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Author Topic: Differing Opinions on Drone Trapping  (Read 342 times)

Offline The15thMember

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Differing Opinions on Drone Trapping
« on: June 01, 2020, 10:27:38 am »
I was talking with a beekeeper friend of mine the other day and we got on the subject of drone trapping.  She was talking about how instead of cutting out her drone comb, she leaves it in, which draws the mites into the drone brood instead of into the worker brood.  She said if you leave the drone brood in, then it doesn't matter if they are infested with mites, because you'd rather have sickly drones than sickly workers.  This seems to be a different train of thought to what I usually hear on drone trapping, where you cut out the comb because the mites breed more in the drone brood.  What are your thoughts on these opposing philosophies?       
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Offline jimineycricket

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Re: Differing Opinions on Drone Trapping
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2020, 10:39:48 am »
I do not think you want the mites in the drone cells getting out and spreading to the rest of the brood cells. So yes cut them out.
 
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Differing Opinions on Drone Trapping
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2020, 09:07:01 am »
She said if you leave the drone brood in, then it doesn't matter if they are infested with mites, because you'd rather have sickly drones than sickly workers.
I don't cull drone brood but that is an incorrect conclusion.  If the drones are infested with varroa then the hive is infested with varroa and will likely not do well.  It really only works if the bees are pulling infected cells because it is a matter of critical timing.
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Differing Opinions on Drone Trapping
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2020, 11:20:46 am »
Thanks both of you.  I guess the other issue is that the drones don't just stay in one colony, and they could easily spread mites between colonies as well. 
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Differing Opinions on Drone Trapping
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2020, 05:13:53 pm »

What are your thoughts on these opposing philosophies?

> I do not think you want the mites in the drone cells getting out

> If the drones are infested with varroa then the hive is infested with varroa and will likely not do well.

>  I guess the other issue is that the drones don't just stay in one colony, and they could easily spread         
     mites between colonies as well.

All three above taken from your replies sound accurate to me.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Differing Opinions on Drone Trapping
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2020, 03:44:07 pm »
I have about 20% drone comb all the time.  I never cull drone comb or do "drone trapping"  If I did I would be selecting for mites that prefer workers.  Not what I want.  I want mites that prefer drones...
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Differing Opinions on Drone Trapping
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2020, 06:34:49 pm »
I have about 20% drone comb all the time.  I never cull drone comb or do "drone trapping"  If I did I would be selecting for mites that prefer workers.  Not what I want.  I want mites that prefer drones...
Thanks for your reply Michael.  So you would agree that if there are always drones the mites will stay mostly in the drones? 
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Offline TheHoneyPump

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Differing Opinions on Drone Trapping
« Reply #7 on: Today at 01:01:07 am »
IMHO.  If mites are present, they are in brood.  All brood.  The main difference between worker vs drone is the extra time of drones to develop.  The drone brood is longer, enough for the mites to get extra reproductive cycles done.  In other words, drone brood produces more mites than worker brood.  It may appear mites prefer drones because more mites (count per cell) will be observed in drone.  I have formed a loose opinion that the observation is more of a factor of the length of development time than it is of mite preference for fat juicy drone brood. Yes, there are more mites in drone brood, in part just because of development time.
I do use drone combs. For purpose of raising drones. I do not cull drone. The bees expend an incredible amount of energy and resources to raise drones. The beekeeper can be more helpful and less harmful to the colony by controlling mites by methods that are much less taxing.
My stance:  culling brood, any brood, in effort of mite control is a deception. Brood is bees.  Cull and kill the brood, you are killing the bees - making you just as bad and no better for the bees than the mite you are trying to get rid of.  Bee friendly, more consideration to other methods (eg caging).
« Last Edit: Today at 02:26:28 am by TheHoneyPump »
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