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Drone Comb – What is it?

What is drone comb?

Drone comb is the raised cells you will see in a hive, these have drone pupu in them. The drones are the male bees of the colony, drones main role in life is to mate with virgin queens, and also help spread the queens pheromone throughout the hive.

So what's so bad, why would a beekeeper want to remove Drone Comb?

We remove it because the varroa mites prefer drone comb because of the longer gestation period of the drone bee. This is part of our Integrated pest management strategy.

We don't cull all the drone comb, but we do remove the drones in our management frames. It's natural for the bees to have a certain number of drones in the hives. Especially if you or your neighbors are doing queen rearing.

Do you have any tools that can help make this task easier?

Yes we make and sell the “kiwimana Drone Management Frames”, it's was a great idea we spotted on Randy Olivers web site.

Here is the article on Randy's web site, its well worth a read:-

Kiwimana Drone Management Frames

The frame is a full sized frame (we could make 3/4 sized ones if they is enough interest). The top of the frame has a normal plastic foundation. We used plastic because we find it's easier to scrap out the comb, if you ever need to remove the frame from the hive.

The bottom section is empty and the bees build comb in here. The comb will be different dependent on the time of the year. In the spring build up the bees will build drone comb. This is removed every twenty ones days or whenever the cells are capped.

We remove it because the varroa mites prefer drone comb because of the longer gestation period of drones. This is part of our Integrated pest management strategy.

You can read more about our frames on the product page…kiwimana drone management frames.


Gary Fawcett

Gary enjoys designing new kiwimana products which we sell through our on-line shop.He is passionate about saving the Bees and encouraging urban beekeeping.Gary loves to write about issues that affect the Bees and our environment.He is also into tramping/walking in the beautiful New Zealand bush.

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4 thoughts on “Drone Comb – What is it?

  1. I have never seen this management tool before. Thanks for sharing, you two!

    1. Thanks for the feedback Mil’s, you are most welcome.

      Yep its a another part of our IPM to lower the mites in our hives, give it a go.


  2. […] We wrote an article about what is drone comb and why we manage it. Here is the article […]

  3. […] The first step is to identify if you indeed have the problem. Usually the beekeeper discovers the hive has no worker brood, only drone cells. These are raise cells in a comb that house the male honey bees. See What is drone comb […]

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