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Author Topic: Queen Bee / Small Cells  (Read 2117 times)

Offline Barnabus

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Queen Bee / Small Cells
« on: July 18, 2005, 05:24:16 PM »
Hi:
I guess this is somewhat a late hour to ask this question seeing how I now have a medium brood box with 11 frames of small cell foundation on every hive. I was at a friends house this morning and we were looking his queen laying eggs in his OH. They are on regular size cells and she looked like she could barely get her body in the cell to lay a egg. Are my queens going to be able to fit into the small cells to lay? All of mine are new this years queens and they are big and very healthy looking. I just this weekend finished putting the mediums on so they haven't had time to draw any frames.
Thanks
Barnabus

Offline Phoenix

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Queen Bee / Small Cells
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2005, 06:19:59 PM »
Quote
Are my queens going to be able to fit into the small cells to lay?

Yes, cell depth is directly proportional to the diameter, the smaller the diameter the shallower the cell.  Since the queens abdomen is tapered she will still be able to lay in the smaller more shallow cells.  I had the same concern when I started converting to small cell.

Offline Michael Bush

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Queen Bee / Small Cells
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2005, 11:58:09 PM »
Out of probably more than a hundred queens or so I've had on small cell all but one had no problems laying in small cell.  That one had a huge abdomen and could not get in.  Most of them have a large abdomen and have no problems.  The bees superceded her and everything went on nicely.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline drobbins

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Queen Bee / Small Cells
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2005, 04:11:18 PM »
Phoenix,

I recently stumbled on an interesting idea

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/naturebee/detail?.dir=d450&.dnm=9bba.jpg&.src=ph

if I'm not mistaken this is called "waggle positioning" named after the guy who thought it up.
It gives you 1-1/4" spacing of regular frames
I think the idea is to use this technique while the bee's are drawing out comb and then move the frames back into a conventional arrangement.
I'm thinking of using this in conjunction with starter strips to encourage SC.
SO, according to what you said, if this get's the bee's to draw out small cell comb while the frames are spaced at 1-1/4", would you expect the bee's to draw it out deeper after I switched it back to 1-3/8"???
I kinda hate to cutdown frames to 1-1/4", it's the engineer in me, I can't help it :roll: (standardization)
I'm gonna try this next spring

Dave

Offline Michael Bush

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Queen Bee / Small Cells
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2005, 05:50:37 PM »
>if this get's the bee's to draw out small cell comb while the frames are spaced at 1-1/4", would you expect the bee's to draw it out deeper after I switched it back to 1-3/8"???

Not the brood comb, but the honey areas on the comb will get drawn out deeper.

>I kinda hate to cutdown frames to 1-1/4", it's the engineer in me, I can't help it  (standardization)
I'm gonna try this next spring

1 1/4" is a nice standard.  :)
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline Phoenix

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Queen Bee / Small Cells
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2005, 06:12:34 PM »
It's hard to disagree with the well thoughtout suggestions Michael offers.  Inch and a quarter is a nice standard.  You can always space the frames back out to 10 frame spacing if you so desire.

Yes Dave, I'm familiar with Waggle's method of frame arrangement to fit 11 frames per box, but then you have to devise a way to block off the gap between the boxes as well as maintain the proper amount of beespace between the top bars and bottom bars.  It's much simpler to shave the end bars, trust me and Michael on this.

Offline drobbins

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Queen Bee / Small Cells
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2005, 07:16:38 PM »
You guy's aren't gonna have to twist my arm too hard here.
I'm gonna do this, I'm just trying to figure out the best way to go about it.
I'm thinking about the difference between modifying store bought frames and just building them from scratch.
If you just plane down store bought sidebars, do you do anything to open up the space between the top bars to open up vertical movement??
This cuts the space between the bars down from ~ 5/16" to ~3/16". It now looks like a honey excluder :shock:
If your gonna have to do a lot of modifiation on the store bought frames you may as well just build em from scratch

important point: I'm a rookie, I have 1 hive I started this year. ( it's booming  :wink: I don't even know what a mite looks like :D )
It's not an issue of modifying equipment. I'm gonna buy or build stuff for ~4 more hives next year. I'm not afraid to build stuff if what they sell isn't the best way to go. ( I think I'm gonna start 2 langstroth's and 2 TBH's next year)

Dave

Offline Michael Bush

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Queen Bee / Small Cells
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2005, 07:30:54 PM »
I do start out with them 11 frames and they tend to grow anyway from propolis on the spacers and fat combs here and there until I end up with 10 in most boxes.  You are correct they end up 3/16" between the top bars at 1 1/4".  They do tend to propolize them in places because it's acutally a bit under on beespace.  When I just alternate 1 3/8" standard frames and PermaComb, which has no spacer and no top bar, the space is a little bigger because the PermaComb is about 1" wide and the top bars on the standard frames are about 1 1/16".

I suppose the best solution would be to cut the top bars 1" wide and the end bars 1 1/4" wide.  But so far I'm too lazy for that.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen