Quick question for the brains trust. A while ago I took a couple of frames out of a laying worker hive and picked out the drones and larvae the best I could. Possibly as much as 10%, probably less, of each frame had drone comb. Most of them came out cleanly but there was a bit of ‘liquidity bits’ in some left inside the cells. I put those in the outside fridge thinking I’d position them in the middle of a strong hive in the next few days. Completely forgot about them. So it’s been a few weeks and I discovered them. Would the bees clean them out at this point? or have I wasted them? The rest of each frame is mostly uncapped honey and pollen. I was planning to take a brood frame or 2 from a strong hive and drop these into there place but don’t want to take a chance if you feel that the bees won’t be able to properly clean out any residual drone larvae bits etc. What do you think?
Hi Cathie, I’m more ruthless than you. I run my hive tool over the drone larvae that’s in worker comb to damage it. Then I place only one frame per hive into stronger hives right in the middle of the bee mass. The bees get straight into cleaning it out.
The only thing that would stop me from doing this in your case would be if the frames smelt rancid in any way.
If I’m placing them above a QX, I’d cut the drone comb out, leaving the worker comb with the damaged drone brood.
Thanks Jeff. No bad odour at all so I might take a chance. Definitely will take your advice and only put in one damaged frame per strong hive.
Bees are really feeling the heat today and tomorrow is supposed to be a lot hotter. I’ve put up more shade as well as draped wet towels over the most exposed hive.
I agree with @JeffH, if they don’t smell bad, use them one at a time. Bees are exceptionally good cleaners. However, I wouldn’t want to subject them to rotting bodies, which is why I discard or occasionally render bad-smelling frames…
If the weather is execptionally hot then consider putting an extra “super” on top of your hive on a temporary basis. If you put it above an inner cover the bees tend not to yse it but it gives the hot air a space to go to above the real hive. This needs a top vent to work properly.
I’ve been thinking of doing just this, Rob. I haven’t got a vent in the lid but could use a shim just to let some heat out. It’s going to be a long hot summer at this rate!
There is no point in killing drone larvae. The bees will just have to spend more resources to raise more. If you left them they wouldn’t have to raise as many drones to meet their quota.