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Thread: Small Cell Idea

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Gilroy, CA
    Posts
    206

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    So ive been reading quite a bit about having bees on small cells to control the mite problem and it sounds like it takes a lot of work to get bee's that are on the larger cell to regress to a small cell. So I had an idea that goes like this, what if i put a nuc out in front of this feral hive that lives in a hollow tree(with lures), and possibly a swarm moves in or I go catch a swarm from this colony and install them in there with frames on starter strips. Does this strategy of trying to start a small cell hive doable?

    Thanks a lot
    Danny
    Happiness is something final and complete in itself, as being the aim and end of all practical activities whatever .... Happiness then we define as the active exercise of the mind in conformity with perfect goodness or virtue.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    233

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    \"You\'ve got to stop beating up your women because you can\'t find a job, because you didn\'t want to get an education and now you\'re (earning) minimum wage.\"<br /><br />-Bill Cosby

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,127

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    &gt;what if i put a nuc out in front of this feral hive that lives in a hollow tree(with lures), and possibly a swarm moves in

    You'll have better luck putting the bait hive at least 100 yards or more away. Bees don't swarm into something right next door very often.

    &gt; or I go catch a swarm from this colony and install them in there with frames on starter strips. Does this strategy of trying to start a small cell hive doable?

    It is helpful to get small cell bees to get them to drawn smaller comb, but they will draw smaller comb anyway. While it's true it will (in my experience) take a couple of generations to get back to actual natural size, they will get much smaller on even the first regression. I'd just buy small cell foundation or use foundationless frames and keep feeding them into your brood nests. If you put three frames a year into the brood nests (which I do just to avoid swarms) you'll have replaced the core (the important part) of the brood nest in just two years. If you're more agressive with it you could probably get the core replaced in one year. By the time you've replaced it twice you're pretty much regressed.

    But you could put a screen cone on the feral hive and get a nice cluster of bees off of that and shake them into a hive with a purchased queen and some small cell foundation or foundationless frames.

    The main thing is to implement a system that will eventually replace the large cell frames with small cell. Especially at the core of the brood nest.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

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    I've gone to 1/4 sheets of small cell and frequently place them between 2 nicely drawn small cell frames.

    It is not any harder to go small cell than continue to use standard foundation. Especially with 1/4 sheets and foundationless (which I am trying next year).

    I mark my frames with SC1 (small cell 1st gen) and so on. I also am dating the frames and will remove dispose of the comb every 3 or 4 years (for disease control).

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