Drone Comb for Increased Honey Production?

Foundationless, Small Cell (4.9 mm) and Regression.
Herndon
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Drone Comb for Increased Honey Production?

Postby Herndon » Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:37 pm

The Apimaye hive site recommends using drone cell sizing in supers for better honey production. Has anyone tried this?

Makes sense that less wax would be needed so more honey is produced. Also, more surface area for evaporating meaning less effort for drying out cells.

Can drone comb (6+ mm) be too big for small-cell bees (4.9mm)?


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moebees
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Re: Drone Comb for Increased Honey Production?

Postby moebees » Tue Apr 10, 2018 7:41 pm

If you use foundation less frames the bees naturally build drone cell size in supers. I am going to use all plastic green frames in my supers this year.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

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Michael Bush
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Re: Drone Comb for Increased Honey Production?

Postby Michael Bush » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:59 pm

If you are using an excluder drone foundation in the supers works well. It extracts very easily.
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Herndon
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Re: Drone Comb for Increased Honey Production?

Postby Herndon » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:07 pm

@moebees- Thanks! Did not think to measure the honeycomb. Interesting that it is about the same size. Why did you choose the green frames vs. foundationless when cell size is comparable?

Herndon
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Re: Drone Comb for Increased Honey Production?

Postby Herndon » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:16 pm

Michael Bush wrote:If you are using an excluder drone foundation in the supers works well. It extracts very easily.


Thanks Michael! I have been reading your work for about a year now. You were the first to inspire me to take a more natural approach.

You have shared the benefits of narrow frames with small cell size. When running narrows, do you run 9 frames in your 8 frame supers or space out the frames a bit for them to draw the comb out farther?

moebees
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Re: Drone Comb for Increased Honey Production?

Postby moebees » Wed Apr 11, 2018 9:09 pm

Herndon wrote:@moebees- Thanks! Did not think to measure the honeycomb. Interesting that it is about the same size. Why did you choose the green frames vs. foundationless when cell size is comparable?


I don't use any support my deep frames so they get pretty heavy when full of honey. I also have no desire to have tons of drone size natural comb around. I do crush and strain but crush and strain is much easier if you take a spatula and scrape the comb off plastic foundation because it opens the back side of the cells. The honey just pours out. So although the green frames cost more it makes sense to me.
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

Herndon
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Re: Drone Comb for Increased Honey Production?

Postby Herndon » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:28 pm

@moebees makes sense to me too. I’ll try the spatula idea too. Have not tried that yet for crash and strain. I appreciate all your help!


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Michael Bush
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Re: Drone Comb for Increased Honey Production?

Postby Michael Bush » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:09 pm

There are 9 frames in all my boxes to start. Later when I have drawn comb, I often space the supers wider, but never the brood.
"Everything works if you let it"--James "Big Boy" Medlin
http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

Herndon
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Re: Drone Comb for Increased Honey Production?

Postby Herndon » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:35 am

Michael Bush wrote:There are 9 frames in all my boxes to start. Later when I have drawn comb, I often space the supers wider, but never the brood.


Interesting. Makes sense. Thanks Michael!


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moebees
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Re: Drone Comb for Increased Honey Production?

Postby moebees » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:03 pm

Herndon wrote:@moebees makes sense to me too. I’ll try the spatula idea too. Have not tried that yet for crash and strain. I appreciate all your help!


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Watch this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAFCiSXGg2I
Sam Droege, a biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey—“bees are not optional."

Herndon
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Re: Drone Comb for Increased Honey Production?

Postby Herndon » Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:24 pm



The metal pie cutter works beautifully. Thanks for sharing.

BTW- A friend wanted to see the bees yesterday and I opened up to find large cell honey comb being drawn on the foundationless frames just like you said. Glad you mentioned this sooner as that indicated to me we are probably in an early Flow.


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