> In order to give this treatment a thorough evaluation I feel it must
> be tested in different regions and in different apiaries. It must be
> tested side by side with control hives (non-treatment or other
> treatment hives). The method of setting up an apiary to test a
> treatment can be debated but a significant reduction in varroa must
> be shown between treatment and non-treatment hives in the same apiary.
> The bottom line, however, is that it doesn't matter. If a technique
> works, a theory for why it works is not necessary and can be
> generated at some later point.
We all need to hear what you just said. The discussion we are having on
small cell size in relation to being an effective method for mite treatment
at the very least, is good. Everyone is expressing their own feeling about
the subject but many times I read remarks that show very little to no
reading of existing information on this topic has been done, even though
it's readily available for all on the web.
This technique of keeping bees on 4.9mm cells is working as the Lusby's are
living proof. You can debate why it's working but not the fact that "it" is
working and has been for quite a few years with their production growing
every year. I find it to be such a common practice among certain people on
this list to always want to find the fault with something or someone instead
of whatever good can be found. The FACT is that the Lusby's themselves state
right in the article that all can read, if only they would do it, I quote:
"This shows breeding is not all the solution. We figure comb is 1/3, diet is
1/3 and breeding is 1/3. Comb must be put in by half (5) to full boxes to
I get the feeling that most people think all you need to do is throw a bunch
of 4.9 foundation in their hives and the mites will disappear. No where in
all the info that is posted about the Lusby's work is a claim made that 4.9
cell size will rid a hive of mites, no where. Yet a lot of people are using
this assumption in their reasoning. Broad statements are made where finer
details need to be understood. The mites are still in their hives but at
extremely low levels. They also feel that by having their bees on a natural
size that has no chemical residues in the wax or honey, (go and read the
literature for their definition of natural) gives the bee a better standing
to deal with secondary diseases.
This same article shows that "a significant reduction in varroa must be
shown between treatment and non-treatment hives in the same apiary."
I quote from it:
"On 11 September Dr. Eric H. Erickson, the director of the Carl Hayden Bee
Research Facility in Tucson, Arizona, went with us to two bee locations, in
unisolated areas, to test for both tracheal mites and Varroa mites. Samples
taken in the center of the brood nest also contained drones where possible.
We choose unisolated locations because we wanted to show him, to beat the
problem, one must be able to accomplish business as normal in doing bee
management within the field. Please note that beekeepers around us have
severely lost bees, as we ourselves have, to both mites over the years. When
taken, several adjacent yards within 2 miles were being treated, crashing,
or being fed to keep them alive. Our bees were building; and at the Carmen
yard were very fast drawing new foundation."
Granted, this is not a "controlled" study, but enough there to warrant a
scientific research with further studies on small cell size. Let's start
putting our energy into soliciting Dadant to produce 4.9 foundation and our
scientists (logically this should be Dr Erickson) to pick up the research on
this again. As someone else wrote, let's put up or shut up. If both of these
contacts received sincere requests of those mentioned, I'll bet wheels would
turn. They won't if all they hear is silence. I challenge everyone to act.
> Granted, this is not a "controlled" study, but enough there to warrant a
> scientific research with further studies on small cell size. Let's start
I need to add to this.
I have talked with the Lusby's about their work and many times they have
pointed out to me that they are beekeepers that work the field and know the
field methodology. They are able to make it work in the field and are more
than happy to show anyone how it's done. They have put forth their own ideas
and reasons as to *why* it works, but it is not up to them to prove it in
the lab. Their simple approach to the lab is, "you tell us why it works."
They shouldn't have to do both. So in our discussion about their ideas,
remember, they have done their part to make it work in the field. It's the
lab side that is weak. They are "pleading" (my word) to have their work
scrutinized and tested by the labs. Ask that Dr. Erickson and his lab would
pick up the research they were doing a few years back on the small cell and
test the Lusby's bees. That would be a start and a quick indication to
whether or not there is really something to the smaller cell that factors
into the Lusby's method.
I forgot to include contact info last time so here it is.
Dr. Eric H. Erickson
work: 520-670-6380 X104 http://gears.tucson.ars.ag.gov
Carl Hayden Bee Research Center
DADANT & SONS, INC. (main office)
51 South 2nd St.
Hamilton, IL 62341-1399
Toll Free Order: 1-800-637-7468 (7am-4pm CT)
Fax: 217-847-3660 (24 Hr.)
Contact regarding foundation: Jerry Hayes