The effect of a plentiful supply of drone comb on colonies of honeybees

M. Delia Allen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Normal colonies of bees given a supply of empty drone combs as required during the active season (Treated group) produced significantly more drone brood than Control colonies in which the amount of drone comb was severely restricted in the spring. A natural limit was fairly soon reached, however, and the maximum amount did not exceed about 2 580 sq. cm. in any colony. (In a previous year Treated colonies given only one drone comb also produced significantly more drone brood than Control colonies with no added drone comb.) Fewer drone cells were built on worker combs in the Treated colonies than in the Controls. Worker brood amounts and honey yields were not significantly less in Treated than in Control colonies, nor was there an increased tendency towards queen rearing in the Treated groups. Allowing colonies to rear drones freely would therefore appear to have no detrimental effect on their economic performance, and the need to restrict drone rearing as a beekeeping practice may be questioned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-119
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Apicultural Research
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Jan 1965

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