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Thread: mites

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Pensacola, Fla
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    55

    Post

    Has any one in N. W. Fla started to use the 4.9 mm foundation for mite control? If so, with what success? Tried to order 4.9 foundation and was discouraged from taking this route for control

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    Who tried to discourage you? Don't be discouraged, but do the thing properly (see Dee Lusby's pages on this site under 'POV') and see how you get on. Sizing down isn't simple, but others have done it successfully, and I haven't yet heard anyone regretting it. Just be sure to monitor mite counts so you know what's going on.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
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    971

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    I also would like to know who discouraged you? Of all the reading I have done from pre 1940's books indicates that cells have been enlarged. With Wedmore and Philips stating 5 cells to the inch giving approx, 5.0mm cell size. Regression is a tough road. But no one at this stage can say it doesn't work! The Lusby's have 700 colonies and will have around 1000 this season. If crashing were to occur it would have done so by now. With all the options I'd go with the one that has live bees at the end.

    regards,

    Clay

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    What edition of Wedmore do you have, Clay? I have the 1946 version, which says that 'Foundation running 5 cells to the inch is not the best for the larger strains and that running 4 3/4 per inch is not large enough to give the best results with the largest bees.' It sounds as though he may have revised his figure at some point. My 1924 edition of Cowan's book gives 5 cells to the inch. His figure for cells per square inch checks out to two decimal places, so I imagine he's accurate. That would put the era of cell enlargement in the UK after the First World War, when the assumption was that acarine disease had wiped out our native bees, and the policy was to encourage beekeepers to move over from skeps to moveable frame hives, and import Italian bees. It's an interesting period in beekeeping history, and maybe, by comparing different editions of some of these old books, we could learn more about what was happening.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Pensacola, Fla
    Posts
    55

    Post

    I contacted the supplier of the 4.9mm foundation and did not get any encouragement to try it. One person kept telling me it was for raising drones. Also questions raised about humidity comparisons between this area and Arizona as a real factor in success of smaller foundation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    This fellow doesn't know what he's on about, drones use bigger foundation, not smaller. If nobody's tried 4.9 in Florida, and it doesn't look as though they have, then how do they know that it wouldn't work? Somebody's showing off their ignorance here, don't take any notice. Maybe they just don't want to order a small quantity of the foundation?

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com

    [This message has been edited by Robert Brenchley (edited January 16, 2002).]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Pensacola, Fla
    Posts
    55

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    Robert B. Premis was that the humidity in N.W. Fla. was so completely opposite of Arizona that the work done by the Lusbys did not have any application in this area. As for the drone comment - this was made by a person answering the telephone and taking orders. I had a feeling after talking to two reps. of the Co. that I better not order 4.9mm foundation - cited contact with hundreds of bee keepers in Fla. as source of his info. Roy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

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    I wonder whether these 'hundreds of beekeepers' exist? The reality is that at the moment there aren't a lot of us trying small cell. I'm several thousand miles away; doubtless there's someone nearer at hand who can answer this one better than I can

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

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    Hi Roy,

    What the reps are telling you is a bunch of hog wash. 4.9 is not for raising drones! I very much doubt there is 100 beekeepers in the USA that use 4.9 cell sizing. If they did they very likely wouldn't have the parasitic mite problems they now have. As for humidity, I really don't see what that has to do with the use of 4.9. It seems clear that people either don't know what they are talking about or are deliberayely trying to steer you away from this. As for 100's of beekeepers in Florida using 4.9, I'd sooner bet there isn't even one. But that one could be you!

    Clay

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Pensacola, Fla
    Posts
    55

    Post

    Thanks everyone for the encouragement; will begin with swarms on 4.9mm this spring. Roy

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    Let us know how you get on, and if possible the 'normal' comb size in your area. I'm guessing that swarms are likely to be escapes, and I'd be interested to know how far they will regress. Last year I put a swarm from one of my own 5.4 hives onto 4.9 strips, and ended up with a hive of 5.25mm comb. If I'd given them sheets of foundation, they might have gone further.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

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