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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland FL
    Posts
    846

    Post

    hi guys when regressing the bee i heard that the mites become very bad is this true if so why, and do many comersial beekeepers use small cell?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,120

    Post

    >hi guys when regressing the bee i heard that the mites become very bad is this true

    If they did that would be backwards of the intended result. But according to those expeienced in it, the mites don't get significantly better until you get them regressed. The mites don't get worse because of regression, they just don't get resolved until you get to 4.9mm cells.

    >do many comersial beekeepers use small cell?

    I don't think there are many. There's no funding for a big campaign to convert and it is a huge undertaking to regress thousands of hives.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    804

    Post

    Greetings,

    >hi guys when regressing the bee i heard that the mites become very bad is this true

    Yep. There's nothing to stop the mites from multiplying until they are well established on 4.9, as no treatments are applied.

    Non-contaiminating treatments like powdered sugar would prevent the massive colony losses which have been around 80%. Most small cell beekeepers believe that those loses are necessary to select for a 'small cell survivor'. I went through that process myself and found that approach is based on some faulty assumptions.

    >do many comersial beekeepers use small cell?
    I know of one who would like to incorporate it over time into their operation. But as small cell beekeeping methodology has been presented, very few are interested.

    Economics is the big reason. I can't think of any kind of $250K business that could loose 80% of it's production capacity, and 50% of its assets for a period of 3 to 5 years and survive. Especially when the net gain would be an insignificant cost saving of $5k to $10k per year for chemical treatments.

    Although there is a limited market for 'organic' honey, I doubt that 10s of millions of pounds of it could be sold for a high enough premium to justify the additional expense.

    Most commercial beekeepers are very financially conservative. They have to be, considering the small profit margins they live with. Most are very reluctant to risk their business to a very speculative approach.

    And much about small cell is little better than speculation. Yet, the most obtuse speculations are often fanatically promoted and defended by those with little beekeeping experience. Let alone, small cell experience. This has not been lost by most commercial beekeepers who would label the small cell camp at best as weird and wacky.

    That's unfortunate for small cell does afford a means of controlling mites. But I think much needs to be done to seperate the fact from the fiction in the small cell camp. When that's done, much of the downside of small cell beekeeping will disappear.

    Regards
    Dennis

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