When to cull Drones?

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New Bee
Aug 12, 2009
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Hive Type
Number of Hives
3 ( & stable)
Hi, newbie question again:

I've got a national frame in my 14X12 that now has loads of capped drone cells below it. Should I remove the comb now?

After what was maybe an over enthusiastic Oxiliac acid treatment, there is zero varoa drop & none in the few drone cells that I opened in the bottom hive after completiing a Bailey change.

Or would it be better to take out the drones using an un-capping fork & leave the comb intact?
Not necessarily. You'l presumably treat with Oxalic again in December and it appears from your description the mite levels are very low anyway.

I'd leave them to hatch - a few drones can help later in the year to keep the brood nest warm and you never know if you might go queenless and need a few healthy specimens to help the new queen on her merry way !!

You'd be surprised how much drone brood I found in a cutout I did a couple of weeks ago - bees naturally produce drones so don't be concerned about it. Once they have hatched, gradually move the frame to the back of the hive so you can cull it out and replace with a new 14x12 this season.


I agree.
If youve forked some out ( say about 20 ) and havent found more than a couple of varroa a drone cull will do more harm than good. You can allways leave a few cycles hatch out and cull later if you perceive you have more mites later
Wow, that was quick!

Thanks for the advice.As there isn't one mite in the hive, I'll leave them bee :)
The colony will be happier if you do as there needs to be a balance and it is natural for them to produce them, and obviously they feel the need for some male company.