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trulli1 

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I have been reading articles on ways to control varroa, and one way was to put a super frame into the brood box, the bees will build and draw off the bottom of the frame which generally becomes a "section" of drone brood.

Why do the bees do this? ie create a section of drone brood and not a bit of everything, worker, drone, stores, maybe even a queen cell or two?
 

Poly Hive 

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Because the space is there and a prosperous colony will use such space for drone brood as it is easier for them to build than worker, ie less wax. You will of course already now that there are 5 worker cells to the inch and 4 of drone.

Why would they produce queen cells there? If they are not needing a queen they wont produce them.

PH
 

victor meldrew 

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I have been reading articles on ways to control varroa, and one way was to put a super frame into the brood box, the bees will build and draw off the bottom of the frame which generally becomes a "section" of drone brood.

Why do the bees do this? ie create a section of drone brood and not a bit of everything, worker, drone, stores, maybe even a queen cell or two?
As PH says , they only produce queen cells when required however ,colonies seem to be more balanced when they have a full compliment of drones .
Whilst culling drone brood reduces mite load , I can't help feeling that the colony suffers from a lack of said drones ?. and have to start rebuilding comb (or modify comb) and wait a further 9 weeks before sexually mature drones are available ?
Maybe Roger Pattersons' observations on failing queens could be linked to the now wide spread practice of drone culling resulting in poorly mated queens.
All those bonnie drones culled only to be replaced by hasty poorly fed replacements, surely must have averse effects?

John Wilkinson
 

Haughton Honey 

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As PH says , they only produce queen cells when required however ,colonies seem to be more balanced when they have a full compliment of drones .
Whilst culling drone brood reduces mite load , I can't help feeling that the colony suffers from a lack of said drones ?. and have to start rebuilding comb (or modify comb) and wait a further 9 weeks before sexually mature drones are available ?
Maybe Roger Pattersons' observations on failing queens could be linked to the now wide spread practice of drone culling resulting in poorly mated queens.
All those bonnie drones culled only to be replaced by hasty poorly fed replacements, surely must have averse effects?

John Wilkinson

I'm fully in agreement with you Victor.

Drone culling is just not something I ever entertain as part of my IPM strategy.
 

Finman 

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, I can't help feeling that the colony suffers from a lack of said drones

It does not go that way. There are one mated queen in the hive and it does not need drones.



Second, the idea is that the queen mate somewhere else. Drones are everywhere and the nuisance is that they are too many and too far to produce mongrels.

England is only country which regrets about lack of drones.

Even if you cull drones from your hives, they are still hundreds.

I use drone zone in hives and I see there what is the contamination
 

victor meldrew 

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It does not go that way. There are one mated queen in the hive and it does not need drones.



Second, the idea is that the queen mate somewhere else. Drones are everywhere and the nuisance is that they are too many and too far to produce mongrels.

England is only country which regrets about lack of drones.

Even if you cull drones from your hives, they are still hundreds.

I use drone zone in hives and I see there what is the contamination
The queens have evolved into promiscuous creatures for sound biological reasons.
Yes there are drones everywhere but don't you see that the quality of these drones is lessened and indeed the quantity by over zealous culling? .
Taking your line to the extreme has got to result in inbreeding to the detriment of the bees in a given area.
Give me some good old MONGRELbees ie bees containing a gene mixture capable of carrying the colony forwards in changing conditions (as nature intended.)
No my friend ENGLAND is not the only country that doubts the sanity of wide spread drone culling ! indeed ,drone culling is part of the ipm taught and encouraged in ENGLAND (the UK actually).
I respect your beekeeping skills but wonder why when ever you disagree with a post , you constantly refer to that posting as unique to these islands?.
We are surrounded by water but as a nation we have influenced 4/5th of the world. Hardly an insular approach to beekeeping or anything else for that matter.
Rant over :hurray:.#
#John Wilkinson
 

Poly Hive 

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One of the advantages of deep floors, as in more than bee space under the frames is it gives the bees room to produce lots of drone brood with out messing up the brood frames.

I find drone brood useful on a number of levels.

One of course is sex.

Then there is the ability to check for varroa levels.

and lastly but not exclusively if I strip off a frame or three of drone brood it keeps the wax workers busy and also dumps part of the varroa load.

The point here is that not ALL the drone brood is got rid of, thus balancing keeping everything balanced.

PH
 

victor meldrew 

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A Ukrainian friend of mine used to cut the cappings off drone brood long before the advent of varroa . He did this because (his words) "father taught me , that a drone eats one cell full of honey daily, and I want that honey ".It seemed at the time to be a common practice in Eastern European countries ?.

John Wilkinson
 

Finman 

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I do not trust much mite captive ability, but I am not afraid that there will be lack of drones. I have culled drone zones 20 years and all queen has beeen mated.

The main advantage in drone zone is that bees have place to make drones. If they have not a palce, they make them however here and there. They even brake foundations to draw drone cell.

In the middle of drone brood area you see emty cells. The reason is chalkbrood. When the hive is tolerant to chalkbrood, the drone brood area is nice and even. That is a good indicator for chalkbrood.

Mites are very few in drone pupae. If they are many like tens, then things are in bad condition.

I have put medium foundation in Langstroth frame.

 

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