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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Martin, Michigan
    Posts
    61

    Question

    Why is small cell foundation not recommended for new beekeepers? The Dadant catalog states "suggested for use by experienced beekeepers only". WHY? How long does one need to keep bees before they are "experienced"? I have kept bees for about three years and feel like experimenting a bit. Should I wait until I have more experience?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    The catalog people probably doesn't realize you have a vast knowledge base to utilize and pull information from, such as this website.

    Experience to me is defined by asking two questions. One, do you have the proper information to move forward? Two, do you have the confidence in yourself to do it? "Failings" is always a good teacher but not if your just repeating someone else's efforts without building on whats available to you.

    From my "experience" I say have fun.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Post

    If you intend to use small cell as your only form of mite control, and especially if you have large cell bees now, it takes some experience and understanding to actually get them converted to natural sized "small cell" foundation. That is the reason for that disclaimer.

    My reccomendation is that everyone should always buy small cell and in a few years it won't be an issue, but if you want to get your bees totatlly regressed back to natural size, this may require more work and understanding of the principles.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Post

    Dee Lusby says that small cell is only one third of biological beekeeping. Its more than just the cells, and if you use only small cells, you are likely to fail.

    ------------------
    Sol Parker
    Southern Oregon Apiaries

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,340

    Post

    I would recomend starting out with, and continuing with small cell foundation regardless. No real adjustments are necessary.

    But if you want to have a biological system of raising bees, it does require several regressions to get to small cell and several other principals to succeed at controling the mites without other intervention.

    If you want to understand this read the POV section by Dee and Ed Lusby.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    Sol Parker wrote:
    Dee Lusby says that small cell is only one third of biological beekeeping. Its more than just the cells, and if you use only small cells, you are likely to fail.

    Reply:
    This is true. Small cell is the base and the starting point, but natural food with no artificial feeding of syrups and artificial pollen is necessary also. Basically you and your bees are what you/they eat.Also you need to learn basic breeding, breeding parameters also change as cell size changes.

    So 1/3 is cell size (environment and its proper Housel Positioning) 1/3 is diet or healthy eating (wider range of plants to pollenate is better diet to choose from and it also makes for better propolis collected for fighting secondary infections) 1/3 is breeding (better outbreeding here as the aerodynamics of the bees change.)

    Beekeepers need to be up on all three.

    Regards,

    Dee A. Lusby

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