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Author Topic: Small Cells  (Read 1547 times)
stilllearning
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« on: September 06, 2005, 09:28:00 PM »

Michael Bush

    I could have pm you, but with all the interest in small cell, I thought
this was more appropiate.
    I have followed your comments on this and some other forums
and you have interested me.
    I would like to engage you in a discussion , not an argument, as I dont
know a darn thing about small cell
    I would probably be the devils advocate in asking questions, but I
would never insult nor argy with you.
     To me Feral Bees, are any bees not being manipulated by us humans
    I have been keeping bees for 50 plus years, and never raised a queen
not had a lot of varro due to my locations, i think.
I you are interested, I want to learn about small cells
just reply in the forum, i check it a couple of times a day
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Wayne Cole
Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2005, 09:04:34 AM »

I discuss small cell and natural sized cell all the time.  What do you want to know?
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
stilllearning
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2005, 06:17:16 PM »

Thanks Michael
     As I understand what you are doing is to regress our hived bees to a wild state, in so far as their cell size, which results in smaller bees and the end result is less or possible no varro mites.
     My first question is can this be done in one step or does it take several
requeens , can a large queen lay in the small cells.
    I recently aquired a swarm in a mannlake swarm trap/catcher useing their phermon and the bees are noticible smaller than my Itallians
have only had them 3 weeks so I know nothing about them yet.
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Wayne Cole
Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2005, 09:00:16 PM »

>As I understand what you are doing is to regress our hived bees to a wild state, in so far as their cell size, which results in smaller bees and the end result is less or possible no varro mites.

The end result is significantly less Varroa mites.  I think no Varroa mites is not possible.  But only a few mites aren't a problem.

>My first question is can this be done in one step

The only problem in getting it done in one step is getting the artificially enlarged bees to drawn natural sized comb.  They are quite willing to use it.

I have successfully done it in one step by wax dipping PermaComb (fully drawn plastic comb) so that the cell size is 4.95mm.

>or does it take several requeens , can a large queen lay in the small cells.

Usually the large queens prefer to lay in small cells. It's not requeening that is required but rebuilding all the comb to the size the larger bees want and then after raising bees on that smaller comb (usually averaging about 5.1mm for worker brood instead of the 5.4mm that their "parent" were raised on) then those 5.1mm bees will build an average of about 4.9mm cells.  Those bees from that will usually build all the way down to 4.4mm cells but most WORKER cells will be in the 4.8mm range.

>I recently aquired a swarm ... and the bees are noticible smaller than my Itallians

Put them on 4.9mm foundation and you have regressed bees in one shot.  Smiley  Piece of cake.  Or put them on foundationless.  Your choice.

The whole catch 22 is that the larger bees won't build 4.9mm cells and you can't get smaller bees without smaller comb.  The only reason it works is that they WILL build smallER cells.  If you have small bees and let them, they will build the small cells.  If you have the small cells and let them even the large bees will raise small bees.

You have small bees.  You're in business.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
stilllearning
House Bee
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Posts: 90

Location: Clarendon,Texas


« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2005, 09:34:34 PM »

I went back and measured the comb the small bees had started, only a piece som 4 x 6 inches      the housel y is very evident and they measure 5mm . all over the comb  right now they are on empty frames have not been in there to see what is going on will look soon.  I would expect brood comb to be even smaller. in your case has the honey production be compatible to larger bees.  are your tbh coming out small cell
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Wayne Cole
Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2005, 11:49:29 AM »

>I went back and measured the comb the small bees had started, only a piece som 4 x 6 inches the housel y is very evident and they measure 5mm . all over the comb right now they are on empty frames have not been in there to see what is going on will look soon. I would expect brood comb to be even smaller.

Some of it is the size of bees.  Some of it is the time of year.  Some of it is genetic.  5.0mm is in the range of typical small cell.  Typically it runs about 4.8 to 5.0mm for most of it with some down as far as 4.4mm and some up as high as 5.2mm but most is in that 4.8 to 5.0mm range.

> in your case has the honey production be compatible to larger bees.

I see no difference, between small cell production and large cell production before the Varroa came.  Now that Varroa are here I'd say the small cell does better just becaue they are healthier.

> are your tbh coming out small cell

The TBH and the foundationless frames on the regular hives run in the range I mentioned.  They are not all the same sized cells, but they tend to run mostly in the 4.8 to 5.0mm range for worker brood comb.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
stilllearning
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Location: Clarendon,Texas


« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2005, 07:41:24 PM »

lets assume for now that i get these small bees through the winter
next spring i learn how to raise queens from the small cells
although i know i need a lot of other factors other than just
small bees, that would be a starting point. small queen mates
with large drone comes back to small cell hive, do i have problems
or is genetics not really a factor here and just physical restriction
on the development of bees is where i am getting the small bees.
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Wayne Cole
Michael Bush
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Location: Nehawka, NE


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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2005, 07:36:30 AM »

>lets assume for now that i get these small bees through the winter
next spring i learn how to raise queens from the small cells
although i know i need a lot of other factors other than just
small bees, that would be a starting point. small queen mates
with large drone comes back to small cell hive, do i have problems
or is genetics not really a factor here and just physical restriction
on the development of bees is where i am getting the small bees.

Small cell has nothing to do with genetics.  It's all about letting the bees build natural sized cells.  Survivors are good genetics, in general, because nothing suceeds like sucess.  But you can take Italians, Carniolans, Caucasians, Buckfasts, Russians, SMR's or whatever and let them build natural sized cells and let those bees (from the natural sized cells) build natural sized cells and you will get small bees.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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