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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    > din't realise it would take my bees two or three years to get on 4.9 or smaller cells in the brood box,

    The bees aren't in a hurry. It just takes time for them to draw comb and rear another generation of smaller bees.

    I woulnd't worry about it. Just let it happen by feeding combs into the brood nest (which I would do for swarm control anyway) and they will get there. Measuring from time to time is helpful so you can keep the smallest cells in the center of the brood nest and work the larger ones out.

    >if i could get some 4.9 PermaComb i take it would help then,and is it the same size as a b/national brood frame

    PermaComb is 5.1mm. If you heat it and dip it in wax and shake off the excess it's about 4.95mm (allowing for cell wall differences compared to regular comb). In other words measuring 4.9mm cells are including the cell wall which is .1mm thick when the bees build it. The plastic ones are thicker. So the I.D. of a 4.9mm cell is 4.8mm. The I.D. of a PermaComb is 5.0mm. The I.D. of a wax dipped PermaComb is 4.85mm.

    They only come in Langstroth length (19" top bar) and medium depth (for a 6 5/8" box). And they are not wax dipped.

    >ive had a look and can't find any PermaComb for love or money over hear in the uk.

    Maybe John Seets could find a dealer, but they still won't fit a National hive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Romney Marsh Kent England UK
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    292

    Post

    have you got a pic of the comb,

    and if it is a case off comb being bigger then my brood box, can't i just cut it down to fit.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    In theory, I guess you can cut it to length, but there's not really a "top bar" just ears on the ends with cells going all the way to all the edges. If you cut it to length the ears would be a bit weak I think. But you could probably cut both ears off, cut the comb for length and put a top bar on it. That would give you some support. You could glue it on and also put some wood screws in.

    Then there is depth. PermaComb is 152.4mm tall. I assume yours are British Standard deeps and are 215mm? I guess you'd buy a little height by adding a top bar on, but not that much.

    http://www.bee-l.com/bulletinboard/seets/permacomb.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    New Zealand
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    211

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    Firstly I need to study Dees writings,the whole 22 sections.Secondly in order to get acceptance and convince commercial beekeepers in New Zealand that would justify expenditure in retooling it will have to be proved that it is effective as a varroa control in our country.Thirdly what ever size cell required we need to be able to produce/procure the finished product here in Langstroth sizing for both 3/4 and full depth and be cost effective.
    BOB

  5. #45
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    My point is that in order to do the research you can put them on wax dipped PermaComb and you have that done in one generation. Six weeks later you have no large cell bees that will be building any comb and if you like you can put these regressed bees on wax foundation and now you have wax, bee drawn comb with small cell bees.

    The point is that you need small cell bees and small cell comb in order to do a valid test of small cell for Varroa control and the quickest way to get them is the wax dipped PermaComb. If you're patient, it's not a lot of work, it just takes time, to get them regressed by letting the bees build smaller combs as they go.


    So far most of the research has been something like this one (which was in New Zealand):

    http://www.bee-l.com/biobeefiles/pav/scstudy.htm

    To quote the study:

    "However the research also identified a contributing factor was the shorter
    capped cell stage of the Africanised bee, reducing the length of time the
    mites had to reproduce. Therefore it could not be assumed that a reduction
    in cell-size would have the same impact on varroa in New Zealand, especially
    since the research was conducted with a species of bee (Apis cerana) and a
    species of mite (Varroa jacobsoni), both different from species in New
    Zealand."

    But I've measured shorter times on EHB also, so by my observations, their assumption that they won't get shorter capping times is wrong.

    "The inability of the New Zealand bees to draw out small cells evenly was
    expected. This is because they are predominantly kept on 5.4 foundation.
    In order to draw the cells out to the same width, a gradual step-down
    process from 5.4 to 4.7 would have been required, taking maybe a couple of
    seasons."

    Exactly. This is a lot of the crux of the matter. If doing the experiment correctly takes a couple of seasons, shouldn't you do that? Instead they put sections of comb in a patchwork and then before they emergence opened them and counted mites. If the only control that small cell adds is shorter emergence times (and there is much speculation that there are other factors involved) then there would be the same number of mites preemergence. The question is are there less mated and viable females at emergence, which will not be at the same time in the small cell. And, of course, are there other factors as well? Some of which may be related to the smaller bees?

    You can't do a 21-day or a 48-day experiment with small cell and expect to accomplish anything.

    Dee Lusby has done an 18-year experiment, which has been quite successful. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    New Zealand
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    211

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    Michael
    >My point is that in order to do the research you can put them on wax dipped PermaComb and you have that done in one generation.

    I accept what you are saying and will import permacomb over the winter ready for use as you suggest for next spring in the project.We are fast approaching Autumn in New Zealand.Have you ever published any results you have had when done as you suggest.It would be unfair for me to use a varroa resistant queen in the small cell project.Could use an overwintered queen that has tested 50% in newly capped brood over this next few weeks before mite invasion starts.
    BOB

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Romney Marsh Kent England UK
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    292

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    Thanks for getting back so soon,

    I thought of doing away with the lugs on the PermaComb and cut and glue and screw it so it fits nicely in side off an empty brood fame that I use in my British Standard brood box,
    It does sound like a bit off mucking about, but I think it will be worth it in the long run and I might have small cell bees by the end of the year,

    Tony

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >It does sound like a bit off mucking about, but I think it will be worth it in the long run and I might have small cell bees by the end of the year,

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

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >I accept what you are saying and will import permacomb over the winter ready for use as you suggest for next spring in the project.

    I heat it to 200 F (just below 100 C) and dip it in 212 F wax (100 C) and shake off the excess. Messy but effective.

    >Have you ever published any results you have had when done as you suggest.

    I've really only done two things. I've put it in my observation hive and timed capping and post capping times and found a day shorter capping time and a day shorter post capping time. that's 19 days from egg to emergence. Actually that's the same as Huber observed back in the late 1700s. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    And I've regressed the bees, pretty much in one shot and stopped treating and let them make their own comb after the regression on foundationless frames.

    >It would be unfair for me to use a varroa resistant queen in the small cell project.

    For the experiment, probably. But as long as it's all from the same stock, or even the same queen, does it really matter?

    Personally I'd like to find the time to do more accurate and more extensive timing (down to the hours) of capping and post capping times, as well as varroa population changes. But I don't really have enough varroa anymore to plot much of any changes. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
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    156

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    Well I just had both my hives die and I've ordered new packages for the spring. I've been thinking about small cell and now that I'm starting from scratch it seems like a good time to do it. I was just getting ready to order Brushy Mountains sc foundation when I read this post. Here are my questions:

    1. Really - I should start them on Permacomb and then move them to all wax foundation?

    2. Who sells small cell permacomb?

    3. As a small time hobbiest with no real stash of wax, is there any other way to get dipped permacomb?

    Thanks,
    Louise

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Hiram, Northeast Ohio
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    731

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    "I've put it in my observation hive and timed capping and post capping times and found a day shorter capping time and a day shorter post capping time. that's 19 days from egg to emergence."

    I did the same thing as Michael and got the same results. In mine, I had tapered comb and I just measured capping and emergence with about a dozen marked cells in a 'large cell' area and in a 'small cell' area. The bees in the smaller cells emerged, as I remember, between 20-40 hrs before the larger ones on the same comb in the same hive.
    It\'s people! Soylent Green is peeeeople!

  12. #52
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    Thanks for doing it and for sharing the results.

    It's easy enough to do if you have an observation hive. I wish more people would do it. [img]smile.gif[/img] I get tired of people questioning such an easily repeatable result.

    Find a section of comb that's 4.9mm. Put it in an observation hive and watch the queen lay in the cells. Mark them with a letter or number on the glass and write down the time. Check back every morning and evening until they are capped and then emerge.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #53
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    Aug 2002
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    >1. Really - I should start them on Permacomb and then move them to all wax foundation?

    If you want to end up on all wax, then I'd start them on small cell foundation or foundationless frames. If you want to end up on PermaComb I'd wax dip the PermaComb and put them on it. You're done.

    >2. Who sells small cell permacomb?

    No one. But you can heat it and dip it in wax and shake off the excess. Standard PermaComb is the equivelant of 5.1mm (measure the inside diameter on the flat sides and add .1mm for a natural cell wall to convert) Wax coated is about 4.95mm.

    >3. As a small time hobbiest with no real stash of wax, is there any other way to get dipped permacomb?

    Unless someone comes up with a production system to do it, no. I've contemplated trying to set one up, but unless there's a market for it at a high enough price, it's not worth investing a couple of thousand dollars to come up with an automated mass system. You can buy beeswax from many sources. You can dip it yourself. Or you can just use wax foundation. I understand Dadant now has 5.1mm and 4.9mm and wired and medium foundation. The 5.1mm would make a nice first regression and the 4.9mm would make a nice 2nd one.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #54
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    3,598

    Post

    the 5.1 my stuff sounds nice
    I started switching my 1 hive to SC last summer
    my first move was to give them a frame of SC foundation
    the results were poor
    look how they messed it all up in the center

    http://www.drobbins.net/bee's/Dsc00776.jpg

    next I gave them a frame with a starter strip and they drew all drone comb
    when I gave them more frames with starter strips they did well, it was about 5.1mm but it looked good
    my understanding of it is that the initial frame of SC foundtion was just to big a jump for them
    I consider it a waste of a sheet of foundation
    my understanding of them drawing the first frame with starter strip all drone is that foundation kinda suppresses there need to draw drone comb and when you first give em the chance to draw what they want they do a little catching up
    I expect to be able to feed in frames of starter strips this spring and get down to 4.9mm
    then I may put some whole sheets of SC in the broodnest

    that's my plan nd I'm sticking to it unless I change my mind [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Dave

    [size="1"][ January 19, 2006, 03:49 PM: Message edited by: drobbins ][/size]

  15. #55
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >the results were poor
    look how they messed it all up in the center

    It doesn't have to be pretty. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #56
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    I just couldn't see the point in giving them expensive foundation they weren't going to draw out 4.9mm
    They did a fine job on the starter strips
    I'm gonna give em some more 4.9mm foundation this spring and hopefully they'll draw it more evenly

    question: if you give bees that have been drawing SC natural comb for a while a sheet of SC foundation, do they draw it out as a solid sheet of SC?
    I understand that they do what the feel like, but just a general observation.

    From my point of view, it would be nice to have a solid sheet of 4.9mm in the brood nest, but perhaps from the bees point of view they'd rather build what they want.
    I'm trying to decide if I want to use foundation at all

    Dave

  17. #57
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >question: if you give bees that have been drawing SC natural comb for a while a sheet of SC foundation, do they draw it out as a solid sheet of SC?

    Usually.

    >I'm trying to decide if I want to use foundation at all

    I still keep experimenting with three things:

    Foundationless.
    4.9mm foundation (with 1" gap at the bottom)
    Wax Dipped PermaComb.

    It allows me to use what's convenient for the situation. If I want drawn comb or very nice straight even comb, there's the PermaComb. If I want the bees to draw something to expand the brood nest and stimulate wax making, I can put an empty frame in the brood nest. When I want nice perfect comb, I can use some 4.9mm foundation.

    Admittedly, the foundation is what I do the least of. [img]smile.gif[/img] But I may do more, if I find the time, this year.

    It's not a decision you have to make. Why can't you do both foundationless and 4.9mm foundation?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Casper, WY
    Posts
    526

    Post

    Hi Guys,

    Now, I'm going to toss another wrench into the works :&gt

    Having the right size cells in the right place is very important to colony health. But so is having clean comb.

    Just how long can comb be retained and still be healthy, even in an untreated hive? At some point in time, the old comb should be salvaged and replaced by newly drawn comb.

    This factor should be an important part of comb management.

    Hummm....my small cell comb, drawn out in 2000, is going on 6 years old and should have been replaced at least once by now! That thought makes my tbhs look even better.

    Regards
    Dennis
    Thinking all that cutting, rendering, repairing, rewiring/crimping, embedding and SPENDING could get old real fast!

    [size="1"][ January 20, 2006, 09:13 PM: Message edited by: B Wrangler ][/size]

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    156

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    >Hummm....my small cell comb, drawn out in 2000, is going on 6 years old and should have been replaced at least once by now! That thought makes my tbhs look even better.

    I don't get it. Why don't you need to replace the foundation with Top Bar Hives? Isn't the wax just as old once they've drawn it out?

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    chatsworth, calif usa
    Posts
    405

    Post

    >I don't get it. Why don't you need to replace the foundation with Top Bar Hives? Isn't the wax just as old once they've drawn it out?

    I think the idea is to cycle empty bars into the center of the brood nest and harvest bars of honey from the outside(s). "Accordian" manipulation, as i recall it being refered to, as an alternate to Walt Wright's "Checkerboarding". More like "opening up the broodnest" that Michael Bush refers to. Helps deter swarming and improves honey production?

    I would also like at this time to regress, if i'm outta line or way off base i'm fair game- have at it.

    I haven't read everything in this thread, but back on 13Jan i was reading about horizontal vs. vertical positioning of the comb(cells) and the resulting amount of space that is left for the mites to manouvre(sp) inside the cells.
    It brought up a situation i have going on at this time. The following is embarrassing for me.
    Back in August i did a cut out from a nesting box that contained combs that fit just about perfectly in my deep frames---Sideways. I'm just lazy enough that that's the way i tied them in---Sideways.
    That colony was a good stong colony up until about the first of this month. It is now down to about two frames of bees and is full of mites. I have others nearby that have mites too, but they so far seem to be managing allright-8 to 10 frames worth. They were swarms on foundationless frames.
    I had wondered all along if i had done a big no-no when i tied the cutout into the frames---Sideways.
    I'll not do that again.
    Just needed to confess and this looked like a good opportunity to throw it out there, albeit, morn a week late, sorry.-j
    My Mom's other kids are smarter than me, but i'm not nearly as nice.

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