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Author Topic: Using Drone frames  (Read 1227 times)
Parksguyy
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« on: September 04, 2012, 09:18:38 AM »

Hello everyone,
Regarding the use of those green Drone frames to control mites - does one remove them for the winter period?  I have yet to read anything about them regarding this.  I've been using them in each of my brood chambers this summer (this is my first year as a beek) ... for the longest time they simply drew out the comb and filled them with honey.  Shortly afterwards they did fill them with brood which I took off and froze and checked - didn't see any mites!  Now with  fall coming, they are mostly filled with honey again but I am concerned that come the new year when new brood is being reared, I won't have access to these frames and I may end up suddenly increasing my mite load when new drone hatch.
Thanks
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2012, 12:37:21 PM »

If they filled them with honey, leave them in there. They will produce drones whether or not you place a drone frame or not. I do not use them. I am trying to get my bees to take care of them through good genetics.
In my OB hive it is rare to get a mite in there. If they fall they end up in the clean out tray try to check it every day and I only get about 1 mite a week. You can see the bees grooming each other to get rig of them. Sometimes it looks like one bee attacking another until you see the one being attacked turn and present another side for cleaning. After a minute or so of aggressive behavior the aggressive bee will stop and find another bee to work on. I just went through the hive re queening, new queen cell and only found 3 mites in the bottom from her first brood cycle. Her mother had good genetics also. I never see a mite on the bees in the hive.
Jim
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"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain
Finski
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2012, 10:35:49 PM »


the whole drone comb is too much to rear drones. It is about 15% out of brood mass.

If you put a medium foundation into a langstroth frame you get a 1/3  frame drone zone.
When the cells have been capped, you cut it off and bees draw new comb into a gap.

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D Coates
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« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2012, 06:02:24 PM »

I use them on my 15 full size hives.  I put them in the 3 or 7 position in my 10 frame Langs. when they're active.  I remove and freeze them every 3 weeks after July 4th weekend until the queens stop laying in them.  Once that happens I put them in the 1 or 10 position for over-wintering.  What I've found is they'll start laying in them in the 3 to 7 position during late winter/early spring.  The start of March is when I try to get into the hives, assuming the weather cooperates.  I move the frame to that position during my first inspection.  Once the flow start in earnest (mid-May) I leave the frames alone and let the bees focus on honey.
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Parksguyy
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 08:49:41 AM »

Thanks very much for your comments D Coates, I've had them in the #4 position all summer.  I will move them as per your experience seeing that they are full of honey and there was a very few brood on one frame too.  Question, do you have them in every brood chamber or just one?  I'm obviously running with double brood chambers and will go into the winter that way. I keep a drone frame in both my brood chambers and pull them every 3wks as well.  This being my first season, and only got my bees in late June, I've only pulled one set of frames ... I did check the larva after being frozen and couldn't find a mite ... so that is good.  I'm doing a mite count now so that will tell us what our levels are too.
Thanks again. 
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D Coates
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 12:14:39 PM »

Glad to help.  I only run one drone frame per hive and it's in the top deep.  You could run 2 per hive which would be more in line with what they want but I find one frame to be plenty effective yet not overwhelming for my needs or efforts.
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Parksguyy
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 01:31:59 PM »

Good point, I had purchased two per hive with the intent of simply swaping the one in for the other ... but instead I put them in each brood.  I'm thinking that was a mistake to be honest, just keeping tack of where we are with the 21day time frame for each.  And then trying to retrieve the one out of the bottom brood and disturbing the whole hive. Thanks again.
 
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