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Author Topic: Small bees and lg, bees  (Read 4238 times)
BjornBee
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« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2009, 09:36:54 AM »

Bjorn, are you skeptical of small cell or something?? evil

 lau

PS....While you were typing on this forum, I was typing out another thread on the matter. Maybe that will help explain.... rolleyes See the other thread on this forum.

here is you.... banana devil

 grin
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« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2009, 09:51:13 AM »

I'm confused.  (Not uncommon)  Did human beekeepers manipulate bees to make their cells larger or smaller originally?

Thanks,  This is all really interesting.

ziffa
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BjornBee
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« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2009, 10:20:57 AM »

I'm confused.  (Not uncommon)  Did human beekeepers manipulate bees to make their cells larger or smaller originally?

Thanks,  This is all really interesting.

ziffa

At first, they did neither 150 years ago. Then 100 years ago, they encouraged large cells for a host of reasons. Now we are doing both, while both are not natural.

30 years ago, when most bees were on unnatural large cells, no hives, or at least very few ever were lost.

Then mites came along (20 years ago) and killed most of the large cell bees. But funny thing is, that as some state, 95% of the feral colonies also died. They did not handle, and some may suggest, still do not handle mites very well.

So now we have some promoting unnatural smallcell, and suggesting that is the cause for their success. But didn't the mites kill off most the ferals also, that are supposed to be on smaller cells?

We now have success on both large and smallcell mainly I feel as a result of selection through regression, and selection through progression. In both cases, bees are adapting and overcoming mites as nature would of dictated.

There is only one true natural comb that allows the bees to build and benefit from the cells that nature dictates...and that is foundationless. I have rotated in new comb in hives for four years, and unless you force bees onto smallcell foundation, bees will never regress themselves down to all 4.9 or below. They build a wide range of cells, some small and some large.

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« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2009, 10:27:50 AM »

It's all really interesting and I think we learn when we disagree but in an honest debate we should differentiate between openion and results of real research. I for one have considered going to Small cell. I have not been able to determine if there are real measureable benefits that out weight the effort.
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« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2009, 10:47:06 AM »

when i started keeping bees i kept hearing of the wonders of small cell.  it took me about 5  min. of research to find out there was no hard science behind it and it was another one of those near religious ideas  people hang on to.  

what i did figure out with my own bumbling about and luck, is that genetics is very important.  even in the (true) feral hives, you will find some that do well and others that don't.  yes, most of those bees are darker and smaller.    yes, my bees build their own comb and some of the cells are smaller.  some are also bigger.  i figure they build what they need.  yes, they get mites and i have lost a couple for one reason or another.

one of the reasons i rarely buy queens anymore is because i don't want those genetics in my yard.  i can get queens from my best hives.  + i saves me money smiley
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« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2009, 12:35:19 AM »

I have concluded that because of the body size and difference in wings and the genetics over all of all different bees and the nature in creation,different bees do have different habits by nature of the creation and some do fly farther to do their job. Anyone should know if you put the right engine and wings on the right size airplane,it will be the best airplane in performance. The same with bees and man.
 Now my only question is,what is the best all around bee ? If some do need to fly farther and do to collect pollen and nectar it would be to their benefit and the bee keeper.
 If anyone don't want to raise the best bees or fly the best airplane,be my guest.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 02:24:47 AM by Joelel » Logged

Acts2:37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation
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« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2009, 03:04:09 AM »

There have been observations of bees flying as far as 7 miles that I have heard but the observation that smaller bees fly at least 3 1/2 was made by Brother Adam of Buckfast Abbey who never heard of small cell speaking of what he commonly called the "small English Bee" or the "English Brown Bee" which he says is much smaller than the Italians.

"I have mentioned the abnormal wing power of this bee.  This is not a mere hearsay report, but one I can vouch for from my own experience.  Before 1916 we regulary had a crop of heather honey without moving our bees to the  moor, but since the extinction of the English bee that has not happened.  In 1915, to give an example, the bees at our home apiary averaged close to 1 cwt. per colony, including winter stores, from the heather.  The nearest heather was some 2 1/2 miles away and at a height of about 1,200 ft. it must be assumed the bees had to fly a further mile or two into the moor, or a total distance of no less than 3 1/2 miles.  Experience has shown that this exceptional wing power is a mark of the tellian race group.""--Brother Adam, In Search of the Best Strains of Bees, pg 200

I'm sure it never occurred to him the other change, besides genetics that took place during this same time, which is the size of the foundation.


Hi Michael,
 What is the buckfast bee, is it an English bee ? What is the tellian race group ? Where can you buy the English bee ? I agree with what you say.
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Acts2:37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation
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« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2009, 03:33:56 AM »

Please note, when I speak of a small bee,I'm not speaking about a bee from a man made small cell foundation. I'm talking about a bee that is a small breed of bee. What breed of bees are smaller then other bees,Buckfast ? Are Buckfast English bees or a cross of bees ?
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Acts2:37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation
BjornBee
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« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2009, 07:28:51 AM »


 If anyone don't want to raise the best bees or fly the best airplane,be my guest.

I don't think ANYONE is suggesting they WANT raise less than the best. Perhaps you are missing some interesting points. The race that Brother Adam spoke about being great fliers, was a particular type bee that happened to fly far and was small. You can not assume that all small bees will perform the same based on mere "association" of also being small. The same can be said about excluding larger bees based on this one specification. It takes research, not 100 year old quotes concerning a race of bee that is now extinct. That is not proof of anything. That is my point.

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« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2009, 07:49:56 AM »

Please note, when I speak of a small bee,I'm not speaking about a bee from a man made small cell foundation. I'm talking about a bee that is a small breed of bee. What breed of bees are smaller then other bees,Buckfast ? Are Buckfast English bees or a cross of bees ?

Buckfast was a breed of bee that was created through mixing a bunch of bees together and selecting for traits that one particular beekeeper wanted. This beekeeper being the famed Brother Adam. He is the same beekeeper that many "Natural" type folks follow, look up to, often quote, and admire.

But wasn't Brother Adam just a "Frankenstein" character, who manipulated genetics, crossed bee lines, and created very unnatural bees in doing so? He did not seek out the best bees, or some magical small bee like the small English bee that now is being mentioned as some great bee to hold up on a pedestal, and that many now want to suggest is the almighty answer to all problems. He was not happy with what nature had provided.  What he did was crossed many races, resulting in the buckfast bee. The buckfast was heralded for years as a great bee.

I find it ironic that the same beekeepers who want to get all "natural" now, and quote brother Adam on such matters, is actually just promoting a beekeeper who did much in spreading potential disease and problems around the world in attempts to not strengthen what nature provided him through millions of years of adaptation for his particular area, but take genetics from around the world and water down the individual genetic pools by mixing them together and then spreading them around. One of the major problems we have today, is the loss of pure lines of bees and the lessening of alleles. Brother Adam was the original promoter of things today we see as a serious problem.

I know that some are gasping right now with their jaws dropped very far. How dare I speak of Brother Adam that way. If he lived today, and did exactly what he did then, today, I'd bee saying the same thing. If the English brown bee was such a great bee, then why the bringing in of hundreds of other bees to mess with. I would say the same thing today of anyone bringing in from around the world different bees, spreading disease, and doing what brother Adam did.

Some will suggest that he had "problems" and will suggest that cell size was this problem. But brother Adam did not have the technology to see many of the bacterial and viral issues we do today. We are still learning so much about these issues today. It would be a real possibility that Brother Adam had way more than he could chew, by bringing in hundreds of different types of bees around the world. Today, we know what happens when you do this. Brother Adam was probably ignorant of such "global" spread of disease, did not really believe in strengthening the local acclimatized bees, or other issues we may now see in a different perspective.

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« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2009, 11:12:09 AM »

I have concluded that because of the body size and difference in wings and the genetics over all of all different bees and the nature in creation,different bees do have different habits by nature of the creation and some do fly farther to do their job. Anyone should know if you put the right engine and wings on the right size airplane,it will be the best airplane in performance. The same with bees and man.
 Now my only question is,what is the best all around bee ? If some do need to fly farther and do to collect pollen and nectar it would be to their benefit and the bee keeper.
 If anyone don't want to raise the best bees or fly the best airplane,be my guest.

joel, i think you are missing something.

in general, insects tend to obey the "cube law", whereas as the size of the insect increases, anatomical details also increase as a cube of size....wing size, and flight muscle mass specifically.  this is seen as one travels and sees different populations of similar insects of varying sizes.  this makes complete sense, and demonstrates a kind of ideal balance between resources allocated for flight, weight, carrying capacity, etc.  ie, a bee with extra flight muscles might fly better under more conditions, but the cost of building, maintaining, and moving these muscles is "expensive" resource wise, and the savings of not having these extra large flight muscles outweighs the advantages (ie, a corner store with 3 times the inventory of a nearby corner store will have more variety and more stock on the shelves, but the cost of maintaining such a large inventory may well make it less competitive....convenience stores are smaller than supermarkets with less items and higher prices....you don't see a quicky mart the size of a super walmart for a reason).

apis meliferia (and it's various races) also follows this law...in nature, larger races of bees have their weight cubed in relation to body length.

when bees are enlarged via enlarged foundation (big bees), their weight increases in proportion, not as a cube, to body length.  this indicates that although the wing length is appropriate for the size of the enlarged bee, it's flight muscles are not.

when people are talking about large bees and small bees, this is what they are talking about.  the "best bee" really depends on the specific environment they live in.  when the paramaters are changed, selection criteria change, and the best bee on enlarged comb is likely not the same as the best bee on natural comb.

there is nothing natural about foundation, be it small or large....but 4 years of feeding in empty frames into the middle of a broodnest isn't natural either.  hiving swarms without foundation is certainly more "natural"....but of course the enlargement of bees has also had an influence on selection pressures, and finding a "natural" bee to start with is difficult, if not impossible.

ALL of the historical data shows honeybee comb to be 5.08mm and smaller before the use of foundation and enlarged foundation became common.  this is science, not hocus pocus...it's all well documented, including the process of enlarging the foundation.

mike, i don't think you are "wrong" for keeping bees without mite treatments on LC comb.  as i think i've said to you before, the common denominator of those not using treatments is that they stopped treating, and didn't start again with the appearance of a mite or 2, or the loss of even significant losses.

i will say that we don't use any treatments (for mites or otherwise).  our own experience was that we couldn't keep bees alive without treatments until we regressed them to small cell....and that includes commercial italian stock (i think from hardemans originally).

we visited some hives the other day (18 of them....4 of our own survivor stock, and the rest from don "fatbeeman"), and there was an inspection report waiting for us.  no mites (although it was indicated that he checked for mites)  we are not isolated by any means (lots of beekeepers using mainstream practices in flying distance), and i've only seen 2 mites all year.  i don't do extensive mite counts, but we do make up observation hives a few times a week from various colonies and spend the day with them at the market, and i do uncap a few drone brood when i inspect.  i've seen 2 mites all year.  believe me, our inspector told us 3 years ago that our bees would all be dead, and there were mites to find, he would find them and put it on the report (he isn't exactly onboard with what we are doing, and would love to point out how we have failed).  last year, we went through the hives with the inspector...after the fact he claimed to have seen one mite in 20 colonies (he did not point it out as we went through the hives).

genetics are certainly important...but i think management practices even moreso.

deknow
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Joelel
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« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2009, 02:11:43 PM »


 If anyone don't want to raise the best bees or fly the best airplane,be my guest.

I don't think ANYONE is suggesting they WANT raise less than the best. Perhaps you are missing some interesting points. The race that Brother Adam spoke about being great fliers, was a particular type bee that happened to fly far and was small. You can not assume that all small bees will perform the same based on mere "association" of also being small. The same can be said about excluding larger bees based on this one specification. It takes research, not 100 year old quotes concerning a race of bee that is now extinct. That is not proof of anything. That is my point.



I'm sure he had a way to do his study .It would be very simple to find out the best bees. All a person would have to do is put different bees all together on a few hundred acreas and then go around to see what bees are gathering what where. Just put them all in the same environments and different environments.
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Acts2:37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation
Joelel
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« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2009, 03:58:43 PM »

if you had wings and could fly, do you think you could fly just as far if you weighed 30-50% more?

deknow

Yes,if i had the right motor and wings.
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Acts2:37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation
Joelel
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« Reply #33 on: September 25, 2009, 04:17:13 PM »

John,
I'll assume you are talking smallcell bees... Wink

You need to understand, that it may be just easier to say nothing and let these urban legend type comments grow unchallenged and unproven. I have smallcell bees myself. But the list of magical things that smallcell bees have been claimed to do over the years is very long, and very controversial, and many times absurd. Some may not want to "debate" such items. While others could not defend such comments even though the comments continue to recycle and surface from time to time.

On the surface, I think your comments are not correct. Bees fly as far as they need too, in collecting the most nutritious and highest sugar content nectar. To say that large bees collect at 2 miles and smallcell collect at 5 miles, or to even suggest that one can and one can not, is outright false. Well before smallcell came about, studies proved that bees, and large bees at that, will if forced too, go 5 miles to nectar sources. Although the use of energy and resources drastically limits the actual surplus of honey.

So what were left with, is such items that smallcell bees may be more efficient in collecting at 5 miles, compared to large cell bees flying the same distance. I guess on the surface, it sounds reasonable. But lets face it, if your keeping bees in areas that your bees need to travel five miles, you may need to do something and move them closer as your overall production will be very limited. Unless your forcing your bees to fly 5 miles by NOT having closer nectar sources, then any debate on such issues are a waste. With both large and smallcell, bees normally fly within a mile of the hive. So it only reasons to question why anyone would be promoting or rationalizing such trivia.

What we have, are "grasps" at small items such as the minuscule differences in what bees carry and travel, in attempts to justify, rationalize, and promote smallcell bees. Very sad indeed.

I am not aware of any study that had smallcell and large cell bees in remote areas such as a dessert, where forage was controlled at some distance, and the results showed smallcell collected more. So we are left with just allowing these urban legend comments to continue with not much said..... Wink

Maybe this will cause some comments..... grin

Now this post was to me and not the general public and you had no reason to say the things in red to me. I was asking questions,not comments.
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Acts2:37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation
Joelel
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« Reply #34 on: September 25, 2009, 04:31:32 PM »


i havent been able to observe any difference in the forgaing between big sized bees and small size bees...what i have observed though is, the small sized bees seem to be able to move quicker against a predator like a wasp.  i've seen wasps hover around the entrances of some of my colonies.  the ones with big sized bees end up getting picked on more than the smaller sized....maybe the wasps have leaned which boxes are easy picking because they seem to go back to the same boxes.  i could be wrong, but each time i set up in a new site and observe, i noticed the guard bees at the entrances of the smaller sized colonies can seem to dodge the wasps.

while nature compensates in size difference eg. taller people longer legs and smaller people shorter legs etc, if you watch boxers in a ring, the bantam or fly weight boxers move faster and can seem to throw more punches than the super heavy weights who seem to move in slow motion!  just my opinion....

Right,thank you.
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Acts2:37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation
deknow
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« Reply #35 on: September 25, 2009, 04:35:53 PM »

if you had wings and could fly, do you think you could fly just as far if you weighed 30-50% more?

deknow

Yes,if i had the right motor and wings.

and what if you had the right wings, but not the right motor?

on this other stuff:

imho, it's unreasonable to start or participate in a public forum discussion and expect to be able to dictate what other people say, or how they respond.  if you want a one on one conversation, pm or email is better.  

there are a lot of people in on this conversation, all with different perspectives, levels of knowledge, and understanding of what is generally meant by "small bee".

i think i understand that you want to know if (absent the influence of foundation) do strains of bees that run smaller or larger do better.  

i'm willing to bet that what your son read (and you started this thread with) was in regards to small cell, not small races.  i also have no idea your level of knowledge, but am puzzled by your attitude that seems to indicate that you know a lot, but your lack of understanding of the statement your son made makes it appear (at least from here) that you don't really understand the question you are asking.  i mean no disrespect or insult by this...it's just how things look from here.  the internet is rife with discussions and claims about small cell bees....very little about small races of bees.

in any case, if we are looking at different races to decide if those that run smaller or those that do larger run better, it depends greatly on location, enviornment, lattitude, and altitude.  if what you want to do is compare races, why does size factor into this at all?
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« Reply #36 on: September 25, 2009, 04:37:31 PM »

I never saw bees flying in high winds until I had small ones.

Yes,different bees,different strokes.
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Acts2:37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation
deknow
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« Reply #37 on: September 25, 2009, 05:00:38 PM »

I never saw bees flying in high winds until I had small ones.

Yes,different bees,different strokes.

ummm, no.  same bees put on differently sized comb.

deknow
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« Reply #38 on: September 25, 2009, 05:03:41 PM »


i havent been able to observe any difference in the forgaing between big sized bees and small size bees...what i have observed though is, the small sized bees seem to be able to move quicker against a predator like a wasp.  i've seen wasps hover around the entrances of some of my colonies.  the ones with big sized bees end up getting picked on more than the smaller sized....maybe the wasps have leaned which boxes are easy picking because they seem to go back to the same boxes.  i could be wrong, but each time i set up in a new site and observe, i noticed the guard bees at the entrances of the smaller sized colonies can seem to dodge the wasps.

while nature compensates in size difference eg. taller people longer legs and smaller people shorter legs etc, if you watch boxers in a ring, the bantam or fly weight boxers move faster and can seem to throw more punches than the super heavy weights who seem to move in slow motion!  just my opinion....

Thanks tig....  rolleyes

I'll go ahead and throw this on the ever increasing list of smallcell accomplishments, magical wonders, and silver bullet claims.

Your comments are no doubt speeding through the smallcell grapevine with a foam mouth frenzy, and will soon become urban legend status overnight. At least I can look back years from now and instead of any very elusive and misquoted research that seems to never be found, I can look back and know that the whole "Smallcell bees defend the hives better" started right here on this thread.

So, smallcell bees are 30-50% smaller huh? I weigh 265 and am 6'3". So through the same reasoning, I would do far better defending myself if I was 3'2" and weighed 130 pounds.  grin  I am willing for a little research here if any 130 pound beekeepers want to step forward and take me on. Jab and jump around all you want....my money is on ME crushing any takers out there.

I'll add your observation to the ever growing list of smallcell wonders. No sense waiting for this to be repeated.

Here is another one.....I heard that nosema spores overall counts are lower in the small cell bees. Seems less crap....equates into less spores being passed around. So wah la! Smallcell bees are to be said to deal with nosema and if we just connect the dots.....we may as well just official claim that smallcell bees are completely immune to CCD!

And for safety minded folks.....the poison sacks on the smallcell bees are 30-50% smaller. Meaning far less poison being discharged. This will allow smallcell bees to marketed as "Bee safe" for the general public. I can see the marketing now...."Smallcell Bees! Their stings hurt less."  

My queens however, come back from mating flights completely not satisfied after having to deal with "small" bees. Seems they are smaller across the board. My queens like a full "experience", and not a bunch of midgets that hop around like hyperactive 6 year olds on a playground.  

And some say they do not know how urban legends get started..... lau

 beat a dead horse
                   piano
                               tumbleweed
                                                     Yelp,fact is small bees and men move faster. Faster and probably farther.
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Acts2:37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation
Joelel
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« Reply #39 on: September 25, 2009, 05:08:34 PM »

Bjorn, are you skeptical of small cell or something?? evil

Or something,I also thought he didn't like them or Brother Adam
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Acts2:37: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38: Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39: For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
40: And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation
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