They are in one of my hives. They definately aren't a swarm from this year because they are in 2 deeps and any 2003 swarms would be in a single. However, it is possible they could have come from a swarm last year. Any colony which I know the queen source of is marked but this is not so the source could be anything.
The frames mainly seem to be white Pierco which means they are most likely over 5 years old because I have been using black recently. Perhaps the cell size has decreased over time but I still have some ancient frames of Duragilt that are much older and I would think would be even smaller.
Maybe this is just one of those weird things. Guess I can keep my eye on them and see if they remain small or if they start getting long and fat.
Having spent so much time trying to regress bees, I'd give them some small cell foundation. You can see how they do on it.
<<Michael, I have been following some of the discussion on Small Cell Beekeeping, and I have been checking out the Suppliers on this side of the pond, none of them have small cell foundation in their catalogue. Where is it available on your side?
I investigated the idea of buying foundation from Dadant and found that they wanted $50-odd to ship 20 sheets to the UK, at which point I abandoned the idea. Thorne's do '4.9/5.0', which is about 5.1; its good as an intermediate stage. After that the best bet might be to make your own mould. Someone should start making simple small cell moulds commercially; I'm sure there would be a market.
I don't have any small cell foundation but I could dip some Pierco in wax. Not sure how well it would stick....pretty sure they spray it with wax. Obviously it would make the cells smaller but I doubt if it would shrink to the 4.9 that everyone seems to be shooting for. Maybe I will just have to try and see what happens.
>I don't have any small cell foundation but I could dip some Pierco in wax. Not sure how well it would stick....pretty sure they spray it with wax. Obviously it would make the cells smaller but I doubt if it would shrink to the 4.9 that everyone seems to be shooting for. Maybe I will just have to try and see what happens.
Actually that won't make the cells smaller. Since the bees build the walls the same thickness anyway and since only the base is there they will end up the same size. In the case of the PermaComb that I'm wax coating, the entire cell wall is there already and I am not coating the foundation, but the inside of the cell itself.
I got some Dadant small cell plastic last night and put it in some Dadant deep frames (with a little space at the bottom). It has a very nice embossing just like wax. A lot of the plastic I have does not have such clear "Y"s in the bottoms of the cells. In about a week I'll put some in a nuc with a hatching queen cell and some shaken small bees and see how they do with it.
I need to pick up some wax at Dadants sometime soon anyway. Guess I can just pick up some of their small cell plastic if they have it on hand.