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The immense value of using drones in apiary management is largely ignored, the main demand usually being for replacement mated queens.The proper use of drones however, can be the major influence upon serious and rapid improvement of your own and neighbouring stocks. If you are unable to practise instrumental insemination, the following procedure, even if you do not already have near native stock, will considerably improve the morphometric rating of your bees, and can be used to quickly transform your apiary if used in the manner as described below.

Firstly, introduce pure native dark queens to nucleus colonies, preferably a similar number to the number of your full colonies. These queens can be mated pure native dark queens, or, probably the easier option, pure native dark virgin queens, as these virgin queens when mated produce 100% pure native dark drone offspring, as they are from unfertilised eggs.  As the nucleus colonies grow, put a drone brood comb/foundation in each of your new dark native stocks, with an additional one or more in the strongest ones to add to any other non-pure native colonies in your apiary. When you add these combs, destroy all drone brood in the non-pure native colonies; they will not raise new drones, as there will be more than sufficient from the comb you have introduced. You will therefore be flooding your apiary with all pure native dark drones, and no cross breeds. You can then safely split a few nucleus colonies off to to rear queens that will be 5 – 7 days old to coincide with when the drones are between 16 days and 30 days old - this is important, as this is the peak age range for the sexual maturity of drones. Your new queens are then very likely to be mated with your drones, particularly if you are far away from any others. As soon as your colonies have reached the desired level of purity you can distribute virgin queens to those around you to encourage others to keep pure native dark bees in the same manner, and so flood an even larger area.

The first queens mated from your old stocks will be 50% pure native dark (PND) and 50% cross breed (CB), and you will see from the following chart that, if you continue with this procedure of breeding only pure native drones, it will require only eight hatches to have reached virtually 100% PND. With careful management this could be achieved in only 3 years.

Hatch 1, 50% PND, 50% CB.               Hatch 2, 75% PND, 25% CB.                         Hatch 3, 87.5% PND, 12.5% CB. 
Hatch 4, 93.75% PND, 6.25%CB.        Hatch 5, 96.87% PND, 3.13% CB.                 Hatch 6, 98.437% PND, 1.563% CB.
Hatch 7, 99.219% PND, 0.78% CB.     Hatch 8, 99.616% PND, 0.384% CB.

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