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Author Topic: small cell  (Read 870 times)
Rabbitdog
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« on: May 18, 2006, 05:46:49 PM »

Posted this originally under Disease forum and had no response so I'm trying it here.

I would like to switch over to small cell and have a few questions about the process of conversion. First, is it necessary to switch out all of the comb at one time or can I just insert a frame or 2 when convenient as other old comb comes up for replacement.
Second, is it a tremendous stress on the bees to go straight to smallest size foundation or should I first raise a generation on 5.1?
thanks!
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"Born Po, Die Po" ........ just need to feed myself in between!
amymcg
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2006, 09:06:29 PM »

There's a few ways to do it, but  you will have to go through two stages of regression regardless of the foundation size you use.

1:  Shake them down to 4.9 foundation

OR

2: insert frames into the broodnest and rotate the large cell frames to the outside.  Keep doing this until the center of the broodnest is mostly 4.9

You can also use 5.1 foundation. That's what they will initially draw anyway, and then you can feed in the 4.9

I would highly suggest though that you read both Dee Lusby's articles, linked on Michael Bush's website  www.bushfarms.com and join the organicbeekeepers group on yahoo groups.  Both are good sources of information on regression and running small cell.

I am in the process of regressing a hive right now by feeding in frames of starter strips.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2006, 11:31:46 PM »

>Posted this originally under Disease forum and had no response so I'm trying it here.

Sorry.  Between work and raising queens, I haven't had much spare time lately.

>First, is it necessary to switch out all of the comb at one time or can I just insert a frame or 2 when convenient as other old comb comes up for replacement.

You can do either.  I would feed it in.  Between what some people do as normal replacement and what I would do for swarm prevention, you should be able to swap out all the comb in a couple of years if you're agressive, and at least all of it in five if you not very agressive.  The problem is it will probably take two complete turnovers to get down to 4.9mm or less.

>Second, is it a tremendous stress on the bees to go straight to smallest size foundation or should I first raise a generation on 5.1?
thanks!

You can give the bees 4.9mm or 5.1mm and they will still build 5.1mm the first step.  It really doesn't matter which one you do.

Personally I'd just make foundationless frames or use 4.9mm starter strips.  After a generation of smaller comb you can go to foundation if you like, but you may find you like natural comb better anyway.  Smiley
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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
Rabbitdog
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2006, 03:35:22 PM »

Thanks much.  That is very helpful.  I'm on the way! smiley
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"Born Po, Die Po" ........ just need to feed myself in between!
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