 2" area above and the colony is supposed to draw out eh bottom part of the frame into drone cells.

You pull it out after the are capped and use your hive tool to cut out the entire drone brood area then place back inside.  No need to freeze or use two per colony.  One is just fine, which cuts your equipment needed in half with no frames cluttering up your freezer.

If they bees feel they need new drone they'll draw out more.  If not, they'll draw and store honey.  Then you use it for cut or chunk.  Make sure its ready for the following year and clear out the bottom area when you do.

There are more exact instructions on his website.  I'll take pictures and report back how it works.

On the construction aspect of them, they are simple pieces of yellow and white pine that have been cut down to same size as a top bar.  A groove is cut using you single ripping blade on the table saw and then cut to fit the frame.  2" is measured on the frame side from the top and then the bar is stapled in with a nailer.   2" piece of foundation (I am using thin foundation) is cut and slid in the top and bottom grooves.  Because green has become the color of "drone" I painted a streak of green on the top bar for easy pick-out.
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Richard Stewart
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gmcharlie
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2009, 09:05:59 AM »

Wow,  I liked that link,  very interesting and detailed.....I am definatly going to give it a whirl this year myself.

Thanks!
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KD4MOJ
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2011, 03:36:39 PM »

I just ran across that site, how did the frames work out? I'm going to try and make a few this weekend.

...DOUG
KD4MOJ

Yep this is an old thread...
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BlueBee
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2011, 04:39:32 PM »

KD, here’s another idea for you.   http://www.mitezapper.com/

We know how well electricity goes over with beeks!  

I have no association with this mitezapper thing, but I thought it would be interesting to throw it into the discussion since it is a new twist on the drone comb idea.

I was over at a bee conference at Michigan State University a week or two ago and talked to the guys who are selling this.  I think they said they’re getting their first production batch April 2nd.  The zapper was invented by a professor over at MSU.  Here’s the professors work published in ABJ in 2001.  
www.cyberbee.net/huangpub/2001ABJ.pdf  What really amazes me is that it took 10 YEARS to get this thing to market.

My concern with the design was melting the comb along with the drones when you power this thing up in a hive!  However the guys claimed that the heat only kills the drones and doesn’t melt the wax.  Looking at the design, that looks viable if they regulate the heat accurately.

Like I said, I have no association with this and I’m not endorsing it or not endorsing it. I have no experience with it.  
« Last Edit: March 25, 2011, 04:59:09 PM by BlueBee » Logged
KD4MOJ
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2011, 11:21:57 AM »

Nothing like an electric hive!   grin

...DOUG
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BlueBee
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2011, 12:55:59 PM »

I’m not a marketing man, but my instincts tell me the zapper is going to go over like a lead balloon no matter how well it works.  Kind of like when Cadillac rebadged a Chevy Cavalier (j car) and called it a Cadillac.  You gotta know your market if you want to sell something.

I looked over the zapper pretty closely at the conference and it is obvious these guys have spent a lot of time engineering the thing and a lot of cost setting up the injection machines to make the thing.  The only problem I really see is finding a market that will buy them.  I hate being a pessimist, so hopefully I'm wrong and there is a big market for the things.   
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KD4MOJ
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2011, 03:44:22 PM »

Not to mention that you have to carry a source of voltage (battery etc.) The initial post of this thread looks like the easiest solution.  Got busy last weekend but hopefully some evening this week I can make a few of these frames and give 'em a try.

...DOUG
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BlueBee
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2011, 04:25:28 PM »

I agree with you KD, Randy’s solution looks like a low cost, simple way to manage drones.  I’m experimenting with a similar idea this summer, except I’m going to use a skinny horizontal hive body that crosses all the brood frames to manage my drones (instead of a single drone frame).  

My logic behind the horizontal body idea is to generate a drone trap that covers or crosses all the frames of brood.  My thinking is when the mites go looking for a drone cell they will be more likely to find one that crosses all frames in the brood chamber as opposed to some lone drone frame in position #8 or #9.

Something like that old Geometry axiom that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

I have no idea if my logic is sound, that’s why I’m experimenting!
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Carriage House Farm
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2011, 06:31:53 PM »

I think Randy's is by far the most simple.

I think if mites are looking for drone cells (and they are) they will find the drone cells.
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Richard Stewart
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2011, 08:38:02 PM »

Here's an even simpler method; just place a medium frame in the deep brood box. The bees will draw comb on the bottom bar and it will be drone comb. To remove, just scrape the whole mess off into a bucket with your hive tool, then put it back in.
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