...putting 4 new frames with 4.9 foundation in a strong hive, and coming back 2 weeks later to find 4 frames of almost perfectly drawn 4.9 brood comb. Full to the edges, almost zero drone or misshapen cells, just beautiful 4.9 comb. It has taken 3 years, but it was worth it. Guess which queen gets to donate queen cells this summer?
It is also interesting to note that, as I said, this is a thriving colony, while the one next door to it, which does not draw small cells, is in a varroa crash. I will try to help it with the introduction of small cell comb from other hives, but I won't use chemicals. They can make it naturally or not make it at all. I truly believe that if we coddle them with drugs and dopes, that we only succeed in breeding weaker bees.
Oh, yeah, I did apply the Housel positioning technique. I can't say from this one instance that it helped, but certainly it didn't hurt. I will continue to use this technique all summer, and see if I get generally better combs drawn with it, and then decide if it really makes a difference for me.