View Full Version : mesurement
02-17-2004, 08:08 AM
hey guys just wondering how do you mesure the width of the cell?
02-17-2004, 08:39 AM
Measure ten cells across a parallel wall. Divide by 10.
02-17-2004, 09:09 AM
For best accuracy do as he said in all three directions (horizontal and both diagonals) and then average the three.
02-17-2004, 09:32 AM
This will give you the original comb sizing as built. Is there any trick to measure the actual cell size being used, taking into the sizing down over time from use. As with older comb. The width of the ten cells always stays the same but not the cell opening. Thank you.
Scot Mc Pherson
02-17-2004, 01:38 PM
*If* the width of the cell walls remain relatively constant, and its only the opening that appear to get thicker, than the cells per inch measurement continues to remain valid, since the walls do not change much.
There is only one easily accessible method of measuring cell size in the field. There are lots of modern ways to do it, but they are too expensive for most beekeepers, or too geeky, or not really doable in the field.
The "field" method would be to take a razor and cut out a square of comb. Don't measure the opening, but measure the the cell size from the side edges. Use a micrometer, and near zero force since the wax is maliable (easily shaped).
If you want to take the time to bring some comb home and you want to put together a very simple labratory, one could procure a simple but strong argon or xenon laser from a place like Edmund Scientific and a light meter from a camera shop. Shoot the laser though the comb perpendicular to the plane of the "foundation". Using a moving platform, one could measure how far the comb has to travel to get some worst translucency to worst translucency. Once you are "inside the wall" the translucency should be unformly poor. Laser costs somethign like $300 and the light meter $50.
Another labratory method is to use a microscope with a graduated scale on the platform and crosshaired eye-peice, one would just like the laser move the comb beneath the objective lens until one travelled from one wall to the other.
I just thought of another field measurement one could take, but it would require buying or having a machinist build some circular guages for you. Procure some probes that are of regular diamterand marked well. for example. 6mm, 5.95mm, 5.9mm, 5.85mm ..... 4.9mm, 4.85mm, 4.8mm. Gently insert the probes until you find the probe that fits snugly into the comb without breaking it, if you can wiggle the guage inside the cell, you know the opening is narrower than the cell itself and you can insert a larger guage (which breaks the cell opening at the center of the 6 sides only), until you get a guage that is snug, doesn't wiggle and doesn't break the cell walls. This would take some practice to learn, but its the most realistic form of field measuring I can think of.
Scot Mc Pherson
"Linux is a Journey, not a Guided Tour" ~ Me
"Do or not do, there is no try" ~ Master Yoda
02-17-2004, 02:04 PM
I'm not sure about the first comment starting with "if". I would conclude that the "caccoon" (proper name eludes me) is throughout the cell. I am puzzled as to where this is coming or going. Some books reference changing comb after a number of years, and suggest the cells become smaller and smaller with each brood cycle.
I did like your ideas how to measure and all. Just amazes me that no real research or past measurements are available anywhere. Seems that its important to know what size comb bees make, but data on actual cell size producing bees is less important or data is unknown.
02-17-2004, 02:06 PM
They make a tool for use in tool and die that will work. They make many different sizes of collar measuring peices because they can not measure great distance(the small you get the smaller the distance each can measure).I used one that would go down to 9-12mm to the hundreth.
Scot Mc Pherson
02-17-2004, 02:15 PM
actually bjorn I was using *IF*, because of your previous statement, and I quote:
"The width of the ten cells always stays the same but not the cell opening."
I only inserted the IF, because I am not sure about that or not either.
Scot Mc Pherson
02-17-2004, 02:16 PM
that's just called a micrometer. Micrometers come in different shapes and sizes. The most common ones are OD and ID (outside diameter and inside diameter)
02-17-2004, 04:53 PM
I have tried this and, as already stated, the problem is that the cell wall is very fragile and it's hard not to squash in in the process of measuring it. Also, it's difficult to get a micrometer in, so you have to cut the wall out from the comb and not deform it when you do that.
A cell wall withouth the cocoons is about .1 mm. This is my measurment but is also documented here:
Unfortunately I don't know what the thickness of a cocoon added to it is. I would love to see some research on how long it takes (in brood cycles) to get small enough that the bees chew it back out.