>Yes, I guess this is turning into a small cell/regression post.>
Remember foundationless and small cell are two different things. Cell size will vary with foundationless (natural cell) as it does in the wild!
They're making what they feel is needed at that time. If they're building it bigger than the majority of the brood cells, it's a good chance they're building it for uses other than brood raising. At least that seems to be the result I see from my hives. I'm still sticking to my guns in saying that mine are gradully getting smaller as I move more frames outward and upward, get rid of the old larger cell frames, and place more empty frames in the middle.
If one keeps doing this over a decent period of time and the results are positive, the net result does end up being regression - each following iteration should produce smaller average cell sizes, if done from the middle out. Maybe I'm at a different timeframe here in this area thatn some of you are. As I said in my post it's still going well here. Perhaps this 'season' may peter out soon if some of yours have, I'll just hope for now that it keeps going for a little while. Note: I'm not feeding any of these colonies.
Keep dreaming. But PLEASE don't try to infect new beekeepers with your fantasies.
What all individuals in a species group "wants" is to spread their genes out into the population to the maximum amount possible. In this case the individual is the hive. They can do this by swarming or by raising drones and spreading their 'seed' that way. A colony can only issue a few swarms a year, but they can issue thousands of drones that have the potential to spread their genetics around. Its all very natural and the way things work. If that has advantages to beekeepers or bees probably depends on whether or not your rearing queens and if you are aggressively culling out the genes you don't want within a 5 mile radius.
as of march 8, they had tested 5 samples from 5 different suppliers (a very small sample). all 5 samples had fluvalinate and coumaphos. see the "maryann frazier video" on our website:
If feral colonies are successful at 5 and 5.1, what makes you think that your own colonies won't be successful at that size. I haven't treated in years, nor lost a colony to varroa in that time, and all of mine are on natural cell size. Forcing them to 4.9 sounds like the same logic that got us to 5.4. As to drawing drone, they only do a frame or so of that. You just move it out of the way and they are happy. I don't see excessive drone rearing in my hives. Mountains out of mole hills mostly.
All those big commercial guys using foundation are the same ones reporting CCD. Maybe it's the foundation?
We're all friends here. We all have opinions and aren't shy about expressing them. I come off as harsh sometimes when I don't really mean to. I just want people to think outside the box and try some new things.
You suggested that by inserting foundationless frames in the brood nest you'd see regression over time. I don't believe it.
I suggested that you keep on dreaming.
Then you indicated that you thought my tone was angry.....'got cut off on the way to work' + a smiley face.
My comments about small cell foundation was only in explanation of why I found it troubling that the small cell folks were misleading new beeks. Didn't have a thing to do with the overall thread.
Dan, so little of what you say makes sense, but that's ok. We're pretty simple folk here. :) The fact that it doesn't work for you is in no way a reflection on you. I never said you sounded angry.
I'm not sure what's up with my cells. Maybe some of them are shrinking. I tried looking on a few websites, but I wasn't able to find anyone else who has run into this shrinking cell phenomenon.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. I don't know what else is up, but I hope your day gets better, and soon.
>does any one have any experience with foundation less frames apposed to pre waxed foundation?
> I'm told they build faster combs on foundation less frames?
>I don't mean to hi-jack this thread, but I'd like to add a question to this. I've been told that when using foundationless frames, the frames must run Norh/South. Is this true?
I've seen no difference.
I got a new nuc from a local Bee Keeper and started a new hive with foundation less frames. Intergrating the 5 frames with foundation. It is going rather well, I have straight combs and good attachments and they even filled a few frames with attachments on all four side. the thing is whereever I had the old foundation frames beside an empty frame, they double the thickness of the comb!
Thats particularly worse where they decided to put honey (corners and side of frames) whereas sections of brood stayed shalower.
What do I do with that? do I shave off thicker part? Remove those frames?
Looking for advice
I've had better results and gotten around that (yes I had one that way early on) by working in the foundationeless frames one at a time in the middle. The fat frame got shaved down - put it next to a drawn comb and it'll work itself out nicely.
Long story made short - shave the fat frames. Try to work them into a slot where they're beside another frame that's already drawn. They'll even them up to match pretty evenly. Scratch the cappings (if there are honey cappings) at the tops of the thin ones. Try if you can to add foundationless one at a time in the middle betweeb two drawn or mostly drawn combs (between capped is absolurtely the best, and yeilds the best results). This is the way in which I was able to get it to work the best for me. By doing this you establish the outer bounds for how wide they'll drawn the new comb. One slot for building of a foundationless comb seemed to work best for me - it focuses the bees building attention on that one frame, otherwise if you just alternate a lot of empty frames in with your drawn frames, they seem to go into the mode of spending as much effort (or even more) extending the honey cap on the drawn frames as, where they should be focusing on drawing that new frame. Add a new empty frame in the middle once a week or so, and keep your eye on what kinds of cells they're building in it. Move the older frames outward and upward as you continue this schedule.
Hope this helps.
Ok I will try that, I did it initially but that really sent the bees in a frenzy and I am not 100% comfortable yet so I figured I did something stupid LOL
Will post updates as I shave the 3 that have gone super size!