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Author Topic: small cells  (Read 3230 times)
zan
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« on: September 09, 2005, 06:14:44 AM »

I haven't here small cells fundation. May I just put empty frames and what kind of cell will bees than make?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2005, 07:31:18 AM »

The bees need some kind of guide.  That can be a drawn capped comb on each side of the empty frame.  Or a comb guide of some kind, a triangular piece ont he top bar, a wooden starter strip, a wax starter strip etc.  But they need something or they will build combs every which way.

Given that caveat, yes you can.  The bees will build smaller cells all by themselves.  That's what I do most of the time.

Check out my web site:  www.bushfarms.com
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Michael Bush
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zan
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2005, 09:25:25 AM »

Some kind of guide?
May I cut a  1 inch tape from regular fondation and stick it to the top bar of empty frame ?
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2005, 09:36:09 AM »

By regular foundation you are talking about  large cell foundation? The bees will pattern their cells from the foundation. Perhaps if you could flatten it out some, or scrape it down some so the bees don't have a large cell guide, it should work.

I use small cell foundation starter strips. Doing that as you discribed above.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2005, 11:50:28 AM »

>May I cut a 1 inch tape from regular fondation and stick it to the top bar of empty frame ?

That will work.  But small cell foundation will work better.  If you dip wet wooden boards in wax you can make blank sheets of wax and  cut starter strips from that.  Or you can cut 1/8" thick wood into strips and put that in for starter strips or you can cut the corner off of a one by board and use that for a guide or, if the frames are not assembled yet, you can cut the bevel on the top bar itself.

Look at my web site and you'll see examples of all of these except the wooden starter strip.

www.bushfarms.com

>By regular foundation you are talking about large cell foundation? The bees will pattern their cells from the foundation. Perhaps if you could flatten it out some, or scrape it down some so the bees don't have a large cell guide, it should work.

Small cell will work better, but large cell won't be a total failure.  The bees will tend to get smaller as they move down off of the large cell, but they are more likely to build smaller cells from small cell foundation starter strips.

But I would use wooden starter strips or blank starter strips before I'd use large cell foundation for starter strips.
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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
zan
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2005, 07:21:37 AM »

Thanks you for yours advises, but what with the wires? Have you the frames without the wires?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2005, 07:42:31 AM »

No, I don't use any wires on the foundationless frames.  Here are many pictues of variations:

http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

You COULD put wires in if you like.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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zan
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2005, 08:59:52 AM »

No, I like this. No more punching the holes, no more wires. What about extracting the honey?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2005, 12:18:27 PM »

My frames are mediums.  So they aren't too much comb to support.

You have to meet the following requirements to extract foundationless frames:

o  The comb is attched somewhat on all four sides.
o  The comb is not brand new (new comb is soft like putty.  Mature comb is much tougher)  If you wait until a couple of weeks after the comb was built it's usually tough enough.
o  You extract gently.  Meaning you start very slowly and work your way up on a radial.  And on a tangetal you'd have to extract half of it very slowly, flip and the other half almost done, flip and the other side all the way, flip and the other side all the way.
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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
bill
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2005, 10:59:57 PM »

I was reading these posts and I was wondering if you couldnt just make mold box and make some small cell foundation, or is there something I am not seeing
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billiet
zan
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« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2005, 03:46:10 AM »

Yes bill, there are some little problem. I have no ideas how to make mold box?
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stilllearning
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« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2005, 06:50:08 AM »

yes you can make a mold and make your own foundation,
but by the time you get everything you need to do it and invest your
time, it would be a lot cheaper to buy it.
if you are a skilled wood worker you can carve a roller that
will make an impression in a sheet of flat wax, that is a lot of labor
that the bees will do for you basicly for free
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Wayne Cole
Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2005, 07:55:53 AM »

You can buy mills from Hawley Honey in Iola KS.  Ads in most of the bee journals for the last 20 years or more.  You can now buy them (I think they are still his) from Kelley, Dadant, and Mann Lake.  You could (I'm not sure it they still have any) buy the plastic 4.9mm from Dadant.  I haven't had a lot of luck with it for a first regression, but it works fine after the they are regressed.  It makes a good mold though, if you have two sheets of that.  It has no cell wall, so it's the same backwards as fowards since it's just a serious of paralellagrams.

But, as said, the bees make them for free.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
bassman1977
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2005, 12:39:55 PM »

Is there a known history as to why bees are commonly raised in the larger cells rather than small cells?  I'm guessing varroa wasn't such a problem back in the day, but I think if the bees were allowed to be raised at their natural cell size from the beginning, we wouldn't have the predicament that we're in now with bees dying off due to mites and bee keepers fight to stop the creatures from destroying apiries.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2005, 01:34:02 PM »

I don't remember where the history is at, but has something to do with bigger bees. Supposedly carry more necter. The "tongues???" are suppose to be longer and can reach into deeper flowers. And I have some ocean front property in Arizona if you're interested.
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2005, 02:02:05 PM »

http://beesource.com/pov/lusby/part4.htm
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Joseph Clemens
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2005, 04:47:34 PM »

The work of Baudoux was to try to get bees with a long enough tongue to work red clover.  His work is talked about in several editions of ABC XYZ of Beeculture.  The older ones have more detail and charts.  I have them at home in the 1945 edition of ABC XYZ.

 http://www.beesource.com/pov/lusby/table.htm

Here's basically the same table.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
bassman1977
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« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2005, 10:05:11 PM »

Thanks for the information on the history.  I'll have to check it out further tomorrow.

Another question...when regressing bees from large to small cell (which I am planning to do for one hive next spring), since the bees are going to be busy building new comb in the brood boxes, as many as 3 or 4 times over, how good is the honey yield going to be (provided it is a decent honey producing year)?

I'm guessing it will be about the same as always since there will be bees in the fields collecting the necessary materials for honey and bees building the comb, but the bees building the comb are going to be using up honey that is brought in by the field bees.

One more...considering an established hive with two brood boxes of drawn large cell, about how long does the regression take from start to finish (also provided a decent honey producing year).

Thanks!
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zan
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« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2005, 04:17:39 AM »

I like this one: But, as said, the bees make them for free.
Thanks you!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2005, 10:12:29 AM »

>since the bees are going to be busy building new comb in the brood boxes, as many as 3 or 4 times over, how good is the honey yield going to be (provided it is a decent honey producing year)?

I don't think the loss in yeild is so much from the honey going to make wax as the foragers not having anyone to offload to because they are busy drawing wax.  But it does cut into the yeild some.

>I'm guessing it will be about the same as always since there will be bees in the fields collecting the necessary materials for honey and bees building the comb, but the bees building the comb are going to be using up honey that is brought in by the field bees.

They build comb very quickly when they are in that mode.

>One more...considering an established hive with two brood boxes of drawn large cell, about how long does the regression take from start to finish (also provided a decent honey producing year).

It depends more on the beekeeper than the bees.  If you want to do the maximum agressive technicque, you do a shakedown and take all their comb away and give the brood to some other hive and put them on nothing but small cell foundation or foundationless frames.  A step down from that is to just remove all the honey from the brood chamber , move the frames of brood to the outside and put empty frames between drawn brood combs.  If you did this about once a week it will go pretty quick, but I don't mess with them that much.  The more often you do it the quicker it goes.  If you go at minimal pace, that would be simply culling out bad combs and opening up the brood nest as needed to prevent swarming and putting in empty frames (or small cell foundation).  

So you could do one full regression with a shakedown in about an hour and the bees will take about a month to get that drawn and get going well on it (in the spring in moderate flow) and do another shakdown as soon as they are.  (if you do this use an excluder for a queen includer so they don't abscond).  I think this is too tramatic.

Or you could do it as gradually as you wish.  If you are determined to not use any treatments you are in a race with survival.  If you don't treat at all and you don't get them regressed in about one year the mites are likely to do them in before you are done.  But I'm afraid the stress of shakedowns adds to the problems making them more susceptable to viruses and other problems.

I just do a few frames at a time.  If you look for opportunities to get small cell comb into the brood nest you will find them.  Pulling frames of honey out is easy.  Everytime you find a large cell comb that is all honey or empty, pull it and take the comb out of the frame.  Everytime you find a large cell comb of brood, move it to the outsides.  And all the while keep replacing with empty frames between two drawn combs, or foundationless or small cell foundation.

If there are no checmicals used in the past, you can harvest all of this honey.  If you have treated, then you can harvest it and feed it back later.
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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
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