18 May

Benefits of the method

There is a myth among people that drones deprive the colony of its honey. It is necessary to realize that drones are fed with protein-based food (pollen), not with saccharide-based food (honey). Neither adult drones consume honey on a large scale. They leave their colony only for short trips to mating sites and take their stock of honey in their crop. This loss is, however, minimal. It is compensated for by the fact that with their large biomass that is clustered on the combs, drones help warm the brood up and thus release thousands of foraging bees to work on flowers. Based on my observation, the flight frequency at the hive entrances increases with drone rearing 2.6 times. I came to this conclusion by comparing the air traffic at the entrances of hives with swarm control drone rearing and a control group of 10 neighboring hives. In bee colonies with drones, there is a much higher flight activity of the worker bees even when the weather worsens. This is a very valuable feature, increasing honey yields. It has been confirmed by other beekeepers testing this method. And the benefits of drone rearing continue.

In my opinion, the greatest benefit is the vast amount of time and effort it saves. By establishing drone rearing in two visits in spring and not entering the brood chamber for the rest of the season, the beekeeper saves a great amount of time he or she would otherwise have to invest in swarm control. When applied correctly, this method absolutely eliminates swarming, as the swarming fever never occurs.

Many beekeepers try to cut out the drone comb to get the colony rid of the Varroa mite. And they are afraid that drone rearing would increase the number of mites to a level that would endanger the colony. But the opposite is true. As long as there is drone brood present in the colony, the Varroa mite holds only to it. Thus the drone comb reduces the parasite’s pressure on the worker bee caste.

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