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Thread: am i right?

  1. #1
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    just to make sure if i have small cell i do not have to do anything for mites right???? thx

  2. #2
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    I wouldnt count on it!There are a lot of factors involved in how many mites will be in your hives so you need to do some sort of check.I personally am skeptical about the claims of the small cell users.
    -Mike


    [This message has been edited by loggermike (edited December 11, 2003).]

  3. #3
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    The person most associated with successful small cell is the Lusby's. They keep bees in isolated desert high plains and have a particular strain/breed of bee that is adapted for this region. If you read the articles or profile on the lusby's you will learn more. Go to the main page and look for their profile etc.

    I'm not so sure I can duplicate or anyone else, the circumstances that make the lusby's successful. Unless you live where they do. I think its more genetics and selective breeding than small cell.

    My only comment on small cell is that I hope its not needed, that with survivor selection of queens and better genetics.

  4. #4
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    Of the two small cell colonies I started this year, one died out. No cause of death determined.

  5. #5
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    I have 50 hives fully regressed but I still use FGMO fog and cords. After all the work with these hives to get to 4.9 I am to chicken to try no treatments. It took a lot of work to find survivor bees that would live during the process. I might try not using FGMO on 5 of these hives next year to see what happens.
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  6. #6
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    If your hives are alive at this time,there is no point in disturbing them.Just keep in mind that there may be enough mites in the hives to multiply and crash the hives by next summer.So check early next spring and treat if neccessary.If you go into the season with very few mites,there will be time to get a late crop before having to treat.Have you noticed many varroa in the hives this year?In this area ,I hardly saw a mite all season,but I am not letting down my guard!

  7. #7
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    Question

    I am seeing a lot of input from those skeptical about the benefits of 4.9.
    Where are the supporters, particularly the ones not using any treatment?
    Surely the Lusby's are not the only ones using 4.9 and no additional treatments.
    Please speak up and give others some encouraging words if you can!

  8. #8
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    I'm sort of in Clintons position. I worked very hard to get the bees regressed and was using FGMO to keep them alive until I could do so. So far about half of them are totally regressed. I also want to ship bees and want clean bill of health on them. If I get the time to get it all done this next year, I will try some hives with no treatments, but I'm not there yet.

    Swarmtrapper, I would monitor the mite level no matter what else you do. At least until you are confident that it is working for you. Even Dee Lusby says it's only 1/3 cell size. She also says it's 1/3 genetics and 1/3 feed (only real pollen and real honey). She also includes the Housel Positional and culling drone and having a clean (no chemical residues in the hive) system in the 1/3 that is cells. So if you only have small cell going for you, I would be sure to monitor what is going on to tell if it's working for you, even if you aren't treating. If the number of natural mite drops stays low (5 to 10 in 14 hours) then maybe you can not treat. If it gets high, you have a choice of FGMO fog, cords, drone magnet, Oxalic acid etc.


  9. #9
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    so if we have to treat then what is the advantige of small cell??

  10. #10
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    Hi Kurt,

    >I am seeing a lot of input from those >skeptical about the benefits of 4.9.
    >Where are the supporters, particularly the >ones not using any treatment?

    And rightly they should be skeptical. I am an advocate of small cell yet I'm skeptical about many things concerning bees. I have used no treatment for 4 yrs now. The 4 yrs before I used only FGMO the old hard way. Manual application on top bars as there was no fogging method at the time. FGMO worked well even in the old way. But I was really not content to have to crutch bees forever. So I comitteed to small cell 100%. Well the rest is history now. I can tell you any one regressing and not treating should expect 50 to 90% loss. This figure is quite appropriate for anyone breeding for true survivors without chemicals except for it should be 50 to 100% loss, instead of the 90% with small cell. I think half of the loss or even more is due to the regression phase. To be honest some part of me wishes I continued with FGMO till regression was completed. But then you still have to take that step pulling the plug on the chem's. Thats the hardest part I think. I man / woman has to have real conviction here, might I even say "faith". I not taking cristian faith here but well thought out reasoned, studied historical evicence, dug real deep and researched all that is possible. Then says I'm gonna do it or go down trying...... To be honest I'd love to compare the results from you guys that are regressed then pull the plug on the chem's vs. cold turkey and similtaneous regression like I did. I don't say any of this to dishearten any one wanting to try small cell, but it is hard work like anything else, there ain't no free rides, silver bullets, special chants, ect. Only beekeepers who have a view of what they want and will commit to it, good or bad.

    I will write more later, gotta run a the moment.



  11. #11
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    Hi Kurt,

    >I am seeing a lot of input from those >skeptical about the benefits of 4.9.
    >Where are the supporters, particularly the >ones not using any treatment?

    And rightly they should be skeptical. I am an advocate of small cell yet I'm skeptical about many things concerning bees. I have used no treatment for 4 yrs now. The 4 yrs before I used only FGMO the old hard way. Manual application on top bars as there was no fogging method at the time. FGMO worked well even in the old way. But I was really not content to have to crutch bees forever. So I comitteed to small cell 100%. Well the rest is history now. I can tell you any one regressing and not treating should expect 50 to 90% loss. This figure is quite appropriate for anyone breeding for true survivors without chemicals except for it should be 50 to 100% loss, instead of the 90% with small cell. I think half of the loss or even more is due to the regression phase. To be honest some part of me wishes I continued with FGMO till regression was completed. But then you still have to take that step pulling the plug on the chem's. Thats the hardest part I think. I man / woman has to have real conviction here, might I even say "faith". I not taking cristian faith here but well thought out reasoned, studied historical evicence, dug real deep and researched all that is possible. Then says I'm gonna do it or go down trying...... To be honest I'd love to compare the results from you guys that are regressed then pull the plug on the chem's vs. cold turkey and similtaneous regression like I did. I don't say any of this to dishearten any one wanting to try small cell, but it is hard work like anything else, there ain't no free rides, silver bullets, special chants, ect. Only beekeepers who have a view of what they want and will commit to it, good or bad.

    I will write more later, gotta run a the moment.



  12. #12
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    >so if we have to treat then what is the advantige of small cell??

    First, you don't HAVE to treat. The object is to get where you don't, but until the bees are regressed they don't have a fair chance of survival. AFTER they are regressed there is still the issue of genetics. I would try to get survivor bees from swarms or houses or trees. If you catch a swarm, don't kill the queen. Especially if they are obviously feral survivors as evidenced by their small size. If you can't get some feral survivors then try some Russian, Harbo or some other bees with some reputation for good genetic resistence to the mites. Then when you "pull the plug" the bees are in a position to have a fighting chance at survival. Still I would monitor them. If they are failing, try some kind of "soft" treatment and requeen with some different stock. I still fail to see the advantage of letting the bees die. Dead bees have no genes to pass on, but you can stop the "bad" genetics just by requeening.

    The MAIN reason for small cell is that it is natural sized cells. This reduces stress on the bees and gives them a fighting chance against all the pests and diseases.

    I will start trying some hives with no treatments once they are all regressed.

  13. #13
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    Sad

    I appreciate everyone's input.
    I was positioning myself to go small cell, but with the lack of people that are committed to this without treatment I dont think that I can justify the expense.
    I understand all the elements involved. I also understand that before mites my grandfather ran 1000 hives on a larger cell size and never treated.
    I am currently enjoying much success using FGMO. It takes a little time but I am very comfortable with the results and lack of chems.
    My goal in switching to 4.9 was to enjoy the benefit of not having to treat except for Nosema, AFB, Hive beetles etc... There are enough other problems in beekeeping besides Varroa mites.
    I can not replicate what the Lusby's are doing and probably wont as long as I have a regular job.
    I guess I will just keep on doing what I am doing unless someone can give me some realistic hope.

    Thanks, Kurt

  14. #14
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    Even if all you do is only buy 4.9mm foundation from now on and only put that in. If you cull your combs fairly ruthlessly (any empty ones in the spring and move any with no brood above the excluder) you will eventually be on small cell. This is not a painful thing. You have to examine the hive from time to time, so why not just cull the old large cell combs? Eventually you'll get to 4.9mm without any really special effort.

    I agree, the difficult thing is doing complete shakedowns to try to regress quickly.

    Buckeye is now selling small cell packages and I'm selling small cell nucs, so you can start a small cell hive. The difficulty is getting small cell COMB. But if you have small cell bees they will BUILD small cell comb. If you have small cell comb in the center of the brood nest, the bees will build small cell bees. So if you establish a hive with small cell bees (from a package or a nuc of small cell bees) and keep swapping out small cell comb to give to your other hives (put in the center of the brood nest), you'll get there even quicker than just using the 4.9mm foundation.

    Think of it as both a path and a destination. You may get where they are all regressed and you're ready to try no treatments. That's what I hope to do this year or next. But in the meantime you are stressing them less and going to something more natural.

  15. #15
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    how many mites dose small cell get rid of 50%? 75%? dose anyone have a rough estiment? thanks

  16. #16
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    Swarm trapper,
    You should look at small cell as just one item of your IPM (integrated Pest Management) plan.

    Screened botton board
    Essential oil
    FGMO
    yearly requeening
    Strain selection in buying queens
    Survivor selection in raising your own bees
    Chemical rotation and proper application
    Small cell
    Testing and diagnosing deseases
    and others I'm missing at the moment.

    The above items should be used in conjuction with each other to come up with a plan that you are comfortable with. Taking into account time, money, tolerance of chemicals, etc. No one item is the silver bullet.

    For me its SBB, oil application although not fogging, and queen selection. I will also raise more of my own bees/queens taken from my own surviving bees. For the next person it will be different, but you need to implement what your comfortable with. Small cell is one area or item to consider. #1 reason for dead bees is poor beekeeping and not being on top of things.

    [This message has been edited by BjornBee (edited December 12, 2003).]

  17. #17
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    how many mites dose small cell get rid of 50%? 75%? dose anyone have a rough estiment?
    My Answer:
    I have 50 hives that are fully regressed to 4.9 and in comparing the records of these hives to my other hives that are down to 5.2 there seems to be a drop of about 40% in V mites with almost the same in T mites. Then comparing to 250 hives that are on about 5.6 to the hives that are on 5.2 there is another 20 % drop in mites. I currently have 200 hives on 5.2 and this spring will again shake them down again hopfully to 4.9 and shake another 200 hives down to the 5.2 that I will remove from my other hives when I shake them. I feel that small cell is working for me and my bees even though I use FGMO as an additional help.
    Clint (with 503 hives and 36 years of learning)

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  18. #18
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    swarm trapper writes:

    so if we have to treat then what is the advantige of small cell??

    reply:

    You don't have to treat using 4.9, but you have to understand that there will be some loss due to the regression. I am personally at the stage where I don't have to treat anymore.

    how many mites dose small cell get rid of 50%? 75%? dose anyone have a rough estiment? thanks

    reply:

    Well In Erik Erickson study of small cell, this was on 5.0 cell sizing. He measured a drop of about 80% (if memory serves me right). He was using both african and EHB's. The results were just slightly better for african bees. Both survived on 5.0mm. These same bees were placed back on large cell and they both began to crash, they used chemical treatments to save the bees.


  19. #19
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    Wink

    OK Clayton, I think that I have got it now!

    I apparently didnt do a very good job of reading your earlier post. I missed that part about you NOT treating for the last 4 years.
    Your are trying to let us know that anyone in the regression phase of 4.9 will have to expect to treat due to the fact that the bees are not at their natural size yet and do not have the full benefits of being smaller.
    Once bees are fully regressed no Chems are needed from your viewpoint, but IPM is still recommended.
    If small cell bees are purchased and put on 4.9 foundation then the regression phase has been eliminated and chems may not be necessary.
    Does that sum it up?
    Sounds like you are the only one who is fully regressed and not treating! Way to go!

    Thanks again, Kurt

  20. #20
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    Clayton,
    You probably mentioned it somewhere else but could you tell us how many hives you have? BTW what end of the state is Crown Point at? I'm in Ct 60 (crow flies) miles from NYC.

    Dick Marron

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