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  1. #41
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    My experience with small cell is VERY limited. A few years back some people were jumping on the small cell bandwagon making all kinds of claims for the littler bees. Some of those claims were, at the time, coming from people who had not yet even tried them. Frankly, I remained skeptical. Three years ago, I was provided with a couple of packages of Caucasians that had supposedly been 'regressed'. I put them on small foundation. One hive never did much of anything except to try and supercede the queen. The other hive built up nicely and overwintered ok. But then my 'standard' bees overwintered pretty well that year, too due to a milder than usual winter. The poorer small cell hive did not make it through the winter.

    Next summer mites began showing up in the 'standard' bees. In the small cell hive I didn't see many. A few on some uncapped drone brood, but nothing serious. The small cell bees did come down with what appeared to be EFB, though. They did not survive the following winter which was a more typical Anchorage winter. FWIW.

  2. #42
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    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
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    >>Mountaincamp, OK, I stand corrected! But, the “non commercial treatments” you mention are ingredients that can be found in commercial mite treatments in this and other countries. I admit to being duped, the loophole was crafty enough to fool me to thinking you were organic.

    -Naturebee, you may want to go back again and check your facts again, I have never claimed anywhere that I am organic. I do not use checkmite or apistan, and have not for over 7 years, as I have stated a number of times.
    I have also plainly and clearly stated what treatments I have used, and when they were used. So again go back and check your facts.
    I know of no commercially produced mite treats that use only wintergreen and spearmint oils. Which is all I have used for the last 4 years, except as noted for an OA trickle treatment that I tried this past December.
    I also know of no commercially produced OA solution for drip application. But, it is also my understanding (I will have to go back and find the source) that since OA occurs naturally in honey and many plants, that it is one of the few mite treatments that is permitted under the “organic” regulations, depending maybe on where you are. If anyone else can remember the source, please let me know. Thank you,

    >>I am a strong proponent for truth in advertising. Speaking for myself now, I wouldn’t feel comfortable basing claims on crafty word sculpturing, even if technically sort of true.

    Well, here is where the meat hits the pan. If we really want to get technical, how have you made your organic claim?
    Have you been state certified as organic?
    Are you isolated in your bee yards from all outside sources of contaminates?
    Are there any other bee yards within 2 – 3 miles of your yards?
    Is there any pesticide use within 2 – 3 miles of your yards?
    Are there any commercial fertilizers applied to any crops within 2 -3 miles of your yards?
    Are there any genetically engineered crops grown within 2 – 3 miles of your yards?

    Your claim of “Using humane and holistic beekeeping methods”, have the people at PETA, who claim beekeeping in general is inhumane, cleared your operation?

    Now let’s get back to the article on stress and bees from the USDA papers. The claim that from the research that was done, the natural size of a cell is in the 5.1 – 5.2 range and cells smaller than that can cause defects. Any comments?

    Last but definitely not least, before you make statements that call my integrity or intentions into question, you better have your facts and information correct and in-line.

  3. #43
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    Apr 2002
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    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
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    <I did not say that the would stay truly pure. I said “….but drones tended to mate assortatively….. ….This IMO helps to keep the true ferals breeding to a large degree separate from the domestics…..>

    I GUESS DRONES ARE NOT LIKE THE REST OF THE ANIMAL / INSECT KINGDOMS.

    BUT MY UNDERSTANDING OF MATING BETWEEN DRONES AND QUEENS IS THAT IT IS DRIVEN BY PHEROMONES. THE PHEROMONES ARE WHAT ATTRACTS THE DRONES TO THE QUEEN, THE STRONGEST MOST AGGRESSIVE DRONES ARE THE ONES THAT MATE, AND THAT MULTIPLE DRONES WILL MATE THE SAME QUEEN.
    MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT THE DRONES FLY UP TO ABOUT 3 KILOMETERS AND QUEENS ALITTLE LESS THAN THAT FROM THE HIVE.
    MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE MATING ACT IT WOULD BE HARDER FOR A SMALLER DRONE TO MATE A LARGER QUEEN, BUT A LARGER DRONE WOULD HAVE NOT TROUBLE MATING A SMALLER QUEEN.
    I HAVE TO TAKE BACK THE FIRST STATEMENT, ABOUT DRONES, AS PER PAGE 352 OF THE HIVE AND THE HONEY BEE: “DRONES EVEN MATED WITH DEAD QUEENS IF THE TIP OF THE ABDOMEN WERE REMOVED, LEAVING A CAVITY, OR IF A WOOD QUEEN MODEL WITH A SUITABLE OPENING WAS PRESENTED TO FLYING DRONES”.
    OH WELL.

  4. #44
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    Aug 2002
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    The rationale for why AHB is taking over is the smaller drones are faster and catch the larger queens more easily than the larger EHB drones.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #45
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    I am afraid I am getting in a pattern in talking in circles here,...
    Joe, my response to your latest post lay in my all my recent posts,..

    I dont like ideas that elaberate on themselves,..

    so long for now
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  6. #46
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  7. #47
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    Joe your link doesnt work
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  8. #48
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  9. #49
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  10. #50
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    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    >> Anyone else with extensive small cell knoledge back this up.
    >> Not trying to discredit you here Joe, but I am not familiar enough
    >> with small cell bees to believe it to be true.

    Hi Ian -

    I can vouch for this as Joe has said. I never saw this uncapping until I had bees on SC.

    - Barry
    Regards, Barry

  11. #51
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Before regressing I saw an occasional uncapping and wondered what it was about. When I asked other beekeepers several though it was cannibalism during a pollen dearth, but there was no pollen dearth. But after regressing I see a lot more of it and it seems more purposeful and less random.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #52
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  13. #53
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    Dec 1999
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    Joe -

    One has to be a member of these groups to view files, at least Norlandbeekeepers. I'm not going to go through the membership gauntlet just to view a file. If you want us to read a citation, email it to me and I'll post it on beesource for all to read.

    Regards,
    Barry
    Regards, Barry

  14. #54
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    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
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    NATUREBEE
    – YOU STILL HAVE NOT ADDRESSED ANY OF MY QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE PAPER I SITED ON STRESS AND THE HONEY BEE, AND THE STATEMENT THAT THE NATURAL SIZE OF THE CELL IS 5.1 – 5.2 RANGE.
    – YOU HAVE NOT ADDRESSED ANY OF THE QUESTIONS CONCERNING “TRUTH IN ADVERTISING” AS YOU PUT IT.
    – ACTUALLY YOU HAVE NOT ADDRESSED MOST OF MY QUESTIONS

    YOUR STATEMENT: “What I am seeing is better nutritional foraging and improved overall health in regressed bees. I can only say what I see, I’m not on a crusade.”
    HOW HAVE YOU MADE THIS CLAIM? HOW HAVE YOU OBSERVED BETTER NUTRITIONAL FORAGING WITH SMALLER BEES? WHAT STUDY HAVE YOU PERFORMED AND WITH WHAT CONTROL GROUP?

    YOUR STATEMENT:
    “No selective breeding. The uncapping trait in small cell bees was observed by many that have regressed. Barry may agree here as I recall reading some of his posts describing the phenomenon occurring in his small bees. Heres a photo of the hygienic behavior occurring in bees that are partially regressed.

    http://www.geocities.com/naturebee/H...e_pics.html?”

    I LOOKED AT THESE PICTURES OF THE SAME BROOD AREA AND THEY BRING A NUMBER OF QUESTIONS, BASED ON MY “UNTRAINED” OBSERVATIONS.
    #A) I SEE AT LEAST 12 UNCAPPED CELLS WITH WHAT APPEAR TO BE PARTIALLY DEVELOP WORKER BROOD, THAT HAVE YET TO BE REMOVED. THERE MAY BE MANY MORE. MANY OF THE UNCAPPED CELLS APPEAR TO HAVE SOMETHING PARTIALLY IN THEM.
    #B) I SEE ABOUT 10 PERCENT OF THE CELLS AS OPEN UNCAPPED WITHIN THE BROOD AREA OF THIS FRAME,

    #1) WHY WERE THESE WORKER CELLS UNCAPPED?
    #2) WHY HAVE THESE DEAD BROOD NOT BEEN REMOVED YET?
    #3) WHY IS 10% WITHIN THE AREA OF THIS BROOD COMB, EITHER NOT USED OR HAD DEAD / DEFECTIVE BROOD THAT WAS REMOVED?

    IF THIS FRAME IS INDICATIVE OF THE COLONIES HEALTH AND TRAITS, THAT WOULD MEAN IN A COLONY WITH A QUEEN LAYING 1,000 EGGS / DAY, THAT SOMEWHERE AROUND 2,100 WORKER CELLS ARE EITHER NOT USED OR HAVE DEFECTIVE / DISEASED BROOD PER BROOD CYCLE.

    NOW, LETS THROW ONE OUT THERE, AS CLAIMED AND OBSERVED, THE UNCAPPING TRAITS ARE BROUGHT OUT IN REGRESSED SMALL CELL BEES.
    NOW, LETS TAKE THE PAPER ON STRESS AND THE HONEY BEE, THAT CLAIMED THAT WHEN THE CELL SIZE WAS REDUCED BELOW THE “NATURAL” SIZE OF 5.1 – 5.2 MM FOR WORKER BROOD, IT PROMOTED DEFECTS IN THE BROOD.

    SO, MAYBE THE INCREASED UNCAPPING TRAIT OBSERVED AND THE 10% OPEN CELLS / UNCAPPED BROOD IS FROM INCREASED DEFECTS FROM THE CELL SIZE BEING TOO SMALL.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Lincolnton Ga. USA.
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    ( interesting story from allen dick)is this what you were looking for?

    Word is, in a nutshell, that SMR bees are actually hygienic bees, but with an important difference.

    SMR bees perform right up there with the HYG strains in standard HYG tests, however, hygienic abilities observed in bees selected for SMR extend beyond simply detecting and removing dead brood. In addition to doing equally well as HYG in detecting and removing dead brood, SMR bees are able to detect, uncap, and remove foundress varroa mites that are laying eggs and reproducing in cells.

    This uncapping and removal liberates the foundress, interrupts her reproductive work, and prematurely exposes the undeveloped offspring, resulting in the death of the daughters. The foundress may then enter another cell, but, if she tries to reproduce there, the cycle repeats. Thus SMR greatly reduces mite reproduction, and mites die of old age or accidents without replacing themselves.

    The wrinkle is that these bees seem to be much less inclined to uncap and remove foundress mites in sealed brood that are -- for whatever reason -- not laying eggs, and in any hive with varroa, there will be a considerable percentage of mites that non-reproductive, but which are just sitting out the dance in sealed in cells with the pupae.

    These non-reproductive mites enter the cell, stay the duration of the capping period, then emerge with the bee.

    This subtle fact -- that SMR bees quickly and efficiently remove reproducing mites in brood, but ignore non-reproductive mites in sealed brood --initially escaped researchers, and obscured the strong similarity between SMR and HYG.

    Researchers finding and observing the varroa in the sealed brood of such colonies concluded (understandably) that the bees were causing mite non-reproduction, rather than realising that the bees had already located, uncapped and pulled out most of the reproducing foundresses, leaving only the non-reproducing mites. After all, they would pull a frame of brood, brush off the bees, then go to the lab and look at the brood and mites in cells under magnification. Sure there were a few empty cells, but there always are.

    They observed that a high percentage of foundress mites discovered in sealed brood were non-reproducing, and that there were fewer mites -- as a percentage of total mite load --in brood than expected. They bred for this characteristic, and actually wound up with an hygienic bee, but one with special abilities -- the ability to sniff out and eject reproducing varroa mites in sealed brood.

    Current work -- if I understand correctly -- seems to indicate that SMR and existing HYG cross well, and that the SMR characteristic can be transmitted relatively easily to current HYG stock, so we may see some interesting things in the near future. A name change for SMR may be in the offing as well.

    FWIW, preliminary DNA work _seems_ to indicate that just two genes are associated with SMR, but when asked if they are the same genes that are associated with HYG, the answer from those working hard on this problem, seems to be that no one knows yet, and that there is likely more to the whole picture it than just two genes.

    I might mention that Dee has been saying for a long time that Lusbys' bees remove varroa foundresses, and that this is a major mechanism in the Lusby success. I think -- correct me if I am wrong -- that she also believes that using small cells (4.9) encourages that trait. I have heard others, here and there, some with small cell and some with ordinary cells, observing varroa removal, too.

    This new(?) information is especially interesting for those of us who think we can breed bees by looking at natural drop boards and rejecting hives with big drops. It is not that simple. We could be rejecting the best varroa fighters, using that criterion, if they are, at that moment, combating an infestation originating outside the hive. Observations over a longer period are necessary to get an understanding. (Again, credit to Dee for that). [img]tongue.gif[/img]
    Ted

  16. #56
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    >– YOU STILL HAVE NOT ADDRESSED ANY OF MY QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE PAPER I SITED ON STRESS AND THE HONEY BEE, AND THE STATEMENT THAT THE NATURAL SIZE OF THE CELL IS 5.1 – 5.2 RANGE.

    I had this discussion many times. Once with Dr. Marion Ellis. Usually it goes something like me talking about natural cell size being in the 4.6mm to 4.9mm range and them (in this case Dr. Ellis) saying, no we've done experiments and we know it's in the 5.1mm to 5.2mm range. I say, yes if you take "normal" enlarged bees and put them in a position to make their own worker brood cells they will be 5.1mm for the most part. But if you take those bees raised on that and let them build what they want what will they build? All I get are blank looks. None of the researchers seems to want to do the second try to see what they will build. I have done it many times now. I assure you it is NOT in the 5.1mm to 5.2mm range. It may range from 4.6mm to 5.1mm but most of the 5.1mm is full of honey, not brood.

    >YOUR STATEMENT:
    “No selective breeding. The uncapping trait in small cell bees was observed by many that have regressed. Barry may agree here as I recall reading some of his posts describing the phenomenon occurring in his small bees. Heres a photo of the hygienic behavior occurring in bees that are partially regressed.

    That is what I have observed. I regressed a mixture of breeds and they all were doing more chewing out of varroa after regressing.

    >#A) I SEE AT LEAST 12 UNCAPPED CELLS WITH WHAT APPEAR TO BE PARTIALY DEVELOP WORKER BROOD, THAT HAVE YET TO BE REMOVED. THERE MAY BE MANY MORE. MANY OF THE UNCAPPED CELLS APPEAR TO HAVE SOMETHING PARTIALLY IN THEM.

    It sometimes takes a while for them to pull all of the larvae out of the cell after uncapping.

    >#1) WHY WERE THESE WORKER CELLS UNCAPPED?

    The assumption is that the uncapped cells have varroa in them.

    >#2) WHY HAVE THESE DEAD BROOD NOT BEEN REMOVED YET?

    It sometimes takes them a while to get all the parts out.

    >#3) WHY IS 10% WITHIN THE AREA OF THIS BROOD COMB, EITHER NOT USED OR HAD DEAD / DEFECTIVE BROOD THAT WAS REMOVED?

    Probably a lot of varroa got in from some outside source. I seldom see anywhere near that much. I think the picture was to illustrate the activity, not to show the typical amount.

    >IF THIS FRAME IS INDICATIVE OF THE COLONIES HEALTH AND TRAITS, THAT WOULD MEAN IN A COLONY WITH A QUEEN LAYING 1,000 EGGS / DAY, THAT SOMEWHERE AROUND 2,100 WORKER CELLS ARE EITHER NOT USED OR HAVE DEFECTIVE / DIESEASED BROOD PER BROOD CYCLE.

    How many do you think have a mite in them in a typical hive? This is typical of hives with hygenic traits and lots of mites. It is not typical of a hygenic hive that has the mites back under control again.

    >NOW, LETS THROW ONE OUT THERE, AS CLAIMED AND OBSERVED, THE UNCAPPING TRAITS ARE BROUGHT OUT IN REGRESSED SMALL CELL BEES.
    NOW, LETS TAKE THE PAPER ON STRESS AND THE HONEY BEE, THAT CLAIMED THAT WHEN THE CELL SIZE WAS REDUCED BELOW THE “NATURAL” SIZE OF 5.1 – 5.2 MM FOR WORKER BROOD, IT PROMOTED DEFECTS IN THE BROOD.

    I have not observed defects in the brood. Perhaps that is their interpretation of the chewing out? Yet, the scientists are now breeding for this chewing out trait. How were they determining that the brood was defective?

    >SO, MAYBE THE INCREASED UNCAPPING TRAIT OBSERVED AND THE 10% OPEN CELLS / UNCAPPED BROOD IS FROM INCREASED DEFECTS FROM THE CELL SIZE BEING TOO SMALL.

    About half of my brood comb is on foundationless frames or blank starter strips (with no embossing at all). I have not forced them to be on smaller cells. I have let them. I have not noticed anything defective about the pupae being chewed out other than finding mites in pupae, but, of course, the bees would be more attuned to defects than me. Once the mites are under control the number of pupae being chewed out drops considerably. It also seems to peak with the mite population, in the fall.

    >I think -- correct me if I am wrong -- that she (Dee) also believes that using small cells (4.9) encourages that trait.

    That seems to be universally observed by small cell beekeepers.

    >I have heard others, here and there, some with small cell and some with ordinary cells, observing varroa removal, too.

    I saw a few before regressing. They seemed odd becaue the pupae they were dragging around looked perfectly normal and healthy white with purple eyes. Why chew it out? But the "purple eye stage" chew out is what the scientists are now breeding for and the small cell beekeepers are already seeing.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #57
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    Joes quote
    >>They act kinda like a separate breed once regressed. Better health, no dopes needed to keep them alive, flying at cooler temps and better wintering and foraging just to name a few.)

    Hey Michael

    Now that you are posting in this topic, do you mind me outright asking you if you would vouch on this comment? As I recall, you are also a small cell beekeeper.
    I believe the small cell claims on varroa tolerances, there seems to be enough evidence out there to back that theory up. But how about Joes claim on regression enhanceing all the good traits you want in a good honeybee?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  18. #58
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  19. #59
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    On two specific items I must disagree with you. This is flying at cooler temps and better foraging.

    Flying at cool temps is very strongly influenced by genetics. The old black bees that I grew up with would occasionally fly at temps as low as 35 degrees and I have seen them swarm at a temp of 55 degrees. In other words, the flying at low temps is more likely a result of genetics than of small cell.

    Re better foraging, any colony will forage to some extent regardless of whether they are small or large cell. The percentage of bees in a colony that actively forage is again under very strong genetic control. I've seen colonies that were downright lazy and others that almost emptied out every morning when the foragers left.

    What you are attributing to small cell bees are traits and behaviors that precisely match many of my memories of beekeeping pre-varroa and pre-tracheal mite. I would conditionally accept that bees on small cell are healthier than bees on large cell combs. But that enhanced health just gets them back to about where they were in pre-mite days. I have 5 colonies on small cell but have not had them enough years yet to definitively state their pros and cons.

    I'm curious, have you had a problem with AFB yet? Do your bees get chalkbrood?

    Fusion

  20. #60
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    >Joes quote
    >>They act kinda like a separate breed once regressed. Better health, no dopes needed to keep them alive, flying at cooler temps and better wintering and foraging just to name a few.)

    >Now that you are posting in this topic, do you mind me outright asking you if you would vouch on this comment? As I recall, you are also a small cell beekeeper.

    Yes, that's accurate. They seem to fly at lower temps. I can't say how far they forage. I would assume a smaller bee can get into a smaller flower and a bigger flower where a larger bee can only get in the larger flowers. But I can't say I've observed it. Other small cell beeks pay more attention to the pollen, especially if they are trapping it and have notices more vaiety of pollen colors coming in.

    >I believe the small cell claims on varroa tolerances, there seems to be enough evidence out there to back that theory up. But how about Joes claim on regression enhanceing all the good traits you want in a good honeybee?

    Maybe they are just heathier, happier, wiry, high metabolism bees, instead of sickly fat oversized bees. Then again, maybe just being more aerodynamic makes you're life easier if you're a bee.

    >What you are attributing to small cell bees are traits and behaviors that precisely match many of my memories of beekeeping pre-varroa and pre-tracheal mite. I would conditionally accept that bees on small cell are healthier than bees on large cell combs. But that enhanced health just gets them back to about where they were in pre-mite days. I have 5 colonies on small cell but have not had them enough years yet to definitively state their pros and cons.

    I can't argue that either. But getting back to where they were before the mites was my goal.

    >I'm curious, have you had a problem with AFB yet?

    I never have.

    >Do your bees get chalkbrood?

    I saw a little one very wet spring until I added more ventilation and the weather dried up.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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