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Author Topic: “Regression and Disease” The more I read the more confused I become.  (Read 3435 times)
BabcockFarms
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« on: February 09, 2012, 08:59:12 PM »

As I have stated before, I have not even started raising bees. I am preparing to start with two hives with two additional hives ready for an opportunity. I am looking to minimize noob mistakes.

Reading over every inch of this and other sources, I see benefits to small cell size and no downside to small cell size. So correct me if I have missed something.

As someone just starting out it appears that it would be beneficial starting off with the goal of regression in mind. How is this best obtained, starting from scratch?

It looks like the collective is steering towards Mann Lake’s PF-120 frames then foundationless frames or small cell foundation. Do you start off with a full brood box full of PF-120’s and add foundationless frames to the mix as they draw out and fill comb, slowly replace some of the PF-120’s with foundationless frames as a gradual move, or starting off with foundationless frames and let nature dictate what is the normal cell size. If you go foundationless from the start will the bees naturally draw out smaller cells or is it better to help them along with some PF-120’s. What impact does this have on the bees to start off foundationless.

What kind of ratio would you suggest if mixing the two and how long would you leave the PF-120’s in if the goal is foundationless frames.

A second question is when receiving a package of bees how great of a risk is there bringing disease into your hive. If there is a risk what should be done to minimize the impact.
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Vance G
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2012, 09:10:01 PM »

The Collective Hell, the only Borg here is Finski!  "Resistence to Drizzling is Futile!"  Michael Bush has stated the case for what you are proposing most eloquently.  If you go read about it at his site, I can add nothing.  Get your package from a reputable breeder.  Don't get the cheapest or the most expensive.  Try to get bees from as close to you as possible, they suffer in transit, especially in small numbers of packages.  If you put packages directly on the ML frames, the bees will start downsizing their cell size rapidly.  You may still need to scrape frames full of wild shapes and burr comb to let them rebuild it.  Many not so old threads on this subject, but go to MB's fine site for a start. 
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2012, 09:11:43 PM »

research shows no benefit to small cell.  if you want to do it, there is no harm except that the catalogs seem to think it's a little difficult for beginners. i don't know why but it might be just that it gives people a false sense of security on the mite problems.
  natural cell has the advantages of being fresh wax, and of giving the bees the option to draw whatever size cell they need for what they are doing.

brood cell size gets smaller with repeated use.  that's regression of a sort  smiley

since i don't do small cell, that's about as much as i can answer for you.  
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2012, 09:46:44 PM »

I avoid things that seem un-necessarily complicated, like small cell.  There is a big enough learning curve with bees as it is, without throwing in cell sizes.  Odds are you’ll have a lot more failures the first year that have absolutely nothing to do with cell sizes. 

If you want to go that direction though, I would just start with the PF-120 frames and stop worrying about it.  The bees will build on the PF-120s if they are waxed well.  The baby bees in the PF-120s will then be the golden 4.9mm bees.  I would then start pulling PF-120 frames, one at a time, and stuffing in a foundationless if you want to ultimately end up with “natural small cell”.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2012, 10:05:58 PM »

>It looks like the collective is steering towards Mann Lake’s PF-120 frames then foundationless frames or small cell foundation.

There are many paths to the goal.  If you are looking the most sure thing that is the easiest, probably either the PF100 series (PF120s are mediums) or the Honey Super Cell will do it in one fall swoop, since the bees usually draw the PF120s perfectly on the first try and the HSC is already drawn.  The down side to the HSC is it sets them back about two weeks getting it accepted.  But it's permanent 4.9mm.

>Do you start off with a full brood box full of PF-120’s and add foundationless frames to the mix as they draw out and fill comb, slowly replace some of the PF-120’s with foundationless frames as a gradual move, or starting off with foundationless frames and let nature dictate what is the normal cell size. If you go foundationless from the start will the bees naturally draw out smaller cells or is it better to help them along with some PF-120’s. What impact does this have on the bees to start off foundationless.

Any of that works.  I would just leave the PF120s and after the first box of those, add foundationless if you prefer.  No need to swap anything out.  You start with the PF120s you'll have smaller bees and you do whatever you like from there.

>What kind of ratio would you suggest if mixing the two and how long would you leave the PF-120’s in if the goal is foundationless frames.

If you goal is foundationless, I would only pull the plastic when it's empty, which in the spring much of it will be.

>I avoid things that seem un-necessarily complicated, like small cell.  There is a big enough learning curve with bees as it is, without throwing in cell sizes.  Odds are you’ll have a lot more failures the first year that have absolutely nothing to do with cell sizes.

You'll have missed one full regression if you start with large cell, and there is nothing whatsoever complicated about filling a box with PF120s.
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BabcockFarms
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2012, 10:44:19 PM »

You state the downside is it sets them back two weeks getting it accepted. So are you saying the package would not accept a manufactured frame as fast. Can you elaborate on this.
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 12:21:34 AM »

>You state the downside is it sets them back two weeks getting it accepted. So are you saying the package would not accept a manufactured frame as fast. Can you elaborate on this.

They will start drawing the PF120s or PF100s or wax foundation or foundationless immediately.  The HSC is already drawn and you would think that would be faster, but they don't care for it and the queen will refuse to lay in it for about two weeks, in my experience.  After that they use it like any other comb.  But it takes them that long to accept it and polish it with propolis and the queen to start laying in it.  Which sets them back about two weeks behind a package on any kind of foundation.  After that they will catch up fairly quickly.

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Finski
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2012, 01:48:29 AM »

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YOu will find from google new researches which tell that small cell does not work. Life will teach more.


http://www.springerlink.com/content/n8u363062n604l47/

Abstract 2009
Due to a continuing shift toward reducing/minimizing the use of chemicals in honey bee colonies, we explored the possibility of using small cell foundation as a varroa control. Based on the number of anecdotal reports supporting small cell as an efficacious varroa control tool, we hypothesized that bee colonies housed on combs constructed on small cell foundation would have lower varroa populations and higher adult bee populations and more cm2 brood. To summarize our results, we found that the use of small cell foundation did not significantly affect cm2 total brood, total mites per colony, mites per brood cell, or mites per adult bee, but did affect adult bee population for two sampling months. Varroa levels were similar in all colonies throughout the study. We found no evidence that small cell foundation was beneficial with regard to varroa control under the tested conditions in Florida.


http://www.beebehavior.com/small_cell_comb_varroa_mites.php
Small-cell comb foundation does not impede Varroa mite population growth in honey bee colonies
Jennifer A. Berry, William B. Owens, Keith S. Delaplane

   Abstract - In three independently replicated field studies, we compared biometrics of Varroa mite and honey bee populations in bee colonies housed on one of two brood cell types: small-cell (4.9 ± 0.08 mm cell width, walls inclusive) or conventional-cell (5.3 ± 0.04). In one of the studies, ending colony bee population was significantly higher in small-cell colonies (14994 ± 2494 bees) than conventional-cell (5653 ± 1082). However, small-cell colonies were significantly higher for mite population in brood (359.7 ± 87.4 vs. 134.5 ± 38.7), percentage of mite population in brood (49.4 ± 7.1 vs. 26.8 ± 6.7), and mites per 100 adult bees (5.1 ± 0.9 vs. 3.3 ± 0.5). With the three remaining ending Varroa population metrics, mean trends for small-cell were unfavorable. We conclude that small-cell comb technology does not impede Varroa population growth.
 

http://www.mendeley.com/research/smallcell-comb-not-control-v-arroa-mites-colonies-honeybees-european-origin/

2011 USA
Abstract
We tested the idea that Varroa destructor can be controlled in colonies of the European subspecies of Apis mellifera by providing them with combs built of small cells, in which immature mites might have difficulty developing for lack of space. We established seven pairs of equal-size colonies that started out equally infested with mites. In each pair, one hive contained only standard-cell (5.4 mm) comb, and the other contained only small-cell (4.8 mm) comb. We measured the colonies' mite loads at monthly intervals across a summer. No differences arose between the two treatment groups in their mean mite loads (mites per 100 worker bees or mite drop per 48 h). We suggest that providing small-cell combs did not inhibit mite reproduction because the fill factor (thorax width/cell width) was only slightly higher in the small cells than in the standard cells (79% and 73%, respectively).

« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 02:51:26 AM by Finski » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2012, 08:04:17 AM »

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http://www.springerlink.com/content/n8u363062n604l47/

To summarize our results, we found that the use of small cell foundation did not significantly affect cm2 total brood, total mites per colony, mites per brood cell, or mites per adult bee, but did affect adult bee population for two sampling months.


Finski, I have a question about how to interpret these results.  They found 3 times as many bees in the small cell colonies.  How is that possible if the total brood area is the same?  Yes there are maybe 30% more cells in the same brood area with small cell, but not 300% (three times) as many.  Are these "magic bees" that appear from the air or is this study flawed in some way?

If I could get three times as many bees on small cell, that would be a very good reason to use small cell, even if it had no effect on mites.

One explanation is that the small cell bees are surviving the mites better at the early stages of brood rearing or are going through more brood rearing cycles.  If they go through more cycles, that would explain why they have the same number of mites even if the small cell reduces mite counts in each generation.
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2012, 09:00:39 AM »


  They found 3 times as many bees in the small cell colonies.  How is that possible if the total brood area is the same?  

I do not know how you found it.
Same brood area and 3 times more bees ....jee jee

Diameter 4,9 mm is 7,5% smaller than 5,3 mm.

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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2012, 10:44:05 AM »


I do not know how you found it.
Same brood area and 3 times more bees ....jee jee

Diameter 4,9 mm is 7,5% smaller than 5,3 mm.

That was my point.  It shouldn't be 3 times as many bees.  But if you read the article, that's what they found.  
"ending colony bee population was significantly higher in small-cell colonies (14994 ± 2494 bees) than conventional-cell (5653 ± 1082)."

Three times as many bees on small cell.  Either the study was too small to give any reliable results, or small cell is really speeding the brood rearing.  

Since the area is the same and the smaller cells only give you a small percentage increase in number of cells per unit area, the only way to get more bees is to have earlier brood rearing, more efficient use of brood cells (i.e. more brood cycles per cell per unit time) or much better survival of bees.   If I believed this study (which I do not) I would be using small cell to get more bees.
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2012, 10:56:39 AM »

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And how big is totally your hive. My hives have 5-7 boxes and you hives have 15-20 langstroth boxes?
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2012, 11:15:12 AM »

Maybe I should have stated my question differently as I didn’t want to start another debate on the merits of regression. I have read both sides of the issue and have not decided which way I plan to go.

What I would like help understanding is when starting a “virgin” hive (one without any comb to start with). Is it better to start with empty frames (foundation or foundationless) versus a mixture of empty frames along with PF-100 or a similar product that has larger cells. I know Michael said it takes them longer to accept the frames. If it takes two weeks to accept it would they pull enough comb in this two week period to offset the acceptance period and be better off just using wood frames?
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Ron Babcock

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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2012, 11:34:03 AM »

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I just phoned to one friend who has kept 15 years small cells with Elgon bees. He said that he is only small cell beekeeper in Finland. His mother language is Swdish and he told that that tehre are several small cell beekeeprs in Sweden

http://www.elgon.se/index-eng.htm

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« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2012, 02:06:49 PM »

Babcock, I believe the answer to your question is to start out will all PF frames as Michael said in post #6.  If the PF frames are waxed well the bees will start immediately drawing them out as Michael said.  That way you get 4.9 sized bees in the next generation of bees (21 days in the future).  Once you have those small sized bees, they can then build small sized natural comb if you THEN stick in a foundationless frame. 

You have to get them to a small size FIRST though before they will build small cell on a foundationless frame.  You may also want to wait a few weeks for the original bees (large sized) to die off before sticking in the foundationless frames.  Check with MB. 

Michael said there would only be a delay if you’re using pre-drawn Honey SuperCell  (HSC) frames; those things are a different beast all together than the PF frames.  The PF frames are a mainstream bee keeping item, the HSC is a specialty item. 

Quote
Three times as many bees on small cell.  Either the study was too small to give any reliable results, or small cell is really speeding the brood rearing. 
Frame, maybe the large cell bees drifted over to the small cell hives grin

Not very many bees in that study were there?  5K to 15K?  Pretty small hives.
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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2012, 02:16:30 PM »

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My normal hive in July. Should it be 3 times bigger?

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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2012, 05:36:18 PM »

Frame, maybe the large cell bees drifted over to the small cell hives grin
That's got to be it.  evil
Quote
Not very many bees in that study were there?  5K to 15K?  Pretty small hives.

I think this may be a problem with the small cell research in general.  They are short term studies with immature hives.  A new hive on standard foundation usually doesn't have a problem with mites the first year because they are started in April from a package so there is a brood break.  That may be why researchers don't see a difference between small cell and standard foundation in these studies.  If the tests ran for two years or more, there might be an effect.
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« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2012, 05:53:06 PM »

.
My normal hive in July. Should it be 3 times bigger?

I said I don't believe the study.  You are the one who put forward this study as valid.  If it's valid, how do you account for the larger number of bees with small cell?   I think this study has too many uncontrolled variables to reach a conclusion.
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« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2012, 09:27:55 PM »

BlueBee, I was thinking that the PF frames were the same as HSC. Your reply had me questioning what I had understood to be. Googling images of PF Frames and HSC frames I now understand that they are not one in the same. Online catalogs can be a bit misleading if you have a preconceived idea of what they are describing. I need to follow my own advise and step back and look at the bigger picture. Now there is more clarity.

Michael, sorry sometimes I can be a bit dense; I’m still trying to get the lingo down. But as always you keep challenging me to learn more and more. What a fascinating study this has become!

The PF frames seem to be the same as wood frames and wax foundation only plastic frame and plastic foundation sprayed with wax.

If I now understand correctly the difference, is there an advantage of PF frames versus something like Mann Lakes FN-267 a medium brood wax foundation with a 4.9 mm cell?

I am leaning towards foundationless frames as my standard frame once established.
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« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2012, 10:27:38 PM »

The PF frames seem to be the same as wood frames and wax foundation only plastic frame and plastic foundation sprayed with wax.
That is correct if you mean that the pf frames just have an imprint of the base of a 4.9 mm cell, like wax foundation has.  The HSC is "drawn comb" since the entire cell is rendered in plastic coated with wax.
Quote
If I now understand correctly the difference, is there an advantage of PF frames versus something like Mann Lakes FN-267 a medium brood wax foundation with a 4.9 mm cell?
Many of the folks using plastic frame/foundation are doing it to avoid contaminated wax.  Since the pf frames only have a light coating of wax, the total amount of commercial wax being introduced is small.  The pf frames also have the advantage that if the bees re-work it to make larger cells, you can easily scrape it down to the plastic base and start over.  I've never had to do that, but it is an option.

But the main reason I use pf frames for regressing large bees is that it has proven to work in one step.  The other frames you mention may also work, but I haven't tried them.
Quote

I am leaning towards foundationless frames as my standard frame once established.

That's what we do.  Just remember that you will save yourself lots of work and wasted wax if you get your bees completely regressed before you add the foundationless frames.  That means that you have kept the bees on pf frames only for at least 6 weeks (8 would be better) so all the original package bees have died or become foragers.   Also, when you start adding foundationless frames, you might as well remove all the undrawn pf frames, because the bees will not put much effort into drawing them once they have the foundationless frames.
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« Reply #20 on: February 10, 2012, 11:07:33 PM »

>What I would like help understanding is when starting a “virgin” hive (one without any comb to start with). Is it better to start with empty frames (foundation or foundationless) versus a mixture of empty frames along with PF-100 or a similar product that has larger cells.

I don't know if there is a definite "better".  I've done both with good results, but some people doing natural comb have not gotten very small very fast and had mite issues in the meantime.  So the PF100 series has the advantage of getting to 4.9mm very quickly.

> I know Michael said it takes them longer to accept the frames. If it takes two weeks to accept it would they pull enough comb in this two week period to offset the acceptance period and be better off just using wood frames?

They don't draw HSC, it's already full comb.   There is no hesitation with the PF120s or PF100s.  They draw it right away.

>The PF frames seem to be the same as wood frames and wax foundation only plastic frame and plastic foundation sprayed with wax.

Yes.  It is plastic foundation in a plastic frame, but it's one piece.

>If I now understand correctly the difference, is there an advantage of PF frames versus something like Mann Lakes FN-267 a medium brood wax foundation with a 4.9 mm cell?

Apparently (just looked it up) that is wax 4.9mm most likely from Dadant (they seem to make most of it).  The likely outcome of starting large cell bees on 4.9mm wax is cells in the 5.1mm range and some funky transitions to make it work out.  The likely outcome with PF120s or PF100s is perfect 4.94mm cells the first try.

>I am leaning towards foundationless frames as my standard frame once established.

I like foundationless.  It is the most appealing from a natural point of view.
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BabcockFarms
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« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2012, 11:55:13 PM »

Michael,

Why do you believe the the bees would act differently on 4.9 PF frames than on 4.9 wax foundation? Are the PF frames more defined?
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« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2012, 12:38:35 AM »

>Why do you believe the the bees would act differently on 4.9 PF frames than on 4.9 wax foundation? Are the PF frames more defined?

I don't believe anything.  That is my experience with several hundred wax 4.9 and several thousand PF120s.
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« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2012, 07:17:02 AM »

Why do you believe the the bees would act differently on 4.9 PF frames than on 4.9 wax foundation? Are the PF frames more defined?

The bees can easily reshape the wax impressions all the way down to the base.  The plastic base can't be reshaped so the cells have to be more distorted to be converted from small cell to large cell.  Maybe that explains it.... but it's not always easy to know WHY bees do something.  Sometimes you have to be satisfied with the experience of knowing WHAT the bees will do in a particular circumstance. 

I know that bees raised on standard foundation will draw out pf frames into usable 4.9 mm cells IF they don't have wax foundation or foundationless frames available to them.  It works.
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« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2012, 09:40:53 AM »

Picking up my first bees in April, 2 - 3lb packages of Carnies
Here is my plan:
Long hives, foundationless - wood frames, with the brood frames set at a maximum of 1 1/4 inches.
Comments? Will this set up increase the chances of screwed up comb? The pf frames make me nervous; I have read (on this forum), where the bees stripped the wax off the plastic.
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« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2012, 11:12:33 AM »

ray, you should be fine.  it is altogether possible that they will make some messy comb, but they might do that no matter what you have put in.  use some kind of guide to get them started and you'll have a better chance of straight(er) stuff.  

to be honest, i wouldn't recommend that new people do anything other than basics.  skip the plastic.  skip the regression thing.  either use wax foundation or foundationless....and learn.  the first bees you get are not the last bees you will get. you can experiment when you know what you are looking at.  just my opinion because i think that the fastest way to kill off a new hobby is to discourage the hobbyist.  K.I.S.S.  
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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 #26 on: February 11, 2012, 12:11:26 PM »

.
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« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2012, 12:43:39 PM »

Thanks to all for your help! There was a lot of knowledge gained here.

I now have a much greater understanding of the regression progress. This I'm sure will guide me in my decision on how I choose to proceed. My greatest concern is not making any more mistakes than necessary starting out and to keep the bees healthy and happy. I'm sure I will probably make many mistakes along the way. I fully understand the KISS principal however this doesn’t seem to be any harder than not doing any regression.

The key thing I need to keep in mind is you still have to monitor and assist if needed the control of varroa. It has been noted many times this may or may not help reduce the varroa population. I still see no down side even if this doesn’t help. The regression back to a natural sized bee and cell would seem to be helping speed up nature’s normal process.
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« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2012, 03:24:09 PM »

I agree with you babcock, I don’t see any real downside with small cells if that is what you want to do.  The only problem I think people might run into is getting the bees to draw good comb on the PF 120 frames.  If you do run into a problem there, it can be easily remedied by rolling on a thicker layer of wax.

What is really “natural” size though?  I think that could be debated.  Anthropologists tell use humans used to be much shorter than we are now.  Were we more “natural” sized back then than we are now?  Should we be regressed?  Do things change and evolve over time or is one point in time always better than another?  I don't know.
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« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2012, 04:23:06 PM »

>> If you do run into a problem there, it can be easily remedied by rolling on a thicker layer of wax.
1) is it a common problem?
2) roll? like painting? more info, please

>>Thanks to all for your help! There was a lot of knowledge gained here.
 applause  Ditto! Don't stop now!
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« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2012, 05:22:02 PM »

BlueBee~

>>What is really “natural” size though?

You are absolutely correct. This topic could be debated and I agree your point has very valid merits, but from the reading I have done 4.9 is the average of cell size if the bees are left to their own accord, and is still true today. This seems to be based on what is drawn on foundation-less frames, and what is found in the wild.

This afternoon I was looking online for wedge top and solid bottom frames and haven't found a reasonable source. Has anyone else found one?
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« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2012, 06:43:29 PM »

Q:  Is building good comb on PF 120/100 frames a common problem?
A:  I’m just one data point, but I would bet it varies from bee to bee and keeper to keeper.  It probably also depends on how super sized your package/nuc of bees are when you get them.  I could not get my stubborn bees to comb up the PF frames for the life of me until I started rolling on a thicker layer of wax.  My bees (MN Hygenics at the time) went out of their way to avoid those frames.  They would build double layer comb just to get away from the PF surface imprint.  I tried spraying with sugar water, had no effect.  I eventually started rolling a thicker layer of bees wax on the PFs and my bees combed them up perfectly. 

Q:  How do I roll Smiley
A:  If for some reason your bees snub their noses at the PF frames, I would suggest melting some bees wax and using a 4” wide foam roller to roll a modest coat of bees wax over the frames (imprints that is).  Rollers work much better than paint brushes IMO.  The frames smell wonderful after you’re done!  You can melt bees wax in a crock pot, but it is a slow process.  I use an old electric skillet and do it outdoors.  Gotta be careful not to heat the wax any more than needed to melt it since it is a fire hazard.  A water bathed melter would be safest, but how many people have them?  A little common sense and an old electric skillet works well. 
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« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2012, 09:53:39 PM »

This afternoon I was looking online for wedge top and solid bottom frames and haven't found a reasonable source. Has anyone else found one?
We use foundationless frames from Walter T. Kelley. 

Deep:  https://kelleybees.com/Products/Detail/?id=3336333533363333&grouped=1

Medium:  https://kelleybees.com/Products/Detail/?id=3336333533363338&grouped=1

The bees really like the wedged top bar and you can use it just fine with no wax (even though Kelley suggests waxing the wedge). 
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« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2012, 10:16:54 PM »

>1) is it a common problem?

I have over 3,000 PF120s and have not had that problem.

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« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2012, 08:39:29 AM »

MB~

Good to know, you wouldn't have that many if there was any problems with them.
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« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2012, 10:22:17 AM »

I got my unassembled Hoffman type frames, they are 1 3/8 wide and I am trying to decide what width to go with.
I am Building horizontal hives (2), so fitting a standard lang box is not important.

From: Micheal Bush's Website, modified by ME.
Comb Width by Cell Size
ABC XYZ of Bee Culture 1945 edition Pg 126

According to Baudoux (note this is the thickness of the comb itself and not the spacing of the comb on centers)

Cell Size    Comb width       Ratio*  W/min B.S.*   W/max B.S.*

5.555 mm    22.60 mm      4.07        28.6         32.6   
5.375 mm    22.20 mm      4.13        28.2         32.2
5.210 mm    21.80 mm      4.18        27.8         31.8
5.060 mm    21.40 mm      4.22        27.4         31.4
4.925 mm    21.00 mm      4.26        27            31
4.805 mm    20.60 mm      4.28        26.6         30.6
4.700 mm    20.20 mm      4.29        26.2         30.2
* categories added by ME.

Conversion to American

26mm = 1.023   1 1/32 = 1.032
27mm = 1.063   1 1/16 = 1.063
28mm = 1.10     1 3/32 = 1.09
30mm = 1.181   1 3/16 = 1.187
31mm = 1.22     1 1/4  = 1.25
32mm = 1.26   

Bee Space = B.S.(above)

6mm  = 0.236
1/4  = 0.25
3/8  = 0.375
10mm = 0.394

Regression to 5.1 cell, comb width should be 21.5mm with bee space; 27.5mm (1 3/32) min and 31.5mm max (1 1/4)
Regression to 4.9 cell, comb width should be 21 mm with bee space; 27mm and 31mm.
Regression to 4.7 cell, comb width should be 20.2mm with bee space; 26.2mm (1.031 or 1 1/32) and 30.2mm (1.189 or 1 3/16).

Modify side frames to 1 1/16, notch top bar to 7/8, then space at 1 1/4 for package installation?
Then regress to what?  1 1/8? There is a minimum. right? huh

What am I missing? other than my marbles grin

Thanks in advance Smiley M.B. I hope you don't mind the modification
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 08:19:14 AM by ray » Logged

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« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2012, 10:35:14 PM »

>What I would like help understanding is when starting a “virgin” hive (one without any comb to start with). Is it better to start with empty frames (foundation or foundationless) versus a mixture of empty frames along with PF-100 or a similar product that has larger cells.

People have different agendas.  Some don't want plastic in a hive.  Some prefer wax.  Some prefer clean wax.  It depends on what compromises you are willing to make. All in all, I would do the PF120s (or if you want deeps the PF100s) as it will be the most reliable way to regress them cheaply.

> I know Michael said it takes them longer to accept the frames. If it takes two weeks to accept it would they pull enough comb in this two week period to offset the acceptance period and be better off just using wood frames?

No.  It doesn't take them longer to accept the PF120s.  They will accept them right away.  It takes longer for them to accept the HSC but they don't have to draw it.  They just need to use it, but it takes a couple of weeks to get them to use it.

>The PF frames seem to be the same as wood frames and wax foundation only plastic frame and plastic foundation sprayed with wax.

Yes.

>If I now understand correctly the difference, is there an advantage of PF frames versus something like Mann Lakes FN-267 a medium brood wax foundation with a 4.9 mm cell?

The Mann Lake FN-267 is just 4.9mm wax (available from many sources).  The likelyhood of ungressed bees building it 4.9mm is low but not unheard of.  It's more likely they will build it 5.1mm.

>I am leaning towards foundationless frames as my standard frame once established.

Once you have small bees, this is, IMO, the best plan.
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« Reply #37 on: February 19, 2012, 12:06:24 PM »

I get an unwaxed 4.9 mm frame from Mann Lake that is not in their on line catalog.  My nucs came on 5.4 wax combs and I just started letting them expand onto the smaller size and scraping off bad patches as required.  The five nuc frames ended up as outside frames or culled by mid season.  The bees drew three and four supers of thes 4.9 frames trimmed so 11 went in a box for the brood boxes and by the end of the year, I beleive I have regressed bees and they draw the smaller size very well and uniformly.  However two colonies were still making messes at the end of the season, all bees are not created equal in Man compliant engineering.  It cost me very little extra time to accomplish this.  The frames cost $1.35 delivered and I put my clean pre fluvinate and coumophos wax on them so It just DID NOT cost anymore and it is sure not important to my radial extractor that the frames are 4.9 instead of 5.4!  If I one day decide this indeed is not necessary, it is not going to cost me a penny to quit buying only 4.9 MM  I suspect if they are still the best price I would continue buying them.  This whole matter is getting ridiculous.  Let people be and do what they want!  It is no skin off anyones nose.
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« Reply #38 on: February 19, 2012, 09:41:24 PM »

>Then regress to what?  1 1/8? There is a minimum. right? huh

Since Huber's time 1 1/4" has been considered normal spacing for brood for natural sized bees.  Yes, sometimes it falls as low as 1 1/8" but that is the bottom end of it and 1 1/4" is more common.  Sometimes it gets as high as 1 3/8", but those combs usually have a lot of drone cells on them.

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/CombSpacing30.JPG
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #39 on: February 19, 2012, 10:24:39 PM »

>>Yes, sometimes it falls as low as 1 1/8" but that is the bottom end of it
   That's the answer I was looking for. Thank you!

I get carried away crunching numbers embarassed and sometimes create problems were there aren't any.
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