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Use of wax foundation


#1

I was just reading that using wax foundation in your brood boxes forces the bees to always build worker cells, and never larger drone cells. Does this mean that if all frames in a brood box have wax foundations, then the colony won’t ever produce any drones? Tom


#2

Absolutely not. They always find a way. :wink:

They can expand the imprint of the foundation if they want, they can also chew holes in the foundation and rebuild drone cells in the corners and edges. They prefer to have them there anyway. It really doesn’t stop them from making drones.


#3

@korber, @Dawn_SD is correct. I only use wax foundation, and I assure you that when my colony wants Drones…they adjust the foundation to suit their purposes.


#4

Greeting Thomas,

Welcome to beekeeping ! I see Dawn n Snowflake have answered already. I use both plastic n wax foundation with a few experimental foundationless frames here m there in my hives. Love playing around, trying stuff n learning.

Nope ! Never found my girls n their Queens has any problem creating plenty of drone cells as I use mostly foundation frames.

As you become a beekeeper n spend time inspecting n observing bees you’ll find just how interesting n sometimes creative the “Girls” can be …

Cheers,
Gerald


#5

According to Clarence Collison’s research they will raise the same number of drones no matter what you do. They will raise them between the boxes, in the corners etc.


#6

Can’t resist!
Are you suggesting the girls like a choice of blokes?


#7

I just make sure every time I put new foundation frames in a brood box at least one frame is only a half sheet. Bees can then do as they wish without having to rework the foundation.


#8

I always run foundationless and have never been over-ran by drones. When frames are all foundation the girls will find places to raise their boys.

Cheers
Rob.


#9

Actually the likelyhood is that a queen will mate with drones from somewhere else. The queens tend to fly higher and farther than the drones which stacks the deck towards outmating instead of inbreeding. But bees have a threshold for both drone comb and drones. Both of these thresholds vary by time of year and current state of the colony. In a strong colony, in the peak of the swarm season the bees want the most drones. In winter they want the least.