1. Join Date
Feb 2006
Location
Fairfield, Virginia
Posts
1,005
I had some small cell foundation collapse out of the frames, I don't have a metric ruler at home but when I measure the cells there are 5 cells just under and inch with maybe a milimeter left to complete the inch. It appears by looking, that the bees were drawing it out without reworking it. I also measured some natural comb they had drawn out on another frame that the foundation fell and it had 5 cells just over one inch. What would these convert to as far as cells size?

2. Join Date
Sep 2003
Location
New Zealand
Posts
211
Ruben
The following pictures are of a cell measuring gauge in use.This gauge has proved to be invaluable in my trial.

http://tinyurl.com/m4u5d

The programme to print this was created by Machelle on the Orgainic beekeepers list and can be found under files in two formats.

3. Join Date
Nov 2003
Location
North Alabama, SW Kentucky
Posts
1,913
Ruben,
Michelle's measuring tools are helpful. However, I just keep a metric ruler in the toolbox. For small cell, what we look for is cells that are 4.9 mm wide. To do this, I put the "zero" on the cell wall of one cell and then count across 10 cells. I should be at 4.9 centimeter. (4.9 cm divided among 10 cells gives an average of 4.9 mm per cell). A better average is found by measuring more cells and in all 3 directions of the comb.

In short, ditch the "inch" measurement and use the metric ruler. One beek states that he is fine with anything 5.1mm or smaller.

Waya

4. Join Date
Feb 2006
Location
Fairfield, Virginia
Posts
1,005
I just don't have a metric ruler at this time and was curious if anybody knew what those measurements would equal out to. I am going to Lowes to see if they sell a metric tape measure or something.

5. Join Date
Aug 2004
Location
McAlester, OK
Posts
101
Ruben, Try online conversions for converting inches to millimeters or vice versa. It is simple, select, From: inch, To: millimeter, and insert your measurement in inches.
http://www.onlineconversion.com/length_common.htm

Jim Young

6. Join Date
Sep 2004
Location
Devils Lake, North Dakota
Posts
9,104
The conversion is OK but if you are going to work with small cell then the \$1 they charge for the plastic metric pocket ruler is money well spent. Probably have them at Kmart.

7. Five cells to an inch, the standard size for foundation in the 1800s and the commonly accepted measurement for natural cells from that era, is five cells to 25.4mm (an inch) which is ten cells to 50.8mm which is 5.08mm.

[size="1"][ May 07, 2006, 04:03 PM: Message edited by: Michael Bush ][/size]

8. Join Date
Feb 2006
Location
Fairfield, Virginia
Posts
1,005
I took an inside digital micrometer/caliper set and measured the cells inside walls which were 4.9mm. There was a small section with about 80 cells which measured 6.1mm, are these drone cells?

9. 6.1mm would be drone cells. From 5.9mm to 7.2mm I would consider drone comb.

10. Join Date
Nov 2003
Location
North Alabama, SW Kentucky
Posts
1,913
Ruben,
Yes, those larger ones are drone cells.
Where these bees already regressed or is this a "lucky first-timer" for you? If what had fallen was partially drawn before it did, Can you get Any of the fallen drawn-out stuff back into a frame to give them?

I had some foundation buckle and the bottom few inches were all messed up. I cut the comb off where it was right and left the bottom empty. I'm sure they'll carry the comb on down once I give it back.

waya

11. Join Date
Feb 2006
Location
Fairfield, Virginia
Posts
1,005
Yes guess I am a lucky first timer, the bees were just two 3lbs packages of Italians from Rossman Apiaries. One big mistake that I am shooting myself over is when I went in and cleaned up the mess, two of the frames were drawn out almost full, but they were a little wavy but secure and I was afraid that they would not be able to build on the frame next to them so I took them out. After I was back at my house and inspected these frames I realized that they would be just fine and I should have left them. They were both full off pollen and eggs. Should I put these frames back in this weekend or just leave them out? I'm sure the eggs are dead but will the bees just clean them out and start over or should I just forget about it?

12. Join Date
Nov 2003
Location
North Alabama, SW Kentucky
Posts
1,913
Ruben,
A little wavy, I doubt you would have taken them out, unless you are as anal as my sister. A lot wavy, they do need help. Try to repair them and replace them. I did this to a number of frames this year. cut them loose on the sides and bottom and straighten them back out. If you have the push-in pins, use them to hold the comb in the center. This weekend, I discovered that the pins can be pushed up through the split-bottom bar to keep the bottom edge straight as well. Michael Bush says that bobby pins will suffice. I suspect nails will do. With drawn comb, you simply need something to pin it in the center of the frame until they reattach it. At that point, the pins can be removed and reused. (I've got some combs which have the bottom 3 inches cut off because it was buckled so bad. Nothing wrong with the top 5 inches though [img]smile.gif[/img] )

then definately put the comb back in! They'll appreciate not having to redraw comb to replace it. And the queen obviously liked laying in it.

This year, I bought a Stanly tool box with 2 small compartments. It holds everything but my veil and smoker. I can make the repairs right at the hive using a knife and pins and thus save the larvae.

For preventatives, I'm now an avid frame-wirer and use a crimper to get the wire bang0-tight.
Waya

13. Sure. Tie them into frames and put them back. The bees will reattach them.

14. Join Date
Jun 2004
Location
Central PA
Posts
144
Office supply stores sell nice stainless steel rulers with metric, 9" (I think) that fit into a pocket.

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