>Have you seen rearches were they have identityfied that brood cycle of normal honey bee has changed from 21 days to 19 days?
Its the same as it's always been for natural sized bees on natural sized cells:
â€œThe worm of workers passes three days in the egg, five in the vermicular state, and then the bees close up its cell with a wax covering. The worm now begins spinning its cocoon, in which operation thirty-six hours are consumed. In three days, it changes to a nymph, and passes six days in this form. It is only on the twentieth day of its existence, counting from the moment the egg is laid, that it attains the fly state.â€
FRANCIS HUBER 4 September 1791.
How many days have elapsed on day one? Zero. How many on day 20? 19.
>I seem to recall M.Bush mentioning his observations of different breeds on small cell with shortened capping times.
Several other people on beesource have bothered to time it also. None so far have come up with any different answer.
>I have seen nothing in the UK regarding this shortened brood cycle in Apis Mellifera. Anyone got any facts/research to back this up or is it more wishful thinking.
Try some small cell. Measure the resulting cell size. Time it in an observation hive. You can mark each cell the queen lays in on the glass with a letter or a number and write down the time and date in a notebook. It's not hard to measure when it's capped and when it emerges.
> Research i have seen has shown this shortened brood cycle in Africanised bees is one of the major reasons it is more tolerant of Varroa and not the smaller cells as was once thought.
But Apis Mellifera have the same short cycle on the same small cells.
>On the contrary, man has been keeping bees for thousands of years in Africa long before the Mayflower was even built. In fact, the very aggressive nature of the Africanised bee is a direct result of the many aggressive predators and harsh environment this strain has developed in. So, far from being left alone, it is quite the opposite. Having lived in Africa and seen them in their natural environment, I feel I am qualified enough to comment.
Yes and the African bees were and for the most part still are on natural sized cells. Usually made by bees without foundation and when they use foundation, most Africans use 4.8mm foundation.
>You suggest that these researchers, and other bee keepers, are taking shortcuts with the use of chemicals and other methods for the control of varroa. On the contrary, the biggest shortcut for the control of varroa would be if the small cell theory worked.
Precisely. No patents or money in it, but it is definitely the biggest shortcut.
> With the amount of time and money spent on the control of varroa by commercial bee keepers, if you could prove to them that the conversion to small cell would be beneficial, they would bite your hand off. The very fact that the take up to this method is very low, and commercial bee keepers have not responded, should be worrying to those who support the theory.
What is worrying to those of us who are experiencing the â€œtheoryâ€ is that our Varroa problems go away and everyone wants to argue that it can't be happening.
>The small cell theory has not yet been proven.
I know of hundreds of people doing it with no treatments for quite a few years. You'd think 18 years would be enough, or five or four. I have five. How many years does it take to "prove" it?
>All over the world, the numbers of feral colonies have reduced dramatically, including in areas where wild colonies have been for generations. Surely, if small cells were all that were required, these colonies would not have been affected?
Why do bees crash from Varroa? Varroa come from two places. Reproduction within the hive, which the small cell helps with, and robbers bringing back hitchhikers. Those with bees in the almonds have said the number of mites from crashing hives can be very significant. All of the domestic hives were crashing and the Varroa were being hauled back to the feral hives in large numbers. Sometimes more than they could tolerate. Under these conditions, only the strongest survived.
Also, not all "feral" bees are on small cell. How can that be? The first comb an escaped swarm of large cell bees will build will not be that small. A swarm from that swarm will be smaller and a swarm from that swarm is finally about natural sized. A large portion of the feral population have always been recent escapees. These used to live a few years but now they usually don't make it more than one or two.
Also, a lot of the feral bees died from a variety of things that have hit in recent times. Including Tracheal mites etc.
And, finally, there are a lot of them that did survive. I find them all the time as do others. How many domestic hives do you know of that have survived without any treatment at all for any length of time?
>Far from being dismissive of the theory, I would welcome any research, or findings, or even some proof Surprised that small cell works. When this becomes available, I will consider changing my management techniques accordingly.
What would it take to set up one smallcell hive? Don't you buy foundation? Don't you do splits? What would it cost you to do one small cell hive and NOT treat it?
You apparently have a lot of faith in Science. I've lived long enough to be too disappointed to many times.
I've never asked anyone to have any faith in any Varroa control method, including small cell. I've always advised they monitor and measure and see for themselves if what they are doing is working.