How to Use Green Drone Frames for Varroa Management
Green Drone frames are a one piece plastic frame imprinted with a larger cell pattern to encourage the worker bees to make drone comb. Varroa mites prefer drone comb over worker comb due to the fact drone cells are capped 4 days longer than worker brood, enabling them to produce more offspring. As part of your Integrated Pest Management practices, drone frames can be an integral part of staying ahead of a mite infestation, thus lessening the need for mite treatments.How To:
- Place one drone frame in each hive in frame position 3.
- Leave for 2-3 weeks - (Drone brood is 24 days from egg to emergence.)
- Remove the frame “before” drone brood emerges to prevent a “mite bomb” in your hive – counterproductive to the method approach.
- Freeze the frame overnight. Remove and warm to room temperature.
- Drag your capping scratcher across the cells, breaking them open, then place the frame back in the hive for the worker bees to clean out the dead drones and mites.
- Repeat the cycle as the bees refill and cap cells.
Photo Credit: University of Arkansas
Photo Credit: Trunch Beekeeping Group