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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Lyons, CO
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    Plan: in the spring when I reverse can I take the mostly-empty lower box, remove alternate frames of old comb, replace them with starter strips or SC foundation, and put the box on top? I'd like to get started regressing... would just replacing all 10 frames with 11 frames of SC foundation at the first reverse be too stressful? I'm planning on feeding to get them drawing it out.

    I'm thinking I'm just not patient enough to feed frames gradually into the broodnest all summer. Thoughts?
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
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    4,072

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    That should work, you would want to check to make sure there is no brood in it first of course. I would number the frames as to what regression you are doing, because they may or may not draw sc on the first try, and it helps to know which frame is which. When they get that drawn out you can exchange frames in the bottom broodbox with more foundation and move the frames you take out up a box. That way you will cut down on the frames you need to remove to get them to the sc cells you want. (That confused me, and I wrote it!!).

    peggjam
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    Maybe split colonies at the same time to prevent swarming? Considering the reduced area for the queen to lay.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I'd pull any large cell that's empty in the spring and replace with foundation. The quicker you get to small cell the less problems you'll have.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
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    1,914

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    Ben,
    Some of the things that are discussed by others who've regressed are:
    bees pattern new comb by the adjacent comb. If that's true, alternating starter strips between existing Large-cell (LC) comb may not let them draw the smallest cells that they would if you simply place the new frames to the outer edge.

    Also, there's the effects of comb spacing. One technique some of us are trying was suggested by Joe Waggle. His idea (we call it "waggle positioning") is a means of letting one use their traditional equipment to get tighter frame spacing. This theory might influence for smaller comb drawing.

    And finally, This last hive that I'm regressing the queen insisted on keeping the LC comb heavily laid in, even chasing it around the hive as I moved it waiting for the brood to emerge. Finally, when she had used a few frames of the SC comb I had given here, I took the LC comb and its brood to a LC hive I'm not regressing yet.

    Good luck to you.
    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

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    I'm going to try some regressing in a couple of weeks by splitting hives and using empty frames to replace what I remove and when filling out the new split. I'll be feeding heavily since our spring flow is over. The fall flow is usually light. Should I expect a good number of small cells or mostly larger cells being built this time of year?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,408

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    One factor that doesn't seem to get mentioned much is that small-cell gets drawn more easily when the frames are only 1-1/4" apart instead of 1-3/8" which is the old standard. To accomplish this spacing I create my own end bars from scrap 2x4 lumber by use of a jointer, table mounted router, and table saw. I like to have my bottom bars fit inside the bottoms of the end bars so they can be glued and nailed through the end bars. Too many ordinary top and bottom bars have fallen off over the years and I got frustrated with it.

    This photo shows how I nail the top and bottom bars on by nailing through the end bars.

    SC_plastic_1.25end_bars_B.jpg
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

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    Joseph,

    here's a neat trick I stumbled across yesterday

    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/nature...ba.jpg&.src=ph

    you flip the box upside down and it let's you space ordinary frames at 1-1/4" while the bee's are drawing out new comb. You'd have to fabricate some kind of shim to go between this box and the one above it, but that would be easy.
    I haven't tried it yet, but it looks like a neat idea.

    Dave

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
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    That's a cool idea. MB you've described planing the end bars to allow 11 frames for drawing out SC... did you plane them to 1 1/4"?

    I wonder if doing the 11-frame thing might help address some of the problems folks have described with inconsistent drawing of SC foundation on the 1st regression.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

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    >That's a cool idea. MB you've described planing the end bars to allow 11 frames for drawing out SC... did you plane them to 1 1/4"?

    Yes. 1 1/4" or 32mm

    >I wonder if doing the 11-frame thing might help address some of the problems folks have described with inconsistent drawing of SC foundation on the 1st regression.

    From my experience, it will help.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    A french guy living in Chester, UK
    Posts
    133

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    my own strategy would be to buy some small cell platic foundations, put them in the bottom brood chamber, and let the bees do the hard work...

    i assume that the cell size in these plastic foundations can't be changed, so i should get some regressed bees as soon as they start using these frames?

    Is this not a good idea? or are plastic foundations just not working?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    I've used the small-cell plastic foundation. I used it before I was aware of the different spacing issue, most of it is very nice comb, but the bees have gotten a bit wild with a few of them. I hope they do better with 1-1/4" spacing -- I will find out soon as I have modified the end bars on all my new small-cell frames.

    My favorite thing about plastic small-cell is that if anything messes them up, bees, wax-moths, etc. you can just scrape them down to the base and the bees can try again.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,742

    Post

    >my own strategy would be to buy some small cell platic foundations

    I'm afraid they are no longer available. You can try contacting Dadant and ask.

    > put them in the bottom brood chamber, and let the bees do the hard work...

    The unregressed bees that I have had, have not been willing to draw it at all. They build combs between, in front of at right angles to and every other option EXCEPT to draw the plastic. The regressed bees seem to be willing enough.

    >i assume that the cell size in these plastic foundations can't be changed

    Actually, it can and it will be. Mine finally drew a lot of drone on some of it. [img]smile.gif[/img] It has NO cell wall on the plactic so they can do what they want, at least in theory and to some extent in reality.

    > so i should get some regressed bees as soon as they start using these frames?

    Not at all. But if you give it to regressed bees they draw it nicely.

    >Is this not a good idea? or are plastic foundations just not working?

    They are not working for regressing for me. They are working once they are regressed.

    The only instant regression I've gotten is to put unregressed bees on small cell drawn comb or wax dipped PermaComb.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Uganda, East Africa
    Posts
    1

    Post

    I wish to be guided as a new bee keeper in Tropical Africa (Uganda). Is it possible to breed bees that are less violent other than our wide african bees.
    I need a breed that will produce substantial amounts of honey and are less violent.
    Please advise.
    Regards,
    Edwin

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,742

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    I've had some vicious bees here before, but I'm sure they have no where near the genes for agressiveness that you face.

    In the European honey bees (Italian, Carniolan, feral survivors) I haven't found it that hard to simply keep the calm ones and breed queens from them and use them to replace the queens in the mean ones. This has been very effective in keeping virtually all of them gentle.

    But selective breeding for gentle temprament been tried on African bees and the results I have read are pretty unpredictable and temporary. It's probably still worth doing, but you may not get as good and as permanent results.

    Perhaps a good book on bee genetics would help with this, but even the experts seem to have had trouble breeding the viscious streak out of African or Africanized bees.

    I would probably just breed queens from the best hives (productive and gentle) and hopefully that will help some. Top bar hives also seem to help with MANAGING mean bees since they get less upset because less bees are exposed when working them. Or, if you have better tools available you could build a top bar hive with frames on the top bars where the top bars are still solid (with no gaps) but the frames keep the combs from collapsing in the heat.

    Good luck.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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