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  1. #61
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    Hi,
    Well I am sold on the idea off small cell/natural cell in the brood nest, but there seems to be some for it and some that are against it, but for those that are undecided why donÂ’t you make a nuc up and have a go and see for your self if it works or not. But if you do it you wonÂ’t have anything to argue about. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    I am going through the process of doing it now with empty frames and wax coated pc comb, and impressed how quickly the fames have been draw out all the way down to the bottom bar.

    Tony

  2. #62
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    >It is a wonder others here are not commenting on your misunderstandings.

    I've had this conversation with Finman already.

    >I have debated with Michael tens of time. I know Michaels stories and they cannot stand usual fact in beekeeping. He has a lot arguments which are not true.

    See? I have done these things and obvserved the results myself. He has not done any of these things and has not observed the results. Therefore what I say is not true. It's simple logic.

    >There is at least one well known advocate of the small cell approach (not on this forum) whose success is most likely attributable to the use of Africanized bees.

    But she was succeeding for a decade and a half before anyone mentioned Africanized bees in the area. I know of no one who is saying the bees in AZ were Africanized back in the 80's and early 90's.

    Try looking at the quoted small cell studies. Which one followed Dee's protocol for how to regress bees? None. Which one met the criteria of a brood nest of 4.9mm cells or below? None. Which one set up even ONE hive and regressed it and left it with a small cell brood nest and measured the overall results in a normal hive setting in the long term for even one year? None.

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

    The new Zeeland one is small pieces of comb patchworked together will all the comb that would have been useful for the study:

    "Frame of 4.9mm sized cells inconsistently drawn out. This frame was not used in the trial, as there were no suitably drawn sections."

    Then ten frames with small sections of various sized cells is put into the brood nest of ten nucs of unregressed bees for 20 days and then they were all uncapped and the Varroa inside counted. How does this prove that you can't create a natural system with small cell comb? This was not a hive of small cell bees on small cell comb! They only measured one thing of any real value. I'd like to know when it was capped when it was uncapped. I'd like to know how a hive of bees on that size comb do as a unit. Of course I do. But I would think that's the question you want to answer.

    You can't disprove that a protocol works if you refuse to follow the protocol. You should at least take one aspect of the protocol and follow it if you have any hope of proving anything. Dee's methods are three basic things. I don't see them following even one of them.

    There are several simple experiments I challenge ANYONE to try. Put a package of bees in a five frame nuc on 4.9mm foundation. Move them up to a ten frame and then two ten frame boxes. Measure the comb and find the smallest comb you have and put these in an observation hive. Map out the sizes so you know the areas that are larger and smaller. In particular the areas that are 4.9mm and below. Mark on the glass when the queen lays in the cells with a number or letter and write the date/time in your notebook. Do this for as many as you like. In seven days start watching carefully to note if there is open brood in the cells and when they get capped. Once they are capped around day 18 start watching closely to see them emerge. Feel free to do this also on a frame of 5.4mm comb. Compare the results. You only need an observation hive (which every beekeeper should have) and a package of bees.

    Another simple experiment is simply set up a few hives and use nothing but 4.9mm foundation in the. Monitor the mites while regressing and continue to until you have the brood nest down to 4.9mm or below. For a beekeeper with more than a few hives this is a simple experiment.

    After you have done the above experiments, let's all have a open discussion on the results.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #63
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    Sep 2004
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    Obe Wan........ I bow to you [img]smile.gif[/img] . Well put.

  4. #64
    Hi Michael,

    The principles of small cell beekeeping are, for me at least, easy to understand and perform. I find it funny how the more complex minds have difficulty understanding the simplicity of beekeeping as it was done long ago. The beekeeping industry surely has made a hard and difficult job of beekeeping today and most beekeepers seem to not want to do anything but make it even harder, not so with us who look at traditional methods and keep it simple.

    Michael, I know for a fact that you simply keep bees and do a really good job of it. You do it without the treatments that others use and some of them say you got it wrong. Some folks know so much they can not be helped. I have never used an observation hive but with what you present as an experiment I just might have to build one to have some fun so I too can see what you have seen so I can with first hand experience tell more of what Small Cell Beekeeping has to offer in benefits.

    Glad you posted, thanks.
    . .. Keith Malone, Chugiak, Alaska,<br />c(((([ Apiarian <a href=\"http://takeoff.to/alaskahoney\" target=\"_blank\">http://takeoff.to/alaskahoney</a> <a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akbeekeepers\" target=\"_blank\">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akbeekeepers</a> <a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Norlandbeekeepers\" target=\"_blank\">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Norlandbeekeepers</a> <a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ApiarianBreedersGuild/\" target=\"_blank\">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ApiarianBreedersGuild/</a>

  5. #65
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    I didn't mention anything (nor to I know much about) about Dee Lusby, mites in the 1980's etc. I did mean that tests causally demonstrating the efficacy of small cell have been confounded by the use of resistant Africanized stock, and poor experimental design, etc. Furthermore, it is ILLEGAL if not immoral to export Africanized queens from and endemic area unless you can prove that they are not Africanized. This means that the burden of proof is on the breeder, not the enforcement agencies or purchaser. Small cell is probably a great idea, but nothing about it constitutes scientific truth. Africanized bees are a terrible idea, as has bee demonstrated by repeated demonstrations of their propensity to sting en masse.

    [size="1"][ April 22, 2006, 02:12 PM: Message edited by: Aspera ][/size]

  6. #66
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    Jul 2005
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    Romney Marsh Kent England UK
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    Yes well put MB,

    I wonder how much a year beekeepers spend on chemicals lets say in the USA for a example $$$$$), and maybe this has been some of the reason why test on small/natural cell is done over a sort time instead of a year or so and then turn round and say it doesnÂ’t work.

    I hope it isnÂ’t but it could be all down to money that they are making from the sell of the chemicals.


    Tony

  7. #67
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    Aspera......

    Why do you keep linking AHB with small cell??? My bees are on small cell and there is no AHB here at all. I have mostly NWC's. Are you saying NWC's are bred with AHB?

  8. #68
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    Sep 2003
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    New Zealand
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    &gt;Try looking at the quoted small cell studies. Which one followed Dee's protocol for how to regress bees? None. Which one met the criteria of a brood nest of 4.9mm cells or below? None. Which one set up even ONE hive and regressed it and left it with a small cell brood nest and measured the overall results in a normal hive setting in the long term for even one year? None.

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

    In fairness to our New Zealand researchers the above report is only the results of what they were asked to perform to the funding provided.I had the opportunity to see the comb sections from the trial first hand.They did qualify that in order to draw cells out to the same width,a gradual step-down process from 5.4-4.7 would have been required taking maybe a couple of seasons.

    The greater majority of New Zealands 3000 plus beekeepers know these researchers on a first name basis and interact on a regular basis at meetings and field days through out the country and are always willing to listen and do trials where funding is provided.I do intend to donate a small cell hive to the researchers if they don't revisit it.

    New Zealand is an ideal place to carry out research as we are free of Africanised bees.A number of us are doing private research with resistant bees as are the above researchers and many others who are not affiliated to any of these forums.

    Contary to reports our feral bee trees are repopulated (upper North Island) and in my own operation I trapped 20 of those a couple of seasons ago and from the observations set up a seperate small(er) cell project.The large cell resistant/high production bee project (5.4 mm)is now in year 6.

    Observations noted paved the way to set up the small(er)cell project last season.The queens used were not from my resistant/high production lines.The results and obsevations thus far are very encouraging and will be accelerated next season as we are entering the winter season now.
    BOB

  9. #69
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    Aug 2002
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    &gt;Furthermore, it is ILLEGAL if not immoral to export Africanized queens from and endemic area unless you can prove that they are not Africanized. This means that the burden of proof is on the breeder, not the enforcement agencies or purchaser.

    Hmmmm. An awful lot of bees are shipped by BIG producers from AHB endemic areas and I don't see them proving anything.

    &gt;Africanized bees are a terrible idea, as has bee demonstrated by repeated demonstrations of their propensity to sting en masse.

    Which is why all us Nothern beekeepers should stop buying bees from the South. Particularly areas know to be africanized. Like Texas, and California, and instead raise bees that are acclimatized to our area and are not going to be AHB or bred to AHB drones.

    But it is still a mystery how anytime "Small Cell" is mentioned AHB seem to come up in the conversation. I know of no one who is purposely raising AHB or wants AHB. Most of the small cell people I know are in the North are are trying to raise NORHTERN feral survivors that are acclimatized to a Northern climate.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #70
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    Jan 2001
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    &gt; But it is still a mystery how anytime
    &gt; "Small Cell" is mentioned AHB seem to
    &gt; come up in the conversation.

    No mystery at all Michael - the "Housel Incident"
    in Florida, where "small-cell bees" from marked
    queens supplied by one of the more well-known
    names associated with the "small-cell" movement,
    became "very very hot", so hot that their
    small-cell beekeeper owner called the State
    Apiarist. The DNA tests done on the bees, an
    objective way of determining such things, not
    open to debate or argument, forced everyone to
    admit that these were Africanized bees.

    This is not the only such incident where queens
    from these apiaries have tested as both "way hot"
    and "AHB".

    &gt; An awful lot of bees are shipped by BIG
    &gt; producers from AHB endemic areas and I
    &gt; don't see them proving anything.

    Talk to any state apiarist, and I think you will
    find some healthy skepticism about self-certification
    and an increasing interest in the use of DNA
    testing rather than FABIS or "aggression tests".

    &gt; I know of no one who is purposely raising AHB
    &gt; or wants AHB.

    Not in the USA, of course.
    There are some beekeepers in South America who
    seem to prefer them. There are many heated
    debates between advocates of AHB and advocates
    of "Euro-bees".

  11. #71
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    Sep 2004
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    &gt;Which is why all us Nothern beekeepers should stop buying bees from the South.

    Right Mike. As you'll likely remember, I've asked you a couple of times about getting some of your queens later on this summer. Make sure you don't send me any of those Afrikaners, ok?

  12. #72
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    Sep 2004
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    The fact that a small cell hive went AHB in the south seems no more relevent than a standard hive going AHB.

    I just don't get the surprize factor at all. I would be surprized if a hive in AHB areas did not get taken over.

    Are you saying the small cell hives, by virtue of their cell size, are more likely to be taken over by invading AHB?

    Willing to listen.........

    [size="1"][ April 22, 2006, 11:05 PM: Message edited by: Sundance ][/size]

  13. #73

    Thumbs down

    Hi Sundancer,

    &gt; Are you saying the small cell hives, by virtue of their cell size, are more likely to be taken over by invading AHB?
    &gt;

    A quote from Jim's post, to clarify his claim below. Truth or fiction? I have not known Jim to tell tails. It helps to stay in context in understanding the claims and conversation. :confused:

    ""small-cell bees" from marked
    queens supplied by one of the more well-known
    names associated with the "small-cell" movement"
    . .. Keith Malone, Chugiak, Alaska,<br />c(((([ Apiarian <a href=\"http://takeoff.to/alaskahoney\" target=\"_blank\">http://takeoff.to/alaskahoney</a> <a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akbeekeepers\" target=\"_blank\">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/akbeekeepers</a> <a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Norlandbeekeepers\" target=\"_blank\">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Norlandbeekeepers</a> <a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ApiarianBreedersGuild/\" target=\"_blank\">http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ApiarianBreedersGuild/</a>

  14. #74
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    Jan 2001
    Location
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    &gt; The fact that a small cell hive went AHB in the
    &gt; south seems no more relevent than a standard
    &gt; hive going AHB.

    &gt; I just don't get the surprize factor at all. I
    &gt; would be surprized if a hive in AHB areas did
    &gt; not get taken over.

    Re-read what I wrote. This was not a usurpation
    of a hive by AHB, this was a hive still headed by
    a queen marked by the beekeeper, the one taken
    out of the queen cage by the beekeeper, the one
    received in the mail by the beekeeper.

    The beekeeper was assisted by the staff of the
    State Apiarist in doing all the obvious things
    like looking for a 2nd (AHB) queen in the same
    hive, and so on. Why was he assisted? Because
    he realized that he had a hive that was too hot
    for him to handle.

    There have been similar incidents popping up,
    with one in California being still under scrutity.
    It is unclear if the usual paperwork required for
    interstate shipping of bees was done or not, but
    no one really cares too much about such details.

    This is NOT to say that bees regressed
    to a smaller size somehow "become Africanized"
    or any other such nonsense. It is simply a
    data point that illustrates that even experienced
    beekeepers can be fooled when keeping bees in
    an AHB-infested area, and fooled to the point
    of unwittingly sending AHB to innocent civilian
    hobby beekeepers as "good stock".

    It has often been noted that many of the traits
    claimed for "small cell bees" are also found in
    AHB, such as the smaller cell size and the ability
    to avoid varroa collapse. This is also not
    to accuse all small-cell bees of being AHB.

    Small-cell supporters are understandably very
    touchy about this issue. I view the matter as
    a "problem" only when and if "hot hives" start
    appearing in the suburban back yards of beekeepers
    who are away at the office when they swarm.

    After all these years, I still don't enjoy being
    stung, so any hive that gets feisty with me
    without a very good reason gets a new queen of
    pedigree stock from a reputable breeder faster
    than you can say "genetics". If the queens are
    delayed, I'll move the "hot" hive out of its
    yard, waaaay back in a far corner of my orchard
    in dead of night, and slow the hive down with a
    one-bee-at a time entrance reducer and a push-in queen cage.

    Hot hives suck.
    Life's too short, and so on.

  15. #75
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    May 2005
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    &gt;After you have done the above experiments, let's all have a open discussion on the results.

    I'm taking the challenge.
    Dulcius ex asperis

  16. #76
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    Thanks Jim...... That is why I posited it as a question, not a challenge in the least Keith.

  17. #77
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    As stated by Jim, the relationship between feral bees, small cell, and Africanization is not necessarily causal. However beeks, especially those selling queens should be aware that Africanized bees have the following traits:
    1)they swarm frequently and are often found as feral colonies
    2)they tend to build small sized/nutural sized cells
    3)They are often hardy bees and good producers
    4)they are varroa resistant

    Some of the traits attributed to small cell overlap with some of the traits of AHB. This is less of a problem in the north, but I think we can all agree that mail order queens, migratory beeks and the spread of AHB should make it everyone's concern.

  18. #78
    Join Date
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    &lt;&lt;No mystery at all Michael - the "Housel Incident"
    in Florida, where "small-cell bees" from marked
    queens supplied by one of the more well-known
    names associated with the "small-cell" movement,
    became "very very hot", so hot that their
    small-cell beekeeper owner called the State
    Apiarist. The DNA tests done on the bees, an
    objective way of determining such things, not
    open to debate or argument, forced everyone to
    admit that these were Africanized bees.&gt;&gt;

    Jim -

    Are you saying as fact that Dee Lusby sent Housel one or more of her queens, and the state determined that at least one of them was an africanized queen? Did they test the queen or only the worker bees? What percent equals africanized? What is the baseline or standard for bees when doing DNA testing?

    - Barry
    Regards, Barry

  19. #79
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    Nov 2004
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    The biggest disadvantage of small bees is that small bee breeders are not after big honey yields. As a breeder if you have not that goal you will not achieve it.

    If your goal is back to nature and all bee races in same formula (4,9 mm) it has nothing to do with nature. Siberian official comb size is now 5,6 mm. Have you heard that miten resistant Russian bees manages better with varroa in small cells?

    When we look basics of breeding we may take what ever plant or domestic animal and select small individuals. So small individual cross and we get small size stock. It is selection. But we do not know basicly what makes that small size? Lack or hormones or what?

    To me swarming is the worst habit of bees which destroy the yield. Small beekeepers do not care that. They say that swarm queens are good. - But they have that natural swarming tendency.

    Small beekeepers say that wax exrecetion does not consume honey. Of course it does, allways had. When you draw up Langstroth box without foundations, bees need 32 lbs honey to exrecete 4 lbs wax. Good hive needs 5-6 boxes, and it is a lot honey.

    When we breed something it takes from breeders tens of year to achieve something. Many achiev nothing. To small beekeeprs it just happens! All good together. Is that strange? Beginner or not, it just happens.

  20. #80
    Join Date
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    &gt;If your goal is back to nature and all bee races in same formula (4,9 mm) it has nothing to do with nature. Siberian official comb size is now 5,6 mm.

    How does oversized comb in Siberia show what natural comb size is?

    &gt; Have you heard that miten resistant Russian bees manages better with varroa in small cells?

    From everyone I've heard who is trying Russians on small cell, yes.

    &gt;When we look basics of breeding we may take what ever plant or domestic animal and select small individuals. So small individual cross and we get small size stock.

    Exactly. And bantam chickens are the hardiest.

    &gt; It is selection. But we do not know basicly what makes that small size? Lack or hormones or what?

    From my experience, in the case of bees, it does not have so much to do with selection. It's cell size and cell size is controled by foundation cell size.

    &gt;To me swarming is the worst habit of bees which destroy the yield. Small beekeepers do not care that. They say that swarm queens are good. - But they have that natural swarming tendency.

    I've never seen them swarm if I was doing my job, and I've never seen bees that won't swarm if I didn't do my job and keep the brood nest open. So I don't see swarming as a "tendency". Swarming is what bees do if we don't intervene properly, and what they don't do if we do intevene properly.

    &gt;Small beekeepers say that wax exrecetion does not consume honey.

    I have never said that. I don't know any other small cell beekeepers who have even commented on the subject. I HAVE said that there is no scientific proof of the numbers generally quoted, and pointed out that it's not the amount of honey to the pounds of wax, but the total production of the bees that counts. I have quoted other notable beekeepers who share my view, including Richard Taylor.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesharvest.htm

    No, Richard Taylor was not a small cell beekeeper.

    &gt; Of course it does, allways had. When you draw up Langstroth box without foundations, bees need 32 lbs honey to exrecete 4 lbs wax.

    I have heard numbers from 16 pounds to 8 pounds for a pound of wax and never seen a study to prove any of those numbers.

    &gt;When we breed something it takes from breeders tens of year to achieve something. Many achiev nothing. To small beekeeprs it just happens!

    I'm trying to breed survivor bees that are sucessful. Reality does a pretty good job of that without me. Propping up bees with chemicals, that can't do that on their own, just breeds failures.

    &gt; All good together. Is that strange? Beginner or not, it just happens.

    The good is from having healthy bees in a stable healthy system. Genetics is helpful, but it's not the main issue. Healthy bees produce honey. Bees that are not healthy do not. Queens that are marginally healthy and marginally fertile do not do well and the chemicals in the wax is causing them to be marginally healthy and infertile.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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