In the battle against the “Varroa Destructor Mite”, beekeepers need a few tricks up their sleeves, or quietly hidden in the Beehive, to help combat theses nasty, virus spreading parasites.
One such method is Drone Brood Removal using a Drone Management Frame. Sold separately. The Drone management frames is used by the Bees to draw larger cells for drones, captured in one frame.
This is an organic practice where culling Drones from this specifically built frame every 24 days or when you notice the drone-comb has been capped, so you can monitor varroa presence in the hive.
The female Varroa Mites prefer Drone brood due to the increased gestation period plus the larger cell gives plenty of space for reproduction; Drone brood is 8-10 times more attractive to a female mite. Culling the drones on this frame is part of a program to naturally reduce mites in your hive. (if you are averse to killing all – you can use your capping-scratcher to remove wax-cappings from some, to check the presence of varroa on the larvae)
We recommend you have one frame per brood box. Placed third frame in, some folks have two one on either side. Installation at end of Winter when the colony will start building new comb within the hive – instal when you see increased egg-laying – to be in place before Spring.
The tops of the frames are coloured green to make them easier to spot in your hive. The colouring is a food-colouring which does not harm the bees.
The frames come in either full-sized or 3/4 sized Hoffman Frames used in standard Langstroth hive-boxes – a small plastic comb in the top section for easy management. The bees normally use the top part of the frame to store food for the brood.
Use your hive tool or knife to either remove all the capped drones in the area where the Bees have drawn drone comb which is drawn below the top section.
Open cappings with a capping scratcher to look inside cells or pull-out a row of drones.
This product forms part of an Integrated Pest Management Program in Beekeeping management.
Please read this article by Randy Oliver about his experience of Drone Brood Management.
IPM 5.5 Fighting Varroa 5.5: Biotechnical Tactics II