Rearing drones

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Sutty

From Glossop, North Derbyshire, UK
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Glossop, North Derbyshire
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4 to 12!
A bit non-seasonal but...
Following a conversation with other beekeepers I was wondering about increasing the number of "desirable" drones in the area.
My idea is to identify a queen with good offspring characteristics, transfer her and her bees onto a load of drawn drone frames and unite with another queenright colony (with excluders etc to produce a 2-queen hive.
Would the Q on drone brood then predominantly produce drones to flood the local area, or would the bees defeat it?
 
Given the right time of year queens love laying up drone comb and will happily do so. Many years ago it was rather common for drone foundation to be used in supers. Faulty queen excluders often resulted in whole boxes of drone brood😂

I would question the results of flooding with 1 or even a couple of hives though…… but he’ll you have to start some place😉
 
Given the right time of year queens love laying up drone comb and will happily do so. Many years ago it was rather common for drone foundation to be used in supers. Faulty queen excluders often resulted in whole boxes of drone brood😂

I would question the results of flooding with 1 or even a couple of hives though…… but he’ll you have to start some place😉
I completely agree one or two colony’s for drone flooding is a drop in the ocean and as Ian said queens will sometimes lay up whole frames of drone brood imo even without using drone cell foundation I’ve been playing around with a few things over the last three years and drone foundation above the brood is key run without qxs keep the drones out of the brood box that is for worker brood and as we know queens do lay drone brood at the edges of the nest and above so why not utilise that. , sometimes I’ve found full frames of drone brood in the brood box but not much just to clarify that a colony will also do this🤔.
I had this season 15 colony’s set up this way and still it’s not enough .
What I would do in your situation is graft loads and be very vigilant what you want to keep using mini nucs or nucs for your queens even on a smaller scale
From 70 queens I have kept 40 this season .
So that’s about 60% going forward next year I plan to have 20/30 drone producing colony’s and I will graft twice as many to select from .

I don’t know what others are doing to get to where they want to be ?I’m also trying to set my mating apiary’s in certain places to aid results but I’ll have to get back to you in the next year or decade 😂
 
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As far as I recall, queens and drones tend to fly different distances to mate (all things being equal), so what's perhaps required is multiple apiaries, or for a concerted effort amongst a number of beekeepers in a given area to improve the drone stock.

James
 
As far as I recall, queens and drones tend to fly different distances to mate (all things being equal), so what's perhaps required is multiple apiaries, or for a concerted effort amongst a number of beekeepers in a given area to improve the drone stock.

James
I popped in to a gathering of beeks at a training apiary recently and noticed wide variation of methodology and opinion amongst the more experienced beekeepers. Given that situation I think you would struggle to create a group membership which would agree on "desirable traits" to set a standard for improvement 🤔. Maybe a large commercial organization could succeed? At a guess Murray would be in a good position to create the right conditions based on his sheer numbers of colonies and use of deliberately bred for purpose queens to introduce genetics he considers desirable. Are there any forum members who keep bees in the vicinity of Murrays apiaries who have perceived benefits from Murrays drones?
 
one or two colony’s for drone flooding is a drop in the ocean
There's often more than one way to look at things. If we're aiming to select within very tight criteria then yes it would be a drop in the ocean. On the other hand, mass drone production from a small number of colonies might be a tsunami if we're trying to maximize polyandry 🙂
 

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