Drone Combs, Hive Maintenance!
Hey everyone, this is a must in bee-keeping and we have just realized the merits in doing so. We have a super strong swarm it has been on this property for 3 years BUT....
For some or other weird season not rendered us 1 drop of honey in Summer, or EVER for that matter, but why not?
The simple reason is too many drones. Many folks are not aware but you do not need any drones in your hives at all. All drones do is mate with the Queen, she goes on mating flights so even if you have no drones in your hive she will still reproduce. So taking out all drone cells in hives is a must as all they do is eat all your precious honey, interesting right?
More info on drones here as per wikipedia: Drones carry only one type of allele at each chromosomal position, because they are haploid (containing only one set of chromosomes from the mother). During the development of eggs within a queen, a diploid cell with 32 chromosomes divides to generate haploid cells called gametes with 16 chromosomes. The result is a haploid egg, with chromosomes having a new combination of alleles at the various loci. This process is called arrhenotokous parthenogenesis or simply arrhenotoky.
Because the male bee technically has only a mother, and no father, its genealogical tree is unusual. The first generation has one member (the male). One generation back also has one member (the mother). Two generations back are two members (the mother and father of the mother). Three generations back are three members. Four back are five members. That is, the numbers in each generation going back are 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, ... – the Fibonacci sequence.
Much debate and controversy exist in the scientific literature about the dynamics and apparent benefit of the combined forms of reproduction in honey bees and other social insects, known as the haplodiploid sex-determination system. The drones have two reproductive functions: Each drone grows from the queen's unfertilized haploid egg and produces some 10 million male sperm cells, each genetically identical to the egg. Drones also serve as a vehicle to mate with a new queen to fertilize her eggs. Female worker bees develop from fertilized eggs and are diploid in origin, which means that the sperm from a father provides a second set of 16 chromosomes for a total of 32: one set from each parent. Since all the sperm cells produced by a particular drone are genetically identical, full sisters are more closely related than full sisters of other animals where the sperm is not genetically identical.
A laying worker bee exclusively produces totally unfertilized eggs, which develop into drones. As an exception to this rule, laying worker bees in some subspecies of honey bees may also produce diploid (and therefore female) fertile offspring in a process called thelytoky, in which the second set of chromosomes comes not from sperm, but from one of the three polar bodies during anaphase II of meiosis.
In honey bees, the genetics of offspring can best be controlled by artificially inseminating (referred to in beekeeping as 'instrumental insemination') a queen with drones collected from a single hive, where the drones' mother is known. In the natural mating process, a queen mates with multiple drones, which may not come from the same hive. Therefore, batches of female offspring have fathers of a completely different genetic origin. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_(bee)
Above and below drone combs which we removed, that large cell is a queen cell, we took these frames out of our super strong swarm and put them into a weaker swarm we recently rescued, double bonus we gave them some extra worker brood which will ensure their genetic diversity and a new queen, if they already have a queen she will split off and form a new colony, if not they now do, this promises to be a really good swarm in a few months!
Nature the incredible!
I trust you have an amazing week!
Love and light, be blessed.