Drone trapping is a great way to reduce the number of Varroa mites, without the use of chemicals, during the honey production season. It is based on the life cycle of the Varroa mite, and the mite’s preference for drone brood.
A female mite will enter the cell 1-2 days before it is capped, then wait for 60 hours after capping to begin laying her eggs. One mite egg is laid every 24 to 30 hours. Since the drone pupae remain capped about 3 days longer than the workers, more eggs are laid in the drone cells. On average, 2.8 mites will emerge with a drone compared to 1.8 mites with a worker bee.
Research has shown that the population of mites in a hive can be greatly reduced if the drone brood is removed before the cells are uncapped and the mites emerge.