>>>> Allen Dick wrote:
>> We have asked you to prove that bees have been increased in size
>> significantly during the 20th century by use of artificially large
Okay, it appears that we agree on this one now, since Mark Otts went and
posted excerpts from some of the articles that are on the web site showing a
definite and purposefully increase in cell size. You made no negative
comment about it nor challenged it so I hope this is a point we might agree
> You know, I have been looking all over for the rest of the second quote above
>> The quality were NOT heritable/hereditary so that a swarm from a beehive
>> with cells of 700 in freedom goes back to 734 cells and after that goes back
>> to 835 to 870 cells
> Using the chart at http://www.internode.net/HoneyBee/Misc/CellCount.htm, these
> numbers translate to about 5.75 mm, 7.4 mm, and 5.25 to 5.15 mm respectively.
> The last numbers are what I consider to be the natural size
The quote above, from the book in Dutch, makes it clear that the bee can not
go from large to small in one giant step (regression). I don't think we can
assume that this quote is complete. It may even go on to say yet another
higher number of cells, I don't know. It doesn't really matter for this
point. Only that there is a step down in size by the bee when given the
freedom to do so. It also tells us that the bee, if left to its own, will
regress itself down to a size that is "natural." Nature goes for small. In
nature, no one gives the bees new wax after a few years so combs become used
and cells get smaller from many rounds of brood rearing, and smaller drones
fly faster and catch the virgins first. So you get selection for smallness.
I assume we also agree on this point?
It appears we can then narrow down our differences to just "what I consider
to be the natural size." I think here is where we differ with the
"interpretation" of the literature.
> worker comb measures very nearly five cells to the inch on an average. Some
> specimens average a little larger, and some a little smaller;
One should note that Root is making reference to "average" in all three
examples. The larger and smaller cells are not looked at as being unusual,
but still average. Five cells to the inch gives the measurement of a single
cell, 5.1 mm. Is an average smaller size 5.0 - 4.9? Is an average larger
size 5.2 - 5.3? One would have to speculate here as it's not stated in this
I also note here that in 1898, a correction from Thos. Wm. Cowan was given
to Mr. Root about his use of "average." I quote:
"Dear Mr. Root:- On page 144 you refer to the "number of cells or worker
comb to the linear inch.'' Will you kindly look at my "The Honey-bee; its
Natural History, Anatomy, and Physiology"? On page 180 you will see that I
say, "The average size of a worker-cell between the parallel sides is 1/5 of
an inch, or 0.2 (a printer's error makes it 0.02; but it is two-tenths of an
inch). Then I go on, "We say 'average,' because considerable variation
exists in different parts of the same comb, as both Reaumur and Huber
found." I then go on to summarize the large number of measurements I took;
and if you will read the details you will see what a variation there is. You
say, "It has been said over and over again in bee-books and bee-journals,
that there are five cells of worker comb to the inch, so that we have come
to believe it;'' also that Cook is the only authority you have run across
who says worker-cells are a little more than 1/5 inch; but in my book you
will find that, out of 36 measurements that were taken, I found the greatest
aggregate diameters of any one series of ten cells to amount to 2.11 inches,
which you see makes them considerably larger than 1/5 inch. On the other
hand, the least came to 1.86, which makes them smaller."
Again, we are still talking average. And within the average size is a range
that the bee will use. 2.11 inches to 1.86 inches. That's 5.36 mm to 4.72
mm. 4.9 is in this natural (average) range, is it not? What the Lusby's have
done by using the 4.9 cell size is to help the bees to use one of their
smaller natural sizes to be able to deal with the mite on their own without
the use of any chemicals. All the numbers are out there for all to read and
I don't think I'm off base in my reading of these articles. I know you think
the same about your interpretation. We should realize, though, that what you
and I are talking about is just theory. A matter of opinion and
interpretation. What can't be overlooked is reality. The Lusby's are *in*
reality, but have offered their theory as to how it works.
We now have the tool (4.9 foundation) to test this theory. One can stay in
theory and debate indefinitely, or, pick up some 4.9 foundation and see what
reality is. People will believe reality over theory.
> Back to the quote again: I gather that immediately after removal from the
> monster foundation combs, in the quote they go to 7.4, and then in a
> generation or so, to 5.2 and then stay there, according to this source?
The portion of the quote is all I have. Don't know what follows. Perhaps one
of our European friends could find this book and let us know.