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Author Topic: Small Cell Bees ??????  (Read 257 times)
Evan W
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Location: Franklin County, VA

« on: August 22, 2013, 12:30:48 PM »

What is the best way to go from the bees I have to small cell 4.9mm bees? I have about 10 hives to work with. For what it's worth I have placed random foundation less frames throughout the hives.
Super Bee
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Location: Butler,GA

« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2013, 01:24:55 PM »

i'd check the natural and organic section for some old threads and i'd look at michael bush's site.
Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2013, 01:36:58 PM »

>What is the best way...

Well, the quickest is probably to shake them down on some Honey Super Cell (fully drawn 4.9mm plastic), but that is probably not the best way. 

A quick way, if you don't mind plastic, is to use some Mann lake PF100 series (PF100 is deep and PF120 is medium) and feed them into the brood nest.  The bees usually draw these exactly the size they are embossed, which is 4.94mm.

Feeding in foundationless will eventually get them to the same place but it could take a while.  Not that it isn't a good method, but it's probably not a fast method.

Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2013, 01:44:49 PM »

If you give your large bees the choice (with foundationless) they will draw out large cells and lots of drone cells (in the spring) everytime.  If you want small cells, probably the easiest way is to start putting in some of the Mann Lake PF series of plastic frames.  They’re 4.9mm cell, or maybe 4.95mm I can’t recall.  Large bees aren’t thrilled to see those frames, but if they’re waxed well the bees will comb them out.  You have to be diligent though because about 2 times out of 5, they will ignore the PF pattern and do their own thing.  Just scrape them down and tell them to try again. grin  Not a big fan of small cell myself, but the frames are cheap and this seems like a fad other beeks want.  I have about 1000 pf frames in use.
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