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  1. #121
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    >and who is deciding what is "extremely HOT"? Someone WITHOUT beekeeping experience most likely.

    At least in the State of New York. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  2. #122
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    Jul 2005
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    >Nobody should be destroying any beekeepers bees until a scientific test is done.

    Q: Exactly. But what will that scientific test be?

    A: DNA sequencing is rapid and accurate. If it were my bees, this would be the test of choice unless the bees are aggressive enough to be a real threat

  3. #123
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    >A: DNA sequencing is rapid and accurate. If it were my bees, this would be the test of choice unless the bees are aggressive enough to be a real threat

    And what is the baseline for this DNA? In other words, what was the source of the original DNA and are those "marker" genes specific to only Scutella? Only the crosses from South America? Or are they from some feral bees that had small comb that someone decided to use as a baseline? Inquiring minds want to know.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #124
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    Feb 2003
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    Columbia, South Carolina USA
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    call the lab and ask??

    Keith
    Bee Sting Honey - So Good, It Hurts!

  5. #125
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    Dec 2005
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    Volga, SD
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    I thought the SC proponents said SC bees wouldn't be confused with AHB. When I suggested that as a disadvantage, that idea was shot down.

  6. #126
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    Nov 2005
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    Milwaukee, WI, USA
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    That depends on who is doing the confusing. I imagine there are a lot of people who consider any flying insect to probably be AHB.
    Best,
    Tom

  7. #127
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    May 2005
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Other SC disadvantages

    I'm trying out Natural Cells for Small Cell, ie. starter strips, for the first time this year. The biggest disadvantage I see this year is getting lots of large drone comb that will need to be culled out or saved for honey supers. My bees are building very large cells on frames that are strictly honey frames. Also in the early spring they liked raising lots of drones. But they are also building some very nice, uniform comb that I have not measured yet. The drone comb is a disadvantage, but not an extreme disadvantage as far as I can tell.

    From what I understand, this does not change once "regressed".

  8. #128
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    The mitochondrial PCR test is based on sequence analysis of bees taken from every geographic region of the world. The term "baseline" is not applicable because the test examines the percentage of genetic resemblence to varieties of bees (monticola, scutella, lingustica, lamarkii etc). This was an accurate test 10 years ago and remains so. My personal opinion is that aggressive colonies should not be tolerated regardless of their parentage.

    Mol Phylogenet Evol. 1996 Jun;5(3):557-66.

  9. #129
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    [size="1"][ June 20, 2006, 08:43 PM: Message edited by: kgbenson ][/size]
    Bee Sting Honey - So Good, It Hurts!

  10. #130
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    Thanks aspera - sounds like a good test.

    Do you have access to the article?

    Keith
    Bee Sting Honey - So Good, It Hurts!

  11. #131
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    Yes, I just read it. It was published by some scientists from USDA-ARS in Beltsville. They did an excellent job even though its not that great of a journal. They showed some interesting relationships between various types of honeybees. Most notably, moticola and saharensis have been isolated populations for a long time.

  12. #132
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    >The drone comb is a disadvantage, but not an extreme disadvantage as far as I can tell.

    It's actually an advantage in disguise. If you keep it on the outside edges of the brood nest, it will discourage the queen from wandering up into the supers looking for drone comb to lay in. It will satisfy their need for drone comb and they will then draw more worker comb. It will act as a magnet for mites to keep them from killing the workers and the small cell hives chew these out more, cleansing the brood nest of varroa without losing workers.

    >The mitochondrial PCR test is based on sequence analysis of bees taken from every geographic region of the world.

    If that is, indeed, what they are using, that sounds like a valid test.

    >My personal opinion is that aggressive colonies should not be tolerated regardless of their parentage.

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

  13. #133
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Germany /Europe
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    I'm doing my 6th season with SC both on foundation and nature comb and can't see any disadvantage.
    Foundation is 4.9mm and nature comb comes out wth 5.0-5.1mm. This maybe caused by my frames which have Hoffmann-side-spacers(?) and the length from middle to middle is 35mm.
    Maybe natural comb can decrease to 4.9 or fewer if I change the distance to 30 or 32mm.

    Since I switched to SC my bees are healthier, the brood nest is more compact and better to warm, the honey harvest increased incredible, and the colonies seem to live in better harmony.
    Since I decided to make my living from the bees I can't afford not to treat against varroa what my first intention for SC was. Now I'm treating the 2nd year with OA-mist and it seems to work fine.

    I'm a little bit heretical because my bees are allowed to rear drones ad libitum.
    At the end they come up with 10-15% and their benefit for the hive is immense.
    At cold days they stay at home and warm the brood so the foragers are free to fly and bring pollen and nectar in.
    Without QE they can also go up to the honey supers and are helping to process and dry the honey.

    In summary: I will never go back to the beekeeping I was taught in the past.
    I'm teaching some newbees and they have a much better start with SC than their fellows which learn in the club.....
    Sincerely
    Alienor

  14. #134
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    "....magnet for mites.."

    interesting, I'll move some to the outside edges then.
    But, I will have more than that. I'll just use it for honey supers, or cut comb.

    They could provide early spring heat too, good point Alienor.

    Also the drones are necessary for queen rearing.

    [size="1"][ June 22, 2006, 07:55 AM: Message edited by: MichaelW ][/size]

  15. #135
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    "Without QE they can also go up to the honey supers and are helping to process and dry the honey."

    Interesting - I have never heard or read this. Is this your own theory, or is ther esome documentation to this claim?

    Keith
    Bee Sting Honey - So Good, It Hurts!

  16. #136
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    This was an observation of Br.Adam and he mentioned it in his books.
    He also said that the drones NEED to have to go into the honey boxes for perfect sexual maturity.
    But he didn't say why.
    I haven't found a stidy yet but I'm sure there is one
    Will keep you posted.
    Sincerely
    Alienor

  17. #137
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    Very cool - I shall ahve to break out my Br. Adam books again.

    thanks!

    Keith
    Bee Sting Honey - So Good, It Hurts!

  18. #138
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    West Palm Bach, FL, USA
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    86

    Default Re: Disadvantage off Smaller bees

    I am a new beekeeper and heard Michael Bush speak in person; he made a lot of sense. Finman in this thread has very good thoughts as well; if his hives can produce 160lbs of honey year, he is obviously doing something right. I realize this is an old thread, but to summarize the provable disadvantages of smaller bees:

    1) Bees will have smaller tongues, so they may not be able to reach as many flowers as larger bees,
    2) Bees MIGHT lose some productivity while regressing (but there is no clear evidence of this),
    3) If you use a starter strip instead of foundation, the honey comb will be more fragile and will need to be handled so the weight is perpendicular to the comb,
    4) Bees will not be able to carry as much nectar as larger bees, but this is probably offset in improved better flight efficiency of smaller bees (due to Physics).
    5) Bees will consume 8 lbs of honey to make 1 lb of wax if starter strips are used.

    However, there are several advantages of naturally sized bees:
    1) Possible increased resistance to Varroa mites,
    2) Improved flight efficiency,
    3) Possible reduced risk of CCD, and
    3) Increased brood count due to greater density of comb.
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Zone 10a; Elevation 13 feet

  19. #139
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Disadvantage off Smaller bees

    >but to summarize the provable disadvantages of smaller bees:

    I don't think any of them are provable, nor do you, apparently as you keep saying "may" or "might" etc.

    >1) Bees will have smaller tongues, so they may not be able to reach as many flowers as larger bees,

    I think the actual result is they can climb down into flowers that large bees can't.

    >2) Bees MIGHT lose some productivity while regressing (but there is no clear evidence of this),

    I have seen no such thing.

    >3) If you use a starter strip instead of foundation, the honey comb will be more fragile and will need to be handled so the weight is perpendicular to the comb,

    But this is not a disadvantage of small bees, rather one of foundationless frames.

    >4) Bees will not be able to carry as much nectar as larger bees, but this is probably offset in improved better flight efficiency of smaller bees (due to Physics).

    I've seen no evidence to support that a larger bee can carry more nectar.

    >5) Bees will consume 8 lbs of honey to make 1 lb of wax if starter strips are used.

    I don't believe this at all. No doubt drawn comb will make more honey than not having drawn comb, but my experience is that foundationless will make more honey than foundation, not because of some arbitrary number of pounds of honey per pound of wax, but because of how much faster they draw foundationless and then have somewhere to store the nectar.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  20. #140
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    West Palm Bach, FL, USA
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    86

    Default Re: Disadvantage off Smaller bees

    I think there is at least one theoretical disadvantage to smaller bees. Smaller bees will build smaller comb. In other words if you took a square inch of comb from bees with 4.9mm comb and a square inch of comb with bees with 5.2mm comb, there would be more cells per square inch on the 4.9mm comb. This would mean more surface area of comb walls. The increased surface area would decrease the amount of honey that could be harvested due to the viscosity of honey clinging to the increased surface area of the comb walls. Assuming the walls are of equal thickness, the increased number of cells would require more beeswax to make the walls, which would theoretically consume more honey.

    That being said, I am switching to foundationless. I think the bees will be more efficient at their natural size, which should offset any other disadvantages.
    West Palm Beach, FL
    Zone 10a; Elevation 13 feet

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