Here we are taking a peek at the swarm I wrote about in an earlier post. The once-feral queen is alive and well. Can you spot her? Look at that beautiful frame she has created - a tight brood pattern and radiating bands of pollen and honey. This is what you want in your hive.
Here is a closer view. Notice the dutiful attendants surrounding her.
To help prevent a hive from swarming, capped queen cells are usually removed. Here are some destroyed cells with larvae inside.
Hello, sir. The drones are noticeably larger than the females, with enormous eyes to assist them on their mating flights. These guys are hanging around hoping they will get to do just that.
This is a mite-trapping frame like the one's designed by Randy Oliver. The top 2" or so of the frame is used by the bees to store honey, and the bottom is filled with drone cells. Varroa mites prefer the larger size of drone cells, and once these cells are capped the comb can be scraped out and fed to your chickens. The honey in the top can be returned to the bees (maybe) or cut out and eaten as comb honey (yes, please).
I would like to try this type of frame in my hives. Maybe my mentor will build me one (hint, hint).
A parting shot. Look at the amount of energy stored in those cells!