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Thread: small cell

  1. #81
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    >So here I sit, waiting for the answer? I can take it either way. Michael, Barry I hope your right!!! Because if UGA is right, I'm going to have to cry!!! Cuz I have spend a load of time and aggravation getting my bees on sc!!

    I'm not clear where the aggravation is. If you rotate out comb anyway, which seems a popular preventative for AFB, then in three years you'd have the regressed if you just swap it all out for small cell foundation. But anyway, if Jennifer is right, you'll get more bees. If I'm right they'll still be alive.

    > Problem is, I do see some indication from bees not on sc that are doing equally as well as those on sc and I to have never treated with anything other than essential oils and that was only for one season. And I hardly see any mites just as you guys have said.

    What if the drifting drones even out the mites? Then having half as many Varroa breeding farms will make a difference in your whole yard.

    >Just because I put 59 cents in copper pennies on the bottom of each hive when I started these practices I use, doesn't mean that the pennies are part of the cure.

    "Post hoc ergo proctor hoc" is a difficult thing to prove or disprove in anything as complex as a beehive let along something as complex as a beeyard. The very climate around you is changing as you do your experiments as well as the complex relationships with everything else.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  2. #82
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    Default More thoughts from somebody who does not know what he's talking about

    Here's what I can add at this point in the thread:

    1. I still don't understand why this subject gets people so riled up.

    2. Although I still really wonder whether/how small cell works, I do know that my hives, which were SC, hardly had any varroa in them. Based on my own limited experience, I have no basis to dispute the idea that buying regressed, small cell, non-treated bees eliminates varroa as a hive problem. I'm not saying it totally eliminate the mites, but I did not have enought to worry about at all.

    3. I bought my bees from Don (Fat Beeman), who is on SC and does not treat with chemicals. I would add that his bees are extremely gentle, and Don is very nice and willing to help new beekeepers by answering questions they have. Even though my bees did not do perfectly this year, I still highly recommend him to somebody who wants to buy small cell bees or wants really gentle bees.

    4. Assuming that small cell works (and I don't claim to know that it works or not), I have a hard time believing that it is due to shorter capping times. I buy the idea that capping times are shorter. I do not understand why knocking a day off of the capping time would make a difference. From what I understand: (a) nurse bees that could carry mites would still stick their heads in the cell many times per day before capping and that would expose the larvae to mites; (b) mites move prettty quick. My point is that even if it took mites 3 hours on average to get inside a cell, I fail to see how shortening capping times makes any practical difference.

    5. I can dream up another explanation for why it would work to disrupt the varroa life cycle. I actually got this idea from reading an article a couple of weeks ago in the December 2006 American Bee Journal. (I got an old issue working a booth at the fair for my bee club.) That magazine had an article about a guy who went to Nepal to teach beekeeping. He saw Apis Ceranae hives there, which is the natural host for v. mites. He observed that when A. Ceranae hives are kept EHB hives hives, the varroa mites do not infect the EHB hives at all. In other words, these mites may not really like EHB hives all that much in the first place. He also stated that, in the A. Ceranae hives, the mites ONLY infect drone cells. The writer suggested that some researcher should study the mites in there natural environment to see if they focus on some substance that is present only in or in greater concentrations in A. Ceranae drone larvae. V. mites may favor large drone cells even more than we know. Maybe there is some substance that more present in drone cell and even less present in small cell cells. Maybe the mites just naturally want to go to big cells (like A. Ceranae drone cells) and the smaller the cell the less attracted they are. Maybe smaller cells just get the mites confused, making them pass up the worker cells to wait for something bigger, which they are genetically programmed to like better. I doubt anybody has ever done that sort of study, and I'm not sure how it would be done. In any event, I don't think that the lack of known explanation means that there is no possible explanation.

    Finally, I have a couple of questions:

    1. BWrangler says that he did take some bees from small cell to large cell and noticed an increas in mites? Anybody else take a queen/hive from small cell to large cell? What happened to the mite situation?

    2. In your experience, what effect does small cell and/or using bees that are hygenic and from non-treated stock have on hive growth and honey production?

  3. #83
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    Thanks guys! I just skimmed over your responses so I'll have to came back later. Now I gotta hit the hay, lord knows I can use my beauty sleep!!

    I hope you are right Michael! They are doing quite well now, I have no real complaints. But I'm really not sold on whether it's the small cell itself or in the selection/genetics? I know everything goes together and there is no silver bullet but more in the machine gun you use to shoot em with! Guess I'm just being the devils advocate here...... Sorry

  4. #84
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    Hi Guys,

    I'm going to share one more experience.

    Ever wonder when one has enough small cell evidence? I'd visited the Lusby. Looked at a few of their hives and found only one varroa mite. No signs of PMS, varroa fecal deposits, etc. were seen.

    Once my hives got into equilibrium with the mites, I would see a couple in a mite tray. But maybe once or twice a year I'd actually see a mite on a bee. It was an extraordinary sight.

    Even though I don't read, think or count mites, I don't put a bag over my head concerning them either. Two instances caught me by surprise.

    The first one occurred when I shuffled the broodnest comb in my top bar hive while attempting to stimulate straighter comb production.

    The second occurred when I observed bees chasing some mites out the entrance of a standard Lang small cell hive which had thrived without treatment for 6 years. My first thought was that I'd finally found a combination of factors that busted my small cell ideas.

    But upon close inspection, I found it was the result of my own mangling. I run my hives in 3 deeps. In my area, nobody else does. So, I reduced them to 2 deeps. Split them. And made up the difference with some extra equipment, in preparation for my move from Wyoming to Florida. Turns out some of that extra equipment contained large cell comb. It was probably the same stuff I used to unregress my bees on earlier. I thought I'd given it all away after the test. But not so. A few boxes escaped the process. So, I repeated that test again, inadvertantly. And I got the same results.

    Regards
    Dennis
    Last edited by BWrangler; 10-30-2007 at 07:14 AM.
    I once wrangled bees. But now, knowing better, I just let them bee.
    http://talkingstick.me/category/bees/

  5. #85
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    I found no difference is mite loads using small cell. One test yard I set up used half small cell the other half reg. foundation. Found both to have a equal amt of mites.

  6. #86
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    Russbee, are you certain the small cell foundation was uniformly drawn out to 4.9mm or smaller?
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >

    I have NEVER said that "small cell is an effective control for AFB". I have no idea where you got that. I am merely offering a possible mechanism to explain Dee Lusby's claim that it is.

    Ok, I'm back.

    MB,
    My comments about AFB were based on several comments over the years by you suggesting that smallcell handles AFB. I never said you said those EXACT words. Just the intent.

    On the following thread, you reference Lusby's claim that when she went to smallcell, her AFB went away. Never a mention that it was comb changeover. And you added a little part about thinking smallcell does more than just v-mites or t-mites. (first post) Taken as whole, it suggests that smallcell handled afb.

    I responded that it was NOT smallcell that handled AFB, but was the changeover to new comb. A big difference than just the simple vague comment, even if just "repeating" something from Lusby, that smallcell handles AFB.

    Interestingly, you offer a secondary explanation as if this was good enough after my response. You then suggest a second opinion that smallcell handles AFB, by associating smallcell with stress diseases. As if LC causes stress and allows AFB to be promoted, and SC allows bees to not get AFB due to less stress.

    The whole smallcell changing over comb is not mention till later, and is separate from the vague intial claims that smallcell handles AFB, for various reasons.

    My comments were a culmination of many suggestion throughout the years that smallcell handles AFB. I merely commented that at least we are beyond promoting this. That at least you have some research article to cling too, even if its based on AFB control using bees to chew comb off in some unknown time-frame.

    You can read your comments on page 1. It leaves no doubt you made many suggesting, and were happy to repeat vague comments from Lusby, as long as you promoted smallcell.

    Read what I'm talking about here. Read MB's first couple posts....

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ight=smallcell

  8. #88
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    >I found no difference is mite loads using small cell. One test yard I set up used half small cell the other half reg. foundation. Found both to have a equal amt of mites.

    Which is what Jennifer Berry did also. I quoted these, but apparently no one has read them so I will point out that there is RESEARCH to show that the mite levels WILL even out in the same yard.

    For the full text of these studies:

    http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/oAAnR3W...stApiaries.pdf

    If you don't wish to join the organics group, then PM me and I will email it to you.

    The numbered bullet points are from Eric Osterlund. As you can see there are studies to prove that the Varroa populations DO equalize between colonies.

    From ERIC concerning the studies he quoted:

    1. the first paper was presented at Apimondia 2003

    (INFLUENCE OF VARROA DESTRUCTOR ON FLIGHT BEHAVIOUR OF
    INFESTED BEES
    Jasna Kralj, jkralj0@lycos.com,
    Stefan Fuchs, s.fuchs@em.uni-frankfurt.de)

    "There is some further evidence that foragers’ behavior is
    changed by mite parasitism. Infestation is lower in workers returning from forage than in workers
    leaving the colony (Fuchs and Kutschker, 2000, Kralj and Fuchs, 2002). This finding implies that a part
    2 of unknown mite mortality could be explained by losing mites during foraging and/or an increased loss
    of infested foragers compared to uninfested foragers. In our study we focused on the question whether
    workers infested by Varroa destructor more often do not return than uninfested workers. We thus
    determined daily bees’ losses in infested colony during season. Additionally we focused on the
    question whether flight behavior of workers infested as adults is changed by mite parasitism. In
    particular we determined flight duration of workers and compared homing ability of infested and
    uninfested workers."

    "Results of the present study showed that flight behaviour of workers is changed by parasitism of
    Varroa destructor on adults. Prolonged flights could be caused by impaired homing ability of diseased
    workers, which could additionally cause forager’s loss. It is not clear if workers did not return to the
    colony drift to other colonies or simply get lost and die. In the perspective of the colony such changed
    behavior of parasitised workers could result in decreased colony infestation. Not to return to the colony
    could be a strategy of bees to eliminate the mite constituting a new resistance mechanism against
    diseases in honeybees."


    2. The second is mentioning that a part of the colonies in an apiary were one autumn treated with an effective miticide, while the rest were not treated. Next autumn when all were treated there was no difference between the two groups. A quote from Journal of Apicultural
    Research 31 (3/4): 157-164(1992) Korpela Seppo, Aaehus Aasne, Fries Ingemar, Hansen
    Henrik: Varroa Jacobsoni Oud. In cold climates: population growth, winter mortality and
    influence of the survival of honey bee colonies: ”After treating five colonies of group 1 in
    autumn 1990, the mite populations in treated colonies equalized during late summer and
    auutumn 1991 probably because of drifting and robbing as suggested by Sakofski et al (1990),
    Büchler and Hoffmann (1991) and Greatti et al (1992).”

    So you can all see that the scientific community have had this information for years and still
    they design tests that do away with any possible results.

    3. The third is a table from two years with untreated colonies. The first year when the mite
    pressure is lower the swarms from these colonies have significantly lower mite populations.
    The second year when the mite pressure is higher there is no difference. The mites evens out
    much better when the mite pressure is high of course.

    4. The fourth is tables from a small test between 5.1 and 5.4 mm cell size colonies, initially 7
    colonies in each. The first year when the mite population was small there was no difference in
    mite populations between the two groups. The second year when the mite populations were
    bigger there was higher mite loads in the big cell size group in the middle of the summer. But
    in the autumn when the flow was over there was no difference….. Of course the two groups
    were placed in the same apiary.

    5. The fifth table is from a test by Rinderer et al showing mite populations in control
    (domestic) and Russian colonies in the same apiary. When the controls were all dead the mite
    in the Russians decreased
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #89
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    >My comments about AFB were based on several comments over the years by you suggesting that smallcell handles AFB. I never said you said those EXACT words. Just the intent.

    In case there is any confusion over my intent (which you apparently have) my intent is merely to suggest that there may be a mechanism for Dee's claim.

    >On the following thread, you reference Lusby's claim that when she went to smallcell, her AFB went away.

    Because that is her claim. Is that not a fact?

    >Never a mention that it was comb changeover.

    And you seem to fail to realize it was not her FIRST comb changover. She had already changed ALL of it to 5.1mm and then 5o 5.0mm and after the AFB she went to 4.9mm.

    >And you added a little part about thinking smallcell does more than just v-mites or t-mites. (first post) Taken as whole, it suggests that smallcell handled afb.

    You can and obviously will, take it however you like. I am not now nor was I then suggesting that small cell does or does not handle AFB. But Dee certainly thinks it was what cleared up the last of her issues with healthy bees when she AGAIN changed over her combs to get to 4.9mm.

    >I responded that it was NOT smallcell that handled AFB, but was the changeover to new comb. A big difference than just the simple vague comment, even if just "repeating" something from Lusby, that smallcell handles AFB.

    So what was different about her LAST comb changover as opposed to the previous ones?

    >Interestingly, you offer a secondary explanation as if this was good enough after my response.

    You implied there was no other reasonable explaination. I am saying there may be.

    >You then suggest a second opinion that smallcell handles AFB, by associating smallcell with stress diseases. As if LC causes stress and allows AFB to be promoted, and SC allows bees to not get AFB due to less stress.

    Another possible mechanism.

    >My comments were a culmination of many suggestion throughout the years that smallcell handles AFB. I merely commented that at least we are beyond promoting this.

    I have never been promoting it.

    >That at least you have some research article to cling too, even if its based on AFB control using bees to chew comb off in some unknown time-frame.

    I have had trouble finding the full text of Grout's research. If anyone knows where it might be available I would love to get a copy.

    >You can read your comments on page 1. It leaves no doubt you made many suggesting, and were happy to repeat vague comments from Lusby, as long as you promoted smallcell.

    I repeat what people who have had problems I have not and have come up with solutions that I have not as exactly what they are. Their ideas. You apparently read a lot more into it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #90
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    >4. Assuming that small cell works (and I don't claim to know that it works or not), I have a hard time believing that it is due to shorter capping times. I buy the idea that capping times are shorter. I do not understand why knocking a day off of the capping time would make a difference.

    The mites infest the cell shortly before it's capped. If they miss that window they will not infest the cell. Mites reproduce a new mite every 32 to 36 hours after that but those mites have to make it to maturity and mate in order to be viable. In 21 days only 1 and occasional 2 ever make it. At 19 days, only none to 1 make it.

    >5. ...Maybe there is some substance that more present in drone cell and even less present in small cell cells. Maybe the mites just naturally want to go to big cells (like A. Ceranae drone cells) and the smaller the cell the less attracted they are. Maybe smaller cells just get the mites confused, making them pass up the worker cells to wait for something bigger, which they are genetically programmed to like better. I doubt anybody has ever done that sort of study, and I'm not sure how it would be done. In any event, I don't think that the lack of known explanation means that there is no possible explanation.

    The attraction to larger cells is well documented. One of Dee's theories is that the mites are confused by the large cell and believe they are drones.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #91
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    Lots to catch up on,

    first. Why are there still speculations and questions on what Jennifer Berry said. Its posted on the internet here, in case you missed it the last time I posted it.
    http://www.heartlandbees.com/index.htm

    I stand corrected. Dennis has done comparisons between large and small cell. Your website made me take small cell more seriously than anything else I've read. I would have liked to see the data in a scientific journal article.

    Sounds like others are doing comparisons as well like Bjornbee and russbee with different results. Thats something to consider.

    Shorter pre-capping times would likely affect varroa reproduction due to the short window that the cells are actually attracted to varroa. The varroa seem to be only attracted to the cells during a short period of time prior to capping. HOWEVER, if this attraction window was moved back relative to a shortened pre-capping time, it would have no difference. Boot and Callis did alot of work on this while finding that cells Larger than 5.4mm had a shorter attraction period. This was contemporary to the development of ANP comb, which eventually flopped. They did not test cells smaller than 5.4mm.

    Shorter post capping time could reduce a third "clutch" or whatever you call it of mite eggs from developing to reproductives. It could slightly reduce mite numbers over time. Work has been done to breed bees with a shorter post capping time with some success. But I think more success has been had breeding for SMR and hygienic.

    A capping time experiment on small cell would be interesting and not real hard to develop. It just takes some time, a library, journal literature search on Boot and Calis and Beetsma would show a good way to do it. The book "Asian Apiculture: Proceedings of the first international conference on the Asian honey bee and bee mites" is good start. I was going to do it but don't have time. But again an important point for pre-capping is the "attraction period". If it moves with the pre-capping time, the pre-capping time will make no difference whatsoever.

    As far as I know, the only observation small cell has any affect on capping time is what Michael Bush has observed. I've never seen anyone else make such an observations, but plenty of people on this board quote it as gospel which is pretty annoying, especially seeing no clear documentation of procedure is presented with redundant replications, etc. Boot and Calis's work shows that cell size (larger) does effect the attraction period so small cell could effect attraction period as well, but it might effect it opposite what you might think.

  12. #92
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    MichaelW,
    I agree with what you said. The only problem I see, is the question "How many years do you need to experiment to see results of less mites(based on capping times)?"

    Nobody questions that her (J. Berry) bees were on smallcell. So why would she not see an impact of less mites within the first year, over multiple brood cycles?

    I'm just going on my own thought process and rationalization, but it seems to me that if you can't see reduced mites within the first year, then the whole idea is questionable.

    Maybe someone with all these websites and data (Barry excluded) can explain why it would take two or three years to see mite reduction based on shorter capping times.

    I would think this could be seen within a year after several cycles, but apparently not. I'm not sure why.

    It's no surprise to me that we now ask that several years be given to see mite reduction based on capping times. For obvious reasons. You can figure it out.
    Last edited by BjornBee; 10-30-2007 at 06:14 AM.

  13. #93
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    MB, You promote it by the mere fact that you have over and over, repeated the same comments from D. Lusby, and other vague claims and suggestions, all with little support or research.

    If your not promoting the idea, then why refer back to it so many times. I know its nice to keep suggesting that its someone Else's comments, and that's your "out". But you cling to these comments by others over and over, and thus give credibility to them. Some may even suggest by doing so, that you use these other people's comment in some way to promote the very same thoughts and ideas.

    Come on. Its easy to see....
    Last edited by BjornBee; 10-30-2007 at 06:33 AM.

  14. #94
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    Two of the studies Michael Bush quotes are

    Then there is the issue of male survivorship:
    http://www.apidologie.org/index.php?.../01/Martin.pdf

    That study is on the Cape bee. It proposes a valid question and tells why that question is valid, but in no way begins to answer the question in Mellifera.

    This study
    http://freepages.misc.rootsweb.com/~...rs/Varroa.html
    has the statement,
    "The purpose of this paper is to explain the consistently higher mite fall on the small cell worker comb, which was repeated over four consecutive years"
    then goes on, in a few sentences, to tell you why you are not seeing what you are seeing. More mites for 4 years but its really less mites, yea right! I see it was published in the peer reviewed www. I guess the editors where sleeping.

  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by russbee View Post
    I found no difference is mite loads using small cell. One test yard I set up used half small cell the other half reg. foundation. Found both to have a equal amt of mites.
    Hmm, see a correlation here with the test Berry did?

  16. #96
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    I was wondering, did J. Berry say they were on the same yard with large cell bee's? Billy Bob should post here because he could fill in how old the hives were and probably answer a few more questions about the test.... Billlllllllllyyyyy Booooooobbbbbbb!!!!!!!!!! where you at??????
    Ted

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    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    MichaelW,
    I agree with what you said. The only problem I see, is the question "How many years do you need to experiment to see results of less mites(based on capping times)?"
    Yea, I too think you should see something significant in one year, the way that Jennifer Beery did it. A study that looked only at capping times WITH attraction period could be done in a few months in observation hives. Then, you could make inferences and calculations on what those difference could do to varroa populations.

    Small cell or foundationless either works or it dosen't in my opinion and you should be able to see something in a year (the way that Jennifer Berry did it), but additional years would increase the likelihood of accurate results and who knows maybe something is going on that compounds over multiple years?

    At then end of my foundationless SARE experiment we will have 3 years at the bee yard at my house with foundationless management present. Then I'll probably have enough frames already prepared to carry out the comparison another 2 years just to see what happens with about 10hives with and 10 hives without foundation. To me, it will be interesting no matter what the results are, but I prefer that it will work.
    Last edited by MichaelW; 10-30-2007 at 06:21 AM.

  18. #98
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    Twt, if you watch this http://www.heartlandbees.com/index.htm you will hear that they where in the same yard.

    The back of my head shows up a time or two to the left.
    Last edited by MichaelW; 10-30-2007 at 06:19 AM.

  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Thirdly, to try and make a claim as TWT has and Cindy Bee that beekeepers can use the long standing equipment (LC comb) and be successful keeping bees without ANY treatments or unusual manipulations for many years deserves to be headline news. In fact I think I'll put that on the home page of Beesource. I don't know why all the hubbub with 99 percent of beekeepers not being able to do this. I think Jennifer Berry did a study on the wrong bee hives!

    - Barry
    all I did was state the truth and I do nothing special but take honey and feed when I have too, I would find it very hard to believe that 99% of beeks dont do this, If I am the only one doing this then maybe I should have scientist everywhere here or be signing autograph's, I do know J. Berry and UGA have hives they select and breed from that aren't treated and on regular cell, thats what the UGA honey bee project is about, small cell might help a lot with mites and im not going to bash it but I do know that my bee's live without it and I am sure there are many more beeks out there doing the same as I am, I have always believed that in the end bee genetics will be the thing that saves bee's... just nature taking its course.... IMHO that is !!!!
    Ted

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    MichaelW,
    Concerning your SARE grant, Are you, or how are you, compensating for difference in queen changeover?

    I guess you can keep tabs on the data on the individual hives, so you can note any changes out of the ordinary as queens may come and go. I mention this because you suggest a 5 year period for data collection. Even one or two queens being changed could throw the data off one way or the other.

    Good luck and Thank you for taking the time and effort.....

    I had to make the decision to either note the change on my info sheets, and thus explain any differences in data "spikes", or decide to requeen by the yard, so all yards remained with the same quality/age/genetics of queens, and thus posed variations within the queen pool being used.

    Anytime you go over the workable limit of an individual queen, the data can get fuzzy.
    Last edited by BjornBee; 10-30-2007 at 06:31 AM.

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