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Author Topic: Controversial comment by Jennifer Berry  (Read 17174 times)
FRAMEshift
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« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2011, 11:23:20 AM »

But natural cell is still resolving the underlying issue, which is cell size.  I have done a lot of both and see the same end result.  Bees that have no Varroa issues.

Michael, have you ever taken your natural cell bees and put them  back on large cell to see if the varrroa comes back?  That would be the real test of "cell size versus genetics."
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« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2011, 11:55:39 AM »

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But natural cell is still resolving the underlying issue, which is cell size.  I have done a lot of both and see the same end result.  Bees that have no Varroa issues.

how do you figure?  the bees draw different size cells for different use.  including, this year, tons of drone comb.  by your way of thinking, the drone comb should increase mite load. small cell gives the bees one choice.  seems to me that's a pretty huge difference.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2011, 12:30:57 PM »


 the bees draw different size cells for different use.  including, this year, tons of drone comb.  by your way of thinking, the drone comb should increase mite load. small cell gives the bees one choice.  seems to me that's a pretty huge difference.
This would be my explanation. The most dangerous time for mite damage is in the spring as new brood is emerging.  There is a high ratio of mites to bees.  Those bees are coming from the heart of the previous year's brood nest.  With natural comb,  that center of the brood nest has the smallest cell sizes.  And with small cell foundation the bees would of course be coming from small cells.  It is only with large cell foundation that spring brood would be laid in large cells.

Do you see spring worker eggs being laid in drone comb if small cell is available?  And even if you use small cell foundation, the bees are still going to build drone comb wherever they can.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 12:59:32 PM by FRAMEshift » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2011, 02:10:07 PM »

That would be the real test of "cell size versus genetics."

I agree it would be interesting,  but I'm not sure it is the "real test" and would prove anything more (than Michael's success can't be fully attributed to SC) since there are already people on this board that have bees on large cell without treatment.

I think we get bogged down in trying to find a single smoking gun that is independently able to keep varroa in check, when it reality it takes a variety of factors.   That is why it is important for everyone to figure out what will work for them and not assume what works for others will work for them.

It is like trying to make Lasagna with one ingredient.  It ain't gonna happen.
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« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2011, 02:14:40 PM »

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That is why it is important for everyone to figure out what will work for them and not assume what works for others will work for them.


yup
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2011, 05:31:21 PM »

there seems to be some people think natural cell or natural drawed cell and small cell 4.9 that its different.
well I run 4.9 because I have a mill.the thing is some times I pull frames out of brood nest and only put a empty frame in. my bees been on small cell since 1989 they do build small cell{natural cell} most time. if they need drone cell they build it.bottom line is the bees will build what they need at the time. by letting them make new comb you help with out side chem's.
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2011, 07:30:30 PM »


I agree it would be interesting,  but I'm not sure it is the "real test" and would prove anything more (than Michael's success can't be fully attributed to SC) since there are already people on this board that have bees on large cell without treatment.

Right, it wouldn't prove much one way or the other if the natural cell bees had no varroa problem on large cell.  But if they had a big varroa problem, it would suggest that cell size is definitely involved.  This thread is about Jennifer Berry's claim that "small cell is bunk".  The best way to test that idea is to keep the genetics constant (same queen, same workers) and change only the cell size. 
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« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2011, 01:40:02 AM »

>Michael, have you ever taken your natural cell bees and put them  back on large cell to see if the varrroa comes back?  That would be the real test of "cell size versus genetics."

I tried untreated bees on large cell enough times to know they all die.  I've tried commercial stock on small cell and they had no issues.  What would I accomplish other than kill some more bees?  I know it's not all genetics or the commercial stock wouldn't have died on large cell and thrived on small cell.
http://bushfarms.com/beessctheories.htm

>how do you figure?

You changed from large cell to natural.  Natural is NOT 5.4mm.  5.4mm is the problem.  You resolved it by going to natural cell.

>the bees draw different size cells for different use.  including, this year, tons of drone comb.  by your way of thinking, the drone comb should increase mite load. small cell gives the bees one choice.  seems to me that's a pretty huge difference.

By my way of thinking (and the results of Dr. Collison's research) they will raise the same number of drones no matter what you do foundation or otherwise, but I do nothing to stop them from raising drones and by my way of thinking that gives the mites something to damage that isn't the workers.

I started down the path of small cell natural cell a skeptic.  I let them build what they wanted to see if it would be smaller and it was.  I now use a mixture of many ways of getting smaller cells from natural comb to Mann lake PF 120s to wax dipped PermaComb to Honey Super Cell.  I get the same results.  No Varroa issues.
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« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2011, 10:30:20 AM »

Michael, i have never measured but by eyeball, my natural cell ends up being all different sizes.  i think we are going to confuse people by not making a distinction between what the bees will draw naturally and what we would force them to draw with foundation...whatever the size.

i am all for  natural cell for lots of reasons.  cost, laziness (on my part), letting the bees make the decisions about what and how many of sizes they want, and...i have never found ONE size cell in any hive i have dug out of any place.

are you saying that you can take bees from any source, t them on natural comb and be successful with them (mites)?  i would have to disagree with that from my own observations. 
if i get swarms from pollination hives, the odds of those bees living into or through a 2nd season without any treatment is really slim.  haven't kept track, but it's low enough that i don't even expect them to make it.  it's a pleasant surprise if they do. 

guess we could go on about this...really i wanted to clarify for new people the difference between small cell commercially produced, and natural cell.  i think we do enough to confuse them  Wink
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2011, 06:16:08 AM »

At the Metro Short Course on Saturday, Jennifer Berry said (not an exact quote) "Don't let anyone tell you that small cell fights the varroa mite.  There have now been four studies and none of them showed that small cell made a difference." 

She also said that Dee Lusby has africanized bees in Arizona and she would therefore not have a Varroa problem - that it doesn't have to do with cell size but with the behavior of the africanized bee.  She said in the wild bees build cells from 4.9 to 5.3 mm.  From the back of the room another instructor said with his tongue in cheek, "But Jennifer, you didn't regress them properly."


The small cell bee's in her study were supplied by Bill Owens, he has been on small cell for years, all his hives on small cell, these are the bee's that they used to draw out the new small cell foundation which was supplied by bill also, now if these bee's wasnt regressed properly then whats up? does this mean you cant buy new small cell foundation when you have small cell bee's because they will not draw it out correctly, I doungh that! one thing I do know this study did was to change Bill Owens mind on what foundation selection, he said it wasn't worth the extra expense, he said he thinks its more of the bee's thems selves, its everyone own choice to what they do, if it works for you keep it going, myself I dont treat with anything and use regular foundation but I have lost hives but the hives I breed from have been going for years and these were all removal hives, thats why I have a test yard for swarms and removal hives to see how they do.
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« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2011, 10:36:15 AM »

Ted,  Hate to change the subject, but when did you leave Georgia?  I see you are in LA now.
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« Reply #31 on: February 01, 2011, 11:14:04 AM »

I moved here last March, still have my home and hives in Ga. atlest what hives have made it without be touched for the last 18 months, had health problems for a while then other stuff on top of that. came here to visit family and got a good job so I moved. my oldest daughter is close. she goes to college at North Western state here in La. everything seems to gettikng a lot better  Wink
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« Reply #32 on: February 01, 2011, 11:17:57 AM »

I figured you were looking for those great big shakes they got down there.
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« Reply #33 on: February 01, 2011, 12:35:26 PM »

I have commercial bees on foundation, swarms and splits from commercial bees on foundation and natural comb, and ferals on both foundation and natural comb and I am completely treatment free.  Guess what, all of them are doing fine.  My ferals seem to thrive better, and are usually the better producers.  They are also the more hygenic, which would leave me to believe it's the genetics factor.  Can't prove anything, just my observations. 
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« Reply #34 on: February 01, 2011, 07:36:26 PM »

I have commercial bees on foundation, swarms and splits from commercial bees on foundation and natural comb, and ferals on both foundation and natural comb and I am completely treatment free.  Guess what, all of them are doing fine.  My ferals seem to thrive better, and are usually the better producers.  They are also the more hygenic, which would leave me to believe it's the genetics factor.  Can't prove anything, just my observations. 

Yep, I think the "best studies" will be the ones who scrupulously observe results. I haven't been beekeeping long enough to attach myself to any single specific conclusions; but I tend to listen to the whole approach of people who are getting results. (without synthetic chemicals)

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« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2011, 07:07:35 PM »

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Until we have a definitive answer about the varroa mite and its destructive abilities, then we should all stay open to possibilities and be willing to try variations on new things.

If there is one prediction I can make about beekeeping there will never be anything definitive about beekeeping.

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so I just put them on 25 yr old large cell comb that I had.

If the comb is 25 years old is it still large cell?  If the cell walls get thicker the cell size gets smaller.  No?

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but you know darn well that when they dump that package on small cell and don't treat, the bees are probably not going to make it into a second season.
This sounds like an assumption.  How would you ever go treatment free if this were the case?


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« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2011, 07:23:55 PM »

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This sounds like an assumption.  How would you ever go treatment free if this were the case?

this is an observation based on  my own experience and based on the experiences of people who have tried this will less, rather than more, success. i have done it by not buying  package bees or commercially raised queen.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2011, 09:27:18 PM »

So far this winter, I have lost 7 of 15 hives that were started last year as packages or splits made with purchased queens.
So far this winter, I have lost 3 nucs (that were weak to begin with) out of 27 nucs and hives from feral stock from swarms, cutouts, overwintered stock, or hives with queens raised from those genetic lines.

All hives have a similar mix of large cell, Pierco, foundationless, and PF small cell frames.  (I try to have 3-4 frames of foundationless and small cell in the center of the boxes, but outside frames are often larger cell sizes.)
3 years ago I tried powdered sugar on a couple hives, and decided it wasn't for me.  That was the last treatment I did.  Almost everyone in my county stopped treating 2 years ago.  We are in a fairly isolated area, with minimal exposure to any migratory operations.

From my observations, it appears that genetics are playing a larger role in survival than small cell in my bees.  This is not to say that small cell isn't doing anything - it just appears to me that genetics play a larger role in survival.
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« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2011, 08:29:21 AM »

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i have done it by not buying  package bees or commercially raised queen.

In your previous comment I thought you were implying the death rate was due to non treatment.

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it just appears to me that genetics play a larger role in survival.

How can you be sure that the small cell is not influencing the genetics?  A smaller bee is a gentic trait.
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« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2011, 10:25:19 AM »

If there is one prediction I can make about beekeeping there will never be anything definitive about beekeeping.

I might be a little slow catching on, but I'm seeing the overall pattern to be "There's more than one way to skin a cat, we're not sure the best way's been found, but it never hurts to keep looking for a better one."
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