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Thread: SC vs LC

  1. #1

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    I thought some of you might find the following picture interesting. This is a side-by-side comparison of bees raised on large cells vs. those raised on small cells. This random sample was collected from two colonies that are four feet from each other. Each has the same queen stock, the same age, and this sample was take at the same time (does that cover all the variables??). The small bees underwent three regressions and here is the result.

    Thorax and head seem to be marginally different. The greatest difference is in abdomen size.

  2. #2
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    According to Baudoux there is a 3mm difference in length between bees on 5.5mm and bees on 4.7mm. I haven't tried measuring much, but the difference is noticable. Someone gave me a bunch of large cell bees this year and the contrast is interesting.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
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    I was noticing in hive I retrieved several days ago that the bees are much bigger than my bees which are on Pierco and 4.9 starter strips. A large amount of my bees are really small and have not been regressed yet.
    This hive had been there for 20+ years and the bees were a black color. But I had been expecting them to be much smaller than my domesticated bees.
    I think small cell is the way forward and I was wondering has there been documentation of seasonal size changes, food etc.
    Great picture John.
    \"I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree<br />And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made<br />nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee<br />and live alone in the bee-loud glade.\"<br />-- WB Yeats

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    Dennis Murrel has done a lot of mesuring and thinks there is no difference in adult bees. I think they do get larger as they mature and even unregressed bees are smaller when first emerging than they are later. But Baudoux also did a lot of measuring at emergence and found significant differences.

    I see a lot of difference in size. But I think it does depend on the maturity of the worker, the season etc.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
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    Michael,

    Who is Baudoux and where can I see this info?
    It sounds interesting.

    Murphy
    \"I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree<br />And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made<br />nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee<br />and live alone in the bee-loud glade.\"<br />-- WB Yeats

  6. #6
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    Our tax dollars paid for bee size research years ago by Jaycox. Jaycox found the size range of honeybees to be around 17% smaller than what is considered normal and up to 17% larger. Those were the ranges.

    The information is published in his book "Beekeeping in the Midwest".

    Much research has been published stating newly emerged bees take around three days to get their size and for the sting to develop.

    So I would not put much stock in Baudoux measuring at emergence. Three days would be the best time to measure according to research I have read.
    Bob Harrison

  7. #7

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    The bees pictured were collected on the outside of the hives (trimmed from the lower inch of the beard!)

    My 1975 edition of ABC has a table listing sizes of bees from their respective cells (pg 135). Above it details how the bees were artificially enlarged and why. I never really thought about it, but they were looking for longer tongues and larger honey sacs. Anyway, I'm satisfied with the results of my research. (Thanks for the help MB)

  8. #8
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    Hi Guys,

    You can read about my bee measurements at:

    http://beenatural.wordpress.com/smal...onal-bee-size/

    Basically, what I found was that bee do vary in size during the season. They are smallest in the spring. Slowly increase in size during the summer and again during the late winter.

    Some types of bees were generally smaller than others, but cell size alone, within the normal range seen with natural comb, had very little effect on bee size. The same kind of bees, on different sized comb, produced the same size bees whether inherently larger or smaller.

    Here's an interesting experiment to try. Put some large cell comb in the center of a small cell hive's broodnest. Track the brood raised in the large cell comb and then see if you can find any difference in bee size between the small cell comb bees and the large cell comb bees. I've done this inadvertantly and didn't see any!

    And since then I've done it with whole hives of bees with the same results.

    I suspect that the very small bees ocassionally seen in a hive are the result of a bee raised in an abnormally small cell or it could be a nutritional or developmental problem. These things happen to mammals, including humans as well.

    I've got a picture of one of these kind of bees which can be less than 1/3 the size of a normal bee. See: http://beenatural.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/ssiz201.jpg?w=400&h=300

    Before I messed around with small cell beekeeping, I had noticed some size difference in bees, but didn't think much about it. When my bees got some small cell comb to brood up in, I went looking for smaller sized bees and found them. Initially, I attributed it to small cell size comb. But after measuring and tabulating 4 different measurements on 1500 bees from both large and small cell hives, I've come to a different conclusion.

    What do you think?

    Regards
    Dennis

    [size="1"][ October 31, 2005, 10:24 PM: Message edited by: BWrangler ][/size]
    Last edited by Barry; 05-15-2011 at 09:28 AM. Reason: update links
    I once wrangled bees. But now, knowing better, I just let them bee. It's only natural.
    http://talkingstick.me/bees/

  9. #9
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    What do you think?

    I think if you have looked at that many bees you must have a handle on the issue. I have not measured bees but observed all sizes in hives.

    I only added what I had read from Jaycox and what I had read about bees being smaller when emerged and getting to their size within three days.

    I have shown many a honey house helper how those fuzzy little emerged bees can not sting or at least not a full sting.

    I try to stay out of small cell discussions but always keep an open mind to all beekeeping possibilities.
    Bob Harrison

  10. #10

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    I agree that there is a size variance among bee populations, but I from my research and observation small cell bees are, on average, smaller than their large cell counterparts. If you look for anomalies among populations you will find them. If you collect a schedule of samples and find statistical difference amongst the average, that suggests an influence. The enlargement process has been documented. Why wouldn't the opposite be possible. As I said, that picture is not of anomalies, it's of averages. I've seen small cell bees the size of houseflies, but they aren't statistically average.

    Somewhere I read that it was theorized that it wasn't so much cell size directly influencing bee size, but a large cell provided more room for food used in development. Either way, as I said, I seen enough proof. Anyway, to each his own, I guess.

  11. #11
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    Hi John,

    &gt;My 1975 edition of ABC has a table listing sizes of bees from their respective cells (pg 135). Above it details how the bees were artificially enlarged and why. I never really thought about it, but they were looking for longer tongues and larger honey sacs. Anyway, I'm satisfied with the results of my research.

    Read the whole article starting with "Cells, Size of in Honeycomb." Experiments were conducted in Europe, but A.I. was against it all the way. He built foundation based on natural comb measurements which figured out to 4.83cells/inch which works out to 825 to 850 cells/dc2. Check the same table. That's the same as a cell size of 5.21mm to 5.375mm. That's the same cell size as foundation manufactured today! No enlargement there!

    The Europeans got a slightly larger bee but the magnitude of those results couldn't be duplicated in the US. Whereas the Europeans got at 11.9 to 23% increase, Park got between 1% and 2% increase.

    Very interest book, that 1975 edition! If you haven't got it, you can see the scanned pages and read them for yourself at:

    http://bwrangler.com/bee/sair.htm

    Regards
    Dennis
    Last edited by BWrangler; 11-07-2007 at 07:06 PM.
    I once wrangled bees. But now, knowing better, I just let them bee. It's only natural.
    http://talkingstick.me/bees/

  12. #12
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    I can't say for sure what age they were but here is Baudoux's chart:

    http://www.beesource.com/pov/lusby/table.htm

    There are references to his studies and some of these same charts in the older ABC XYZ books.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
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    If small cell bees are smaller, here is a study that correlates smaller bees with increased hygenic behavior (in discussion)
    I may be stretching the application here,

    http://www.bioone.org/bioone/?reques...me=95&page=402

    Genetic Correlations Among Honey Bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae)
    Behavioral Characteristics and Wing Length

    Here is a study that explores the effect of cell space compared to size of the brood inside it and its affect on varro reproduction.
    http://www.edpsciences.org/articles/.../01/Martin.pdf
    (again some stretching)

    Apidologie 33 (2002) 51-61
    DOI: 10.1051/apido:2001007
    Reproduction of Varroa destructor in South African honey bees: does cell space influence Varroa male survivorship?
    Stephen J. Martina and Per Kryger

    found these interesting, just sharing

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