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Thread: Cell size

  1. #1
    BILLY BOB Guest

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    Hi all,

    Dee this is a question I hope you can help me with. I've came in contact with several wild hives in trees where the cell size was 4.9mm. Both times the bees were of the A.M.M. (German Black Bee).

    Yesterday I found some fresh hanging "natural" cone from a hive that I would say is more Italian than anything. The cone came out to be 5.4mm.

    Now the "Italian" cone came out of a hive that was on 5.4mm. So mabe they were just working on just like normal (or what they had done before).

    My question is does cell size not only have to do with the location of the hive but also the race of the bee?

    Thanks

    Billy Bob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    Billy Bob:

    You wrote:My question is does cell size not only have to do with the location of the hive but also the race of the bee?

    Reply:
    Cell size has a lot to do with the race of the bees concerned, and also latitude/altitude.

    Complicating this is the fact that it also has to do with the time of the active year it is being drawnout in too. Certain times the bees on swarming and re-establishing will go for the honey first and then the brood. Other times and normally, they will go for the brood. This too is race dependent to some extent.

    You are right in thinking that Italian are bigger in temperate zones compared to blacks in the feral state trying to go back to the wild. But I don't think as big as you are seeing here.

    Sounds more like an absconded domestic swarm from bigger comb.

    Good luck on collecting your swarms. Hope you get a lot of them going and transferred over.

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby



  3. #3
    BILLY BOB Guest

    Post

    Thanks Dee!

    I had one swarm of Iyalian's from one of my hives that came from 5.4mm. When I found them I shook them into a nuc with 4.9mm and they took right to it. that was 2 months ago and now I have them in two deeps.

    I'm changing over all my hives (slow going). It's a real shock when you look at bees from one hive with 5.4 and then open a hive with 4.9. The honey flow has slowed here, but the smaller bees look to be doing better. I read somthing from you once about smaller bees being able to work smaller flowers that larger bees can't. I'm using FGMO fogger once a month now, and planning on next spring to go chem. free.

    Billy Bob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    Hi Billy Bob

    You wrote:
    I'm changing over all my hives (slow going). It's a real shock when you look at bees from one hive with 5.4 and then open a hive with 4.9.

    Reply:
    Yes, it can be a shock, but it can also be a real learning experience to note the differences between the two as to how they store honey and pollen and manage the brood.

    Billy bob also wrote:
    The honey flow has slowed here, but the smaller bees look to be doing better. I read somthing from you once about smaller bees being able to work smaller flowers that larger bees can't. I'm using FGMO fogger once a month now, and planning on next spring to go chem. free.

    Reply:
    Glad you are going to go chemical free. It's the only way to go and the healthiest for you too when eating hive products.

    Yes, smaller bees can work many more plants that bigger bees cannot. Most of these smaller plants are herbals too and very healthy for the bees to be working.

    Smaller bees also work better trumpet shaped flowers with long necks, being able to get down inside deeper.

    To check this out, you need to compare the pollen colors in your colonies between those of 5.4 size and 4.9. I think if you look you will find more pollen colors from various plants in the 4.9mm colony to show a more varied diet which is better for health.

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby


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