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Author Topic: Small Cell In Honey Supers  (Read 2984 times)
Romahawk
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« on: June 26, 2006, 11:13:59 AM »

It's probably been asked before but I'll be darned if I can find it. If I buy small cell foundation and use it in a honey super will the bees draw the embossed pattern and make a small cell foundation that could be used later in the brood box?

If they don't follow the embossed guides of the foundation will they mess the frame up real bad and make sort of a willy nilly assortment of cells? Trying to get out of ordering two different foundations.  Cheesy
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2006, 09:40:47 PM »

I would use the small cell everywhere, if you want to use foundation.  They may not draw it as small for honey storage as they do for brood, but it will still be smaller than standard comb.  Some may be small enough.  Just sort it and use the larger stuff in the supers later.
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Michael Bush
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Romahawk
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« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2006, 11:08:11 PM »

OK Michael, thanks for the response. I made up a couple of boxes of starter strips today but I may have made them a bit wide at 3/4 of an inch. A few of them have a couple of small waves in them but it doesn't look like it's enough to hurt them or cause any problems when the bees draw them out. I'm trying to move that super black comb out that came with the two nucs I bought this year an the few frames that are still left in the hive I bought last year. It's slow going but I'm wondering if fresh wax isn't just as important as small cell in defeating the mites?

It's a little different than when I had bees back in the 70's and 80's but thanks to your remarks and the replies of others here I think I'm starting to get a handle on things again.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2006, 06:51:39 AM »

>I made up a couple of boxes of starter strips today but I may have made them a bit wide at 3/4 of an inch.

Sounds just right to me.

> A few of them have a couple of small waves in them but it doesn't look like it's enough to hurt them or cause any problems when the bees draw them out.

It's hard to get a starter strip too crooket.  Not that you coldn't mash it, but generally they are hanging pretty straight.

>I'm wondering if fresh wax isn't just as important as small cell in defeating the mites?

I don't know.  But you'll need to swap it out anyway to get to small cell.  I'd say the apistan and checkmite in most of the wax is a big problem.
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Michael Bush
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Mici
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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2006, 05:06:04 PM »

Hi!
i'm new to this forum as well as i'm a newbie in beekeeping. nevertheless i am interested in different varoa fighting technologyes. anyway, although Slovenia is the home of modern beekeeping in a way, i can't find small cell foundation. i must admit i didn't do everything i can, but i'm pretty sure they are no where to be found in Slovenia. i've seen a couple of internet sites regarding to small cell beekeeping, and got to know it.
has anyone on this forum any experience regarding this issue? would it be efficient if i would place just a small stripe of convencional foundation (5,4mm) and so leave let's say 4/5 of the frame empty, so the bees would build as if they had no foundation (the cell width decreeses from in to out)

they say it's a great and natural way to get rid of varoa problems so i think i am going to give it a try next year, but still i wanna get 100% sure i won't do any damage to my bees.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2006, 10:12:47 PM »

MICI,

what you're describing is what we refer to as starter strips.  Just a stip of foundation about an inch wide (frame cleat takes about 1/4 inch) that the bees use to hang the rest of the comb they build from.
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Mici
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2006, 05:08:40 AM »

well in that case i'm curious. are bees that build only with help of starter strips any less endangered by varoae??
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2006, 01:58:58 PM »

The field observation is that the bees will build smaller comb if only starter strips are used, whether you're using 5.4, 5.1, or 4.9 foundation.  5.4 foundation usually results is something closer to the 5.1 in the brood area of the comb.  the smaller comb restricts apparently restricts access to the cell--the varroa mite gets scraped off of its host while the bee is working the cell.  The mite then fallsdown between the comb and if SBB are used then you have a limited self induced mite regulatory system.  Sugar shakes and oxalic acid should still be used to further reduce mite population.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2006, 02:27:11 PM »

>well in that case i'm curious. are bees that build only with help of starter strips any less endangered by varoae??

It usually takes a full turnover before they will draw natural sized cells, but yes, after that they are down to where they have a day shorter capping time, and a day shorter post capping time (19 days from egg to bee instead of 21 days) and much less varroa.

If you are interested, read this:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm

And this:
http://www.beesource.com/pov/lusby/index.htm

And this:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Organicbeekeepers
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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
Mici
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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2006, 09:33:39 AM »

don't want to open a new topic but it's been bugging me since i heard about SC (small cells).
the thing is, since i can't find any SC foundation anywhere close i've been wondering if it would be 0k to just flaten the normal foundation. so i would have flat foundation and the bees would build just like they want it. the foundation would serve only as a direction in which they have to build, basicly so the combs would be in the frames like they are supposed to.

WOULD IT WORK?!?!?!
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2006, 11:50:41 PM »

Just use frames without any foundation at all or small 1 inch starter strips.  that way they will draw out a more natural sized comb and over time the comb size will regress to the small cell size.  I use medium deep brood foundation cut into starter strips.  I get about 6 strips from each sheet of foundation.  meaning that the purchase of 10 sheets of foundation actually supplies enough to use in 60 frames.
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Mici
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2006, 03:45:05 AM »

yeah well, starter strips would be great, but i'm afraid they would start building all around the frames. or do they build straight down??.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2006, 08:25:35 AM »

They start at the top and buiild down, that's their natural inclination.  With complete sheets of foundation we often see them building in the corners or the middle or even at the bottom before building out the full frame.  With starter strips they will fill the frame better than they do the foundation because they won't stop until they hit wood, whereas with the foundation when they come to the edge they stop.  The same is true for no foundation at all although they are a bit more likely to build a span between frames with no starter strips.
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Mici
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« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2006, 09:54:38 AM »

aha great. so basicly i'll have better built combs which are naturaly built (different cell size). thanks for answering. but, shouldn't i be afraid of..like the frames aren't 100% vertical that they will miss the lower side of the frame. or do they use the side parts of the frame as a lead?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2006, 07:40:19 AM »

>>or do they use the side parts of the frame as a lead?

Bingo!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2006, 11:09:48 PM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm
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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
Mici
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« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2006, 11:39:52 AM »

hmm, so you don't give them any foundation at all...

so, when i put starter strips on to the fram, how big should it be. more than an inch is luxury huh?, should it reach from one side to the other or can it be a bit short?. always horizontal right?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2006, 02:25:47 PM »

>so, when i put starter strips on to the fram, how big should it be. more than an inch is luxury huh?

I cut them about 3/4" wide altogether.

> should it reach from one side to the other or can it be a bit short?

It's best if they go all the way.  The bees have a tendancey to want to curve the ends anyway.  You want to discourage that.

> always horizontal right?

I'm not clear what this question is.
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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
Mici
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« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2006, 03:23:02 PM »

ignore the last question, it's stupid and doesn't matter. what i meant is, the starter strip has to be put along the top and not by the side.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2006, 08:40:48 PM »

Starter strips are at the top.  You can do a triangular comb guide all the way around if you like, but the top is where it's needed.

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