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Author Topic: Cell dimensions  (Read 1532 times)
Mklangelo
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« on: January 01, 2007, 08:46:00 PM »

I understand from Michael's informative links that the medium depth (Illinois?) for hive bodies and supers is best for hive management.  Since at this time last week, I knew absolutly nothing about beekeeping, I have lots of questions.   Now as far as cell size, I understand the small is best (4.9mm).  As I understand, it produces a more natural bee size and it also supports mite control.

I had originally planned on the Plasticell deeps for the hive and the mediums for the supers.  I will now get mediums for hives also.  Where can I get the Natural cell sized Foundations and should I forget about the Plasticell? 

And what is the best method for attaching the foundations to the frames?  Wire with eylets?


thanks in advance!
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Finsky
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2007, 06:07:39 AM »

As I understand, it produces a more natural bee size and it also supports mite control.


So many want to say, but that is not true. Natural cells do not protect against mite. Feral bees are the worts  which die for varroa in every country wher varroa have arrived..
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2007, 06:25:45 AM »

>I understand from Michael's informative links that the medium depth (Illinois?) for hive bodies and supers is best for hive management.

For hive management it probably does not matter.  For your back it makes all the difference in the world.

>Now as far as cell size, I understand the small is best (4.9mm).  As I understand, it produces a more natural bee size and it also supports mite control.

The best size is probably to let them build their own, which would be a range of sizes for worker brood from 4.4mm to 5.2mm but most of the core of the broodnest would be about 4.9mm.  That size foundation is available.

>Where can I get the Natural cell sized Foundations

You can buy 4.9mm wax foundation from Dadant and Brushy Mountain.

> and should I forget about the Plasticell?

I have a lot of 5.4mm plastic I won't ever use now.  I would.

>And what is the best method for attaching the foundations to the frames?

If you put it in just before the bees use it you can get by with just waxing it in with a wax tube fastener or (if you prefer or if you have frames with the cleats broken out) nail it in.  For this I'd prefer the grooved frames and the tube fastener.

> Wire with eylets?

I've never used eyelets.  I have done horizontal wiring.  When I used 4.9mm wax, I bought deep foundation (unwired) and cut it in half and left the gap at the bottom with two horizontal wires:

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Foundation49.jpg

But you can now buy medium (which you couldn't when I was doing it) and you can buy it with vertical wires already in it.  Try to make sure you buy the right size frames for the foundation if you buy it wired.  It's difficult to cut the wires without breaking the foundation of having the wires pull out.

You can also buy it in 5.1mm.  Unless they are natural sized bees, which most are not, the bees will build the 4.9mm correctly.  That's not to say you can't use 4.9mm foundation, but if you like prettily drawn comb, the 5.1mm will get drawn better for the first shot.  Then you can swap it all out eventually for the 4.9mm.

>So many want to say, but that is not true. Natural cells do not protect against mite.

An even more difficult proposition to prove than the other way around.  A simple experiment will prove shorting capping and post capping times which can't help but reduce Varroa because of their life cycle.

>Feral bees are the worts  which die for varroa in every country wher varroa have arrived..

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm#feralbees
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Michael Bush
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2007, 06:03:20 AM »

All "scientific" examinations of small cell have been limited to the duration of a single honey crop or less.  To see the actual benefits of small cell, or natural cell (letting them build their own) takes 2, if not 3, seasons.  Until some scientist wises up and undertakes a prolonged study the results will remain inconclusive.
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Mici
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2007, 12:06:40 PM »

the only thing that made me sceptical about SC is, when i talked to a beek, who runs a...hmm well some sort of shop, not bee tools, anyway he also sells the press for foundation, and i asked him about SC foundation press. we talked, and he told me that he has bad experience with it. he says, that it all went very well, but after 3 years the mites came back and over run the hives. i talked to Trot about it, and he said the foundation probably wasn't 4,9 but...4,98 or even 5 anyways, not exact. any other suggestions?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2007, 08:21:19 PM »

Dee Lusby says they need to be 4.9mm or smaller in the core of the brood nest.  I've followed that and had good luck. I have not tried to see how big I could get away with, so I couldn't say if 5.0mm or whatever would work.

The old foundation mills from the late 1800's are usually about 5.08mm (five cells to the inch) but they grew after that with A.I. Roots mills from the 1900's at 5.25mm and then eventually most of the US went to 5.4mm while some European countries went as high as 5.6mm or more.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm
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Michael Bush
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2007, 05:25:41 PM »

I have had nothing but good luck with feral bees and small cell
kirk-o
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2007, 07:59:11 AM »

I use permacomb. So does Michael on some of his hives.
http://www.beesource.com/bee-l/bulletinboard/seets/permacomb.htm

Michael's story about getting wax everywhere still makes me laugh. I just prep mine with sugar water and Honey B Healthy.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2007, 10:01:23 AM »

I've discovered that these plastic frames from Mann Lake:
PF120 (medium)
PF100 (deep)
are right around 5.0mm.
http://www.mannlakeltd.com/catalog/proddetails.asp?pg=page10.html

Do NOT get these:
PF500
FP520
which are 5.4mm if you want smaller cells.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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