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Author Topic: Raising Extra Drones for Mating  (Read 3042 times)
Joseph Clemens
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« on: April 09, 2007, 07:59:00 AM »

Just thought I'd mention an observation, not an uncommon experience, but interesting.

In order to have a better saturation of my mating area with drones of my preferred genetics, I cut a full, deep, sheet of beeswax drone foundation, in half -- then wired each half into its own medium frame. Within one day of having placed it on my strongest colony, the foundation part had been drawn out. I then placed both of them into the colony whose drones I wished to propagate. Once in the "drone builder" colony, the bees there continued to build comb on the bottom edge, to fill out the frame. One frame they quickly transitioned into small cell worker comb, the other they continued as drone comb. They always seem to know just what they want.
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Joseph Clemens
Beekeeping since 1964
10+ years in Tucson, Arizona
12+ hives and 15+ nucs
No chemicals -- no treatments of any kind, EVER.
Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2007, 07:46:59 PM »

According to this study:

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.

No matter what you do you will still end up with the same number of drones.
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Michael Bush
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doak
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2007, 11:01:50 PM »

If the workers build drone comb the queen lays drone eggs in them. You can buy drone foundation and put as many as you wish in a colony. Be advised, don't overdoit. Two frames of drone foundation in a big strong colony isn't to many. This is done by a lot of beekeepers to help control the Varroa Mite pop. the mites like the longer incubation that the drones have. It also helps in keeping the workers from building drone comb , here there and younder. When the cells are capped take frame out and put in the freezer overnight. You can put them back in the hive after they  warm up. Skip two or three times when you want drones. Get rid of some mites without "X bones and skeleton" Smiley
doak
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2007, 11:18:18 PM »

Nobody can believe it, can they.  Peer reviewed research by esteemed entomologists and they just ignore it as too far fetched to be true...

You'll always end up with the same amount of drones, no matter what you do.  That's reality.
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Michael Bush
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Romahawk
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2007, 10:10:10 AM »

Ah HA, beginning to Morph into a bit of a Finsky there MB.....  evil
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2007, 10:23:35 PM »

>Ah HA, beginning to Morph into a bit of a Finsky there MB.....

Finsky won't believe it either.  Smiley  He only believes research if it agrees with his ideas.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2007, 11:01:54 PM »

Would this apply to mating nucs?
I was wondering if you had a drone comb frame, brood frame, honey frame, and pollen frame, would the bees rework the the frames?
Would I have to rotate the frames?

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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doak
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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2007, 10:59:18 PM »

Also if you prune an apple tree, it will still have as many blooms as it would have had if it had not been pruned.
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doak
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2007, 08:16:46 PM »

If there is always the same amount of drones, then why do queen breeders have a hive 5 or 6 high with deep boxes with half of it in drone comb? rolleyes
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2007, 09:08:58 PM »

>If there is always the same amount of drones, then why do queen breeders have a hive 5 or 6 high with deep boxes with half of it in drone comb?

Because they have been told for more than a century that they should buy foundation so the bees won't rear as many drones.  So, of course, that means to get them rear drones you need to give them drone comb.

They will still rear the same number of drones, but the concept is so ingrained in the beekeeping community that no one will accept it even when it's research from respected scientists.
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Michael Bush
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JerryJ
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2007, 09:06:09 PM »

MB, Page 29 of the Brushymountain Catalog. Plastic Drone Frame. or Drone Foundation Sheets. Twenty one days to build and fill with capped Drone Brood. Both sides filled and removed from two of my strongest hives to five frame Nuc.
  One sure way to saturate my area with my best drones as per Dr. Marla Spivac's suggestion.
  Jerry Kern
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doak
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2007, 10:11:25 PM »

Ditto what  JerryJ says. I ordered 10 drone foundation. If you read my post from abot an hour ago that is why I am going to put two of those in  the colonie I got from the March swarm. They came from one of my oldest colonies that came out of the woods here at home. The Easter colony gets to produce the Queens.
I will requeen every thing I have and add about 2or3 colonies from those two colonies."Why", Because when you find a swarm that can put up 100 lbs. of honey in a month to two months, It is time to grab all that stock you can get.
doak
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2007, 09:20:43 AM »

If you BELIEVE that giving them drone foundation will make more drones (Despite Dr. Collison's research to the contrary) then why not LET them build it themselves.  There will be more variety of drone sizes which may have a mating advantage.  An empty frame between two brood combs is sufficient and saves you buying the foundation.
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Michael Bush
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2007, 08:13:53 PM »

I have to put my 2 cents in here.  I happen to agree with MB.
 In my experience the amount of drones in a hive with vary between 15-20% during swarm season and through the summer.  If you try to raise more drones in one hive than another it seems to even out through drifting.  The evening out from drifting also occurs in hives that have had the drone comb harvested for mite control.  Regardless of what you do, during the active seasons of the year, the percentage of drones in any hive will fluxuate between 15-20%. 

If there is an excessive amount of drone comb and any hive it is filled with honey and becomes storage comb.  Same thing for worker comb as fall approaches.  The closer to winter the more brood comb (drone & worker) is converted to storage comb. 
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JerryJ
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2007, 10:33:12 PM »

As stated I put two full frames of Capped Drone Frames into a five frame Nuc box with Honey, Pollen and Capped brood. Five frames total.
  There was a Vast Majority of Drones for about a month in this nuc which covered my Queen breeding period. This was for Saturation and Apiary Vicinity matings. I still have not been able to locate a DCA or the nuc box would have been placed near that area.
  With the information avaible  does this cover the life expectation of a Drone hatch.        Thanks   Jerry
   
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doak
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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2007, 12:04:23 AM »

The life expection of drones is from the time they hatch till the time they mate, or till fall when the workers run them from the hive. You have new drones each spring.
The life expectance has nothing to do with how many drones are produced.
doak
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2007, 05:52:07 PM »

I believe what you'll seen in a nuc with 2 frames of drone comb in it is an initial surplus of drones in that Hive.  This is a method a lot of queen producers use to saturate a mating area with drone for the mating period.  After tha initial hatch of brood you should see the drane frames mostly filled with storage and the brood area shift to the other frames in the nuc where worker comb would be built.
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2007, 10:39:24 AM »

My Two Cents Worth 

Nature works it out pretty good why would a human worry about it Bees are pretty smart
the only problem bees have is mans Stupidity

I'm going with Mike Bush and Brian and Nature
kirko
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2007, 12:36:13 AM »

 The inflx of drone like you describe ins the way queen breeders saturate their queen areas with drones.  Those hives not having queens hold frames of drones.  I would say that a month would be fairly typical--give or take a week.  It takes that long for the drifting and killing of drones to even out and reduce the population.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2007, 08:28:56 AM »

I hadn't thought about it before, but if you want to maximize the number of drones from a particular hive (because you want those genetics as the father side) I think the only thing that would really work is to start out with drone combs in that hive and keep pulling them out and putting them in other hives to meet THEIR drone quota and put empty frames back into the drone hive to get them to draw more drone.  They will draw (and raise) more drones because they have not met their quota because you keep giving them to the other hives which will stop rearing drones because they HAVE met their quota with drones from the hive you wanted to have drones from.  Smiley

I'll have to think about this.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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