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Thread: Beespace

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hotlanta, GA
    Posts
    475

    Question

    Sorry if this question has been asked before.

    Do you find that after regressing bees to 4.9, they are more likely to build more burr comb and connect everything? Seems like there would be more 'relative' beespace between frames if you have smaller bees with the same size hive and frames. Just a thought.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    804

    Post

    Hi Branman,

    My small cell bees preferred a bee space of about 5/16". Anything wider got reduced. I have taken some shots showing them reducing the normal beespace at:
    http://www.bee-l.com/biobeefiles/dennis/index.htm

    Click on the thumbnails for a larger view and a description.

    Regards
    Dennis

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,127

    Post

    From everything I can find a natural sized bee spaces combs 1 1/4" and the "enlarged" bees most people raise are spaced 1 3/8". You can find the spacing from before the enlarged comb in Francis Huber's writings from the late 1700's at 1 1/4". I have seen modern writers commenting how accurate Huber's measurments had been and how surprised they were that this measurment was wrong. Of course it's not wrong, it's the natural spacing of comb for a natural sized bee. This is a 1/16" less on each side of the comb, than the enlarged bees. I think it's pretty close to say that the beespace of natural sized bees is 1/16" less than enlarged bees. I figure it at between 1/4" to 5/16". Instead of 1/4" to 3/8".

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    london uk
    Posts
    3

    Question

    BWrangler, what do the photos entitled genetic bottleneck show?
    It appears to be some sort of disease, is this anything to do with cell size?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    804

    Post

    Hi Tessa,

    The pictures are of a nasty disease called parafoul brood. It starts out like european foulbrood. Goes through phases like american foul combined with chalkbrood

    I used the term genetic bottleneck to refer to any process that restricts or reduces genetic variability. In my case it was doing the typical bee regression to get small cell hives.

    One of the assumptions of small cell regression is that the survivors coming out of the process will represent the best combination of genes for survival. And that these bees will form the basis for expansion. In reality, that may not be the case and it wasn't for my bees. My bees which survived the mites were extremely susceptible to foulbrood.

    For a more detailed look go to:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BiologicalBeekeeping/

    Click on the message section and then search for genetic bottleneck.

    Unfortunately much of what I was trying to convey was confused with inbreeding by some of the participants.

    And a few took personal offense at my suggestion that the 'survivors' might not represent the best type of bee, especially for beekeepers with just a few hives. Occasionally, the term is used still used contemptously.

    Regards
    Dennis

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Hotlanta, GA
    Posts
    475

    Post

    BWrangler,

    Sorry for having to leave the chat. Your comments on small cell were read and appreciated. Hopefully we can chat another time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    393

    Post

    Hi BWrangler

    I was just looking at your parafoul pictures. It looks familiar to something I have been seeing. Ive had some foulbrood this summer and at a quick glance thought this was it too but when I standing at the fire and looking closer it didnt really fully add up to foulbrood.

    Larvae generally didnt appear to have reached a capped stage but turned rotten/brown before then....like EFB but the larvae seemed to be older than what I am accustomed to with EFB. At that point it appears to start decomposing rather like AFB and it will even string out if you twist a stick in it. But it doesnt string far and then the whole larvae usually but not always seems to pop out of the cell unlike AFB. But it does have a foul smell. Farther down the road, it seems to turn to a dark, hard substance that is a cross between a scale and chalk.

    Does that sound about the same? Just what I didnt want. So far most of it has gone to the fire anyway.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    804

    Post

    Hi Guys,

    That sounds just like the stuff I saw in my hives. Without treatment it is deadly. I watched a hive go from three boxes full of bees to dead in about a month.

    I dusted my remaining hives with 3 rounds of tetra and requeened with different stock. The tetra allowed the bees time to clean up the mess. And the different stock was not so susceptible. That solved the problem for me.

    If I had not treated, I would have no living hives today. That's how bad this stuff is.

    I picked the disease up when I purchased a couple of nucs. Had I known then what I know now about this disease, I would have burnt them on the spot. But I misidentified the earliest symptoms as European foul which has never caused much problem for me and allowed the disease to spread.

    Most of my small cell survivors were extremely susceptible to it while some of the commercially avaible stock was extremely resistant.

    Regards
    Dennis

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    393

    Post

    OOOO how joyful.

    It sorta appeared TM resistant to me but I dont know that as fact and I have been AFB paranoid lately. Glad it hit the fire. It seems to have originated in colonies headed by SMR queens raised last year but have no idea why or if I just havent spotted it in other colonies. I noticed it after breaking the colonies down to mating nucs. It must be awful strong stuff.....the new queens couldnt turn over the population fast enough to fight it off. And they are my most hygenic queens...AFB has never bothered them before but I have always tested them at full strength not as nucs.

    Thanks for the info

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    804

    Post

    Hi Wineman,

    I thought it was tm resistant at first also. Still could be. But I think it just takes much longer to clean up as it infects larva across a wider age range. It decimates the hive alot faster for the same reason. And that combination is very hard for the bees to overcome.

    Regards
    Dennis

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    393

    Post

    Hi BWrangler

    I usually dont get real excited about AFB having given it to some of my breeders and drone mothers in the past to see what happened. However, I was a touch paranoid this summer and didnt really give the TM much of a chance. Too much resistance around these parts. From the sounds of it, burning was a good option.


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