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Capped Drone cells in Flow frames

Hi All,
I did an inspection of my Flow frames, last Tuesday, to see if there was any capped honey.
Out of the 6 flow frames, 3 had 30% capped honey.
The other 3 flow frames had about 40% capped drone cells.
I have taken out the frames with drone cells and put them in a separate super.
I’m, hoping, that the drones will emerge and leave the super.
The main problem I now have, what is the best way to clean up the flow frames after the drones have gone, hopefully.
Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.

Hi George, sounds like you have laying workers. Chances are they will lay in the other frames. Here’s a post by Jeff with how he successfully turned it around.

Make sure the drones can get out of the super also.

With 40% capped drone cells in flow frames, I’d be looking to see if the queen got up through the QE, remembering that flow cells are similar size to drone cells. Therefore if the queen got through the QE, she will lay appropriate eggs in the cells provided.

I sometimes get the odd worker lay eggs in the honey super, however in those cases, it’s just a few. This is while the queen is happily laying below the excluder.

If this is the first generation of brood,I’d be tempted just to leave them be. The bees will clean and provided the queen stays below and you don’t have laying worker, they should fill with funny. I feel the action/ displacement of the flow cell should be enough to rupture the cocoon… want to experiment for us?

Hi, The drones have started to hatch and they can get out of the super.
Just have to figure out the best way to clean up the Flow frames when all the drones have hatched.

Hi Jeff, thanks for your reply. Just have to work out the best way to clean the Flow frames after all the drones have hatched. Cheers

Hi George, from my observations of one particular flow owner who got a massive amount of drones in his flow frames, it appears that you don’t have to worry about it after the brood has emerged. The only problem he had since then was harvesting jellybush honey, which doesn’t flow. I’m pretty sure he harvested honey between the brood and jellybush events.

It was more luck than good management that he didn’t crack the flow frames with brood in them. He called me to come & take some bees away because as he opened the roof, a massive amount of bees came out. He quickly closed the roof before calling me. The massive amount of bees were all drones, which would have been noisy, & needless to say “scary”, however harmless. He also had a lot dead, trying to get through the QE.

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Hi Jeff, thanks for your reply, I feel a little bit better now.
After all the drone brood has hatched, can I just replace the flow frames back in the flow super ?
Will the bees clean up all the wax and residue left behind by the drones ?
Look forward to your thoughts and anyone else that has had the same problem.

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As long as you sort out the issue of why the brood got laid in the flow frames, you could leave the flow frames in place as long as you have an escape rout for the drones to save them getting stuck in the QE.


Thanks Jeff, I will let all the drone brood hatch in a separate flow box. After that, and making sure that there are no drones left, I will place the flow frames back in the flow hive above the QE and brood hive.

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Do you have normal brood in the brood box? It’s very unusual to have so much laying above the QE without a queen being up there. Maybe check the integrity of your QE as well.

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