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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Fairfield, Virginia
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    I have placed my order for bees being delivered 4/28 and I am using small cell foundation but my bees are not small cell bees, what will be the steps need to regress the bees and when will these steps need to be done. I read a post about changing the foundation next spring or something to that effect. Also how long will it take until the regression is complete 1-2 years or what? Will the bees just take off on the small cells? I read MB fogged his bees til they regressed what does that do? Thanks for the help, don't know how I could get started in beekeeping without forums like this one!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
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    1,914

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    Ruben,

    Check it out straight from the horse's mouth at:
    http://www.beesource.com/pov/lusby/index.htm

    Read articles #8 & 9 "Regression back to Normal." Dee is an authority and will walk you right through the steps in these articles.

    I started with two hives to regress and chose to focus on regressing one at a time by giving all brood reared in larger cells (LC) to one hive so the brood wasn't wasted. I then consolidated all the smaller cell (SC) brood into the regressing hive figuring that a hive of uniform size will draw better SC comb. Once the one hive was regressed, I began stealing comb from it to give to the other hive.

    Since they were on LC comb to begin with, it took longer, two years.

    If you are starting with packages or a swarm, you can regress them simultaniously following Dee's "shook swarm" regressing techniques.

    A friend designed this tool for measuring your comb, it's the "measurement tool" document.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Organicbeekeepers/files/

    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Andover, Massachusetts
    Posts
    143

    Post

    Also,

    Dadant is now making 5.1 foundation which lc bees will draw correctly and is the first regression. So you can put the 5.1 in let them draw it out then you can start feeding in the 4.9

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,481

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    >I have placed my order for bees being delivered 4/28 and I am using small cell foundation but my bees are not small cell bees, what will be the steps need to regress the bees and when will these steps need to be done.

    You can just use the 4.9mm or 4.9mm starter strips or you can buy a few sheets of 5.1mm to start off. Either way the bees will probably draw it 5.1mm anyway. But they will do the 5.1mm foundation with a little more enthusiasm because they don't have to rework it. You can also just do starter strips for the first regression. As far as the steps, it's just typical beekeeping except you'll have to keep an eye on things until they get regressed. You will need to swap comb out of the brood nest, which I would do for swarm control anyway and others would do for AFB control anwyway. Monitor the mites until you aren't having any significant number for a whole year and then you may not need to worry about them anymore, if you really don't want to. I still check the trays now and then to get an idea of the mites, but I really don't clean them off and do 24 hour checks anymore.

    >I read a post about changing the foundation next spring or something to that effect.

    In the spring, I feed frames into the brood nest to encourage the bees to expand the brood nest and not to swarm. I would do this anyway, but it's also helpful to get them down to size.

    >Also how long will it take until the regression is complete 1-2 years or what?

    Just keep putting the new stuff in the middle or the small stuff (measure some comb from time to time) in the center. Once the core is 4.9mm or below they will do well. It doesn't all have to be 4.9mm.

    >Will the bees just take off on the small cells?

    Yes. But it will take a bit of regression before they get settled in enough to control the Varroa.

    > read MB fogged his bees til they regressed what does that do?

    I was looking for a way to make sure the mites didn't kill the bees before I got done regressing them. I used FGMO fog with nothing else in it. You don't have to do this, but you should monitor the mite levels and make sure they are under control. It's helpful to have a backup plan if the mites don't stay under control at first. Since FGMO fog requires constant use and is not that good for knocking the mites down quickly, I decided to just use it as a preventative. I did this for the first year only. I haven't seen the need for it since except on the large cell hives I inherit now and then. You could also have powdered sugar or drone trapping as a backup plan and not treat at all during regression. But I would still monitor so you can take action if it becomes necessary.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fairfield, Virginia
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    I already have 4.9mm cell foundation, should I use this or save it til next year and order the 5.1mm. I want to do what ever will be best.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I don't see a lot of difference in the long run. If you're the type who just wants to let the bees do their thing, make 4.9mm starter strips. If you like perfectly drawn even rows of cells, buy a little 5.1mm and use full sheets. The 4.9mm full sheets will also work, its just that the first regression won't be as pretty as they will rework it some to try to get about 5.1mm cells out of it.

    It just depends on your budget and your philosophy. They will all work fine.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Fairfield, Virginia
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    How do I go about making a starter strip? Take a pizza cutter or something and cut the foundation off? How wide should the strips be? How do you attach them to the frame, on top or bottom? Can I use the stotted pins to attach strips to frame?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >How do I go about making a starter strip?

    A pizza cutter or a pair of scissors works.

    > Take a pizza cutter or something and cut the foundation off?

    Yep.

    > How wide should the strips be?

    I would make them 3/4" wide.

    > How do you attach them to the frame

    With the cleat, if they are cleated, or with a wax tube fastener if they are grooved.

    > on top or bottom?

    Top.

    > Can I use the stotted pins to attach strips to frame?

    You won't need them for starter strips. They are nice for unwired wax or vertically wired wax.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    3,598

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    Ruben

    a picture is worth a thousand words

    http://www.drobbins.net/bee's/window/Dsc00780.jpg

    Dave

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fairfield, Virginia
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    How many wax tubes needed to do 40 hive frames and 60 super frames? You all are getting me on the right track and I can't tell ya how much I apprecitate it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    you just need 1 wax tube
    it's like taking a straw and putting it in a glass of water and holding your thumb over the end so you can get some water and put it somewhere else
    you need 1 wax tube and some melted wax
    then you use the wax like glue
    I just used the wedge to do the same thing

    Dave

  12. #12
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,481

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Fairfield, Virginia
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    I bought the 7/11 foundation for supers because I was told the queen did not like to lay in it, if I cut it into starter strips how will this effect the queen trying to lay in it? Should I buy queen excluders?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >I bought the 7/11 foundation for supers because I was told the queen did not like to lay in it, if I cut it into starter strips how will this effect the queen trying to lay in it?

    The queen wants to lay in the brood nest. The brood nest expands and contracts over time. I never use excluders except for special situations, like hard to find queens.

    But, using 7/11 starter strips will defeat the point of the 7/11. There is nothing wrong with using it in starter strips and they will work fine, but the bees will draw whatever size they want with starter strips and that may or may not be a size the queen wants to lay in. Where if they build it on 7/11 sheets of foundation it will almost all be too large for worker and too small for drones.

    > Should I buy queen excluders?

    It's always nice to have one around for special situations. I wouldn't put them on the hives and I wouldn't buy more than one if you only have a few hives.

    I have used 7/11 foundation in the supers. I don't anymore. I'm pretty much foundationless and PermaComb. I liked it when I had deeps for brood and shallows for honey because it was an incentive for the queen not to lay in the shallow frames. Now that I run all the same size (medium) I really don't care. I gave up on excluders a long time ago. Even with the shallows and starter strips, I wouldn't use an excluder. Obviously some people would.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
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    Ruben, you came to the right place! These guys are probably the biggest proponents of small cell anywhere in the world.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
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    >These guys are probably the biggest proponents of small cell anywhere in the world.

    The "Prickly Pear" of small cell, eh?
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
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    IMO, I would use full sheets of 7/11 foundation in HONEY supers, and use "starter strips" of "small cell foundation" only in brood chambers.

    You want "small cells" in the brood nest to produce "small cell bees". Large cells for honey storage wont affect "bee size".

    [size="1"][ February 23, 2006, 07:18 PM: Message edited by: Dave W ][/size]

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
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    3,598

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    my plan is to use medium boxes everywhere
    fill all the boxes with SC starter strips and wire the frames
    let the bees build what they want to build
    when it comes time to harvest, steal the frames full of honey and rearrange the frames of brood the way I want em to be
    I have a couple of long hives and some langstroth stuff so where I want the broodnest varies, but it doesn't matter, it's all interchangeable
    the idea being to let the bees build what they want to build
    they certainly know better than I do how to do it

    Dave

    [size="1"][ February 23, 2006, 09:48 PM: Message edited by: drobbins ][/size]

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    In my observation if you use starter strips or some other natural comb in the brood nest the bees won't really be wanting to put brood outside the brood nest. Usually when I've seen brood in the supers it's because the brood nest expanded that much, in which case I would want them to have the room rather than swarm, or they found some larger cells and tried to rear some drones. With enogh drones in the brood nest this incentive is gone. When I used 7/11 in the supers I had deeps for brood and shallows for supers and foundation everywhere. I didn't really want brood in the supers and I didn't want to use an excluder. It works well in this situation. With all starter strips they won't build 7/11 anyway, really. They will build whatever they want. If you have all the same size boxes the need to restrict them to the brood nests is less important. If you have natural comb in the brood nest, the bees' likelyhood of moving outside of the brood nest is curbed by the drone comb in the brood nest.

    I still like the 7/11 for foundation for cut comb, if you want to use foundation.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fairfield, Virginia
    Posts
    1,002

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    I bought a 5lbs pack of 7/11 for supers and thin wax foundation for hive bodies. After talking with you here I was thinking about cutting the thin wax foundation that I got for the hive bodies and cutting it into starter strips and using those strips in both the hive bodies and supers, and saving the 7/11. What do you think?

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