Foundationless frames, Drones and Varroa?

Here in Germany it seems to be common practice to have one or two “drone frames” in the hive. That’s what beekeepers here seem to call foundationless frames, because the bees tend to build mostly drone cells on them. I am not sure if that’s because the other frames have worker foundation, so the bees use the free space to increase the number of drones?

As soon as they are capped they tend to take them out of the hive and freeze them for two days, killing both brood and mites which tend to prefer drone cells to propagate. Forcing the bees to build a new frame also seems to dampen their wish to swarm?

I did that today with one of my foundationless frames, but I am not feeling very good about it. The frame was all capped drones and a few sections of uncapped nectar. Even though drones are mostly “freeloaders”, it feels wrong to kill them. I am also not sure what to do with it after. I don’t have equipment to melt the wax for example.

Frederick Dunn seems to try something similar this year where he is going to try and capture the drones in a queen excluder frame thingie, because he too mentioned some studies that drones are mite magnets.

What are your thoughts on this?

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One of many ideas that exist in beekeeping that I’ve tried…that is ineffective in my area in controlling varroa mite populations over the long run. I wish mite control was that simple.
And I have to agree with you about “not feeling very good about it” from a humanitarian perspective. The hive also has put an incredible amount of effort and resources to produce that frame with solid drones.


I totally agree with @Doug1. I just can’t deliberately try to make the hive produce drones to control Varroa. I would much rather use oxalic acid in one of many delivery methods. Drone culling makes my stomach churn when it is used for Varroa control…