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  1. #81
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    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Actually on second thoughts DeeJayCee, how do I contact Roy? I might get some of that foundation and run a small cell hive just for the heck of it.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    You'll first need to get the SC foundation drawn out into small cells. This is the hard part from my experience.
    Regards, Barry

  3. #83
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    Jul 2010
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Far as I know there's no sc bees here.

    So I'm thinking best option is get my nc hive down far as possible, then shake some of them into the sc.

    If I made the sc hive really weak, say, enough bees to just about cover 1 frame, I think they would draw whatever they had to, even sc. If that happened I could cautiously add small numbers of bees to help out, but only allow hatching bees to emerge from any sc comb so they'd be coming through & making it easier to get sc built.

    Well, that's a possible plan, from a guy who'se never done it, would it work?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #84
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    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    When I moved all my LC bees onto SC wax foundation, it wasn't pretty. Be prepared to get a lot of poorly drawn comb with a small bit of well drawn comb. So much depends on time of year and what they bees are focused on. Doing total shake downs (shaking an existing hive of bees onto SC foundation with a queen excluder on the bottom board) can be very stressful on the bees with resulting disease problems.

    All this to say, to fully test SC, you will need to have "X" amount of comb that is 4.9. Not all my comb is this, but most of it is. Inserting frames of SC foundation here and there was not very successful for me. Again, try it and see what they do.
    Regards, Barry

  5. #85
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Yes I wouldn't do it by putting frames in a normal hive.

    Won't stress the bees to much if I shook them I'll give the nc hive time to get a couple of new generations of bees out first, by that time they'll have forgotten all about what I've been doing to them lately!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #86
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
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    189

    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    g'day Oldtimer - have sent you a message with Roy's address and wax info.

  7. #87
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Brandon, MS USA
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    1,585

    Re: Natural Cell Hive

    My offer still stands. If you want to try HSC, I will send you some. That will force the regression in the first generation and then you can let the small bees draw sc or nc and see what they do... its all plastic, so it won't be a problem getting it to you.

  8. #88
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    Apr 2008
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    Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
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    189

    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    My offer still stands. If you want to try HSC, I will send you some. That will force the regression in the first generation and then you can let the small bees draw sc or nc and see what they do... its all plastic, so it won't be a problem getting it to you.
    hi there - I'd be interested in talking to you about this if Oldtimer doesn't want to take it up.

  9. #89
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    The cheapest (here anyway) solution to perfectly drawn comb is the PF100s or PF120s from Mann Lake. They draw them perfectly the first try at 4.95mm.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #90
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    My offer still stands. If you want to try HSC, I will send you some. That will force the regression in the first generation and then you can let the small bees draw sc or nc and see what they do... its all plastic, so it won't be a problem getting it to you.
    Much thanks Robert, however I don't like or use plastic.

    Pretty sure that with a weak hive, going slowly and with some TLC I'll be able to cajole them into pulling the 4.9 stuff.

    Hope I don't have to eat my words LOL!

    It's likely a month or two off yet but when I do this I'll post some pics.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #91
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Wash Co., Ohio
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    117

    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Been following all this - quite interesting - but I have a question that is probably so naive I'm setting some of you up for a good laugh, but....

    Smaller bees make smaller cells, right?
    And after a while the brood cells fill with debris that essentially shrinks the diameter, correct?
    So these bees emerge smaller (?)
    So why is utilizing older (but still in use) brood frames not an option in generating smallcell-making bees?
    (This is, of course, for those specifically shooting for small cell, vs. natural cell)
    The corrections to my "logic" are most appreciated.

  12. #92
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    Apr 2008
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    Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
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    189

    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbus View Post
    Been following all this - quite interesting - but I have a question that is probably so naive I'm setting some of you up for a good laugh, but....

    So why is utilizing older (but still in use) brood frames not an option in generating smallcell-making bees?
    I don't think it's naive at all, Gibbus. It's a question I asked myself as well.

    I have read a study (don't ask me for a source) some time ago that indicated a 20% reduction in the size of bees over (from memory) sixty generations due to debris constricting the cell size.

    One reason not to is that those older combs with their debris can carry a high disease load of everything that's been through the hive in the time they've been in use.

  13. #93
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Good question & something I've been wondering about myself.

    Although most of the debri builds at the bottom of the cell, and less so around the sides. It is likely one of the reasons standard Lang frame width is slightly larger than you will find in most wild hives, to allow for build up on the bottom.

    Here's a pic of what happens ( not my pic by the way, wish I was clever enough to take something like that! ) -


    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #94
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Just as an extra to that pic, you can see there is plenty of room for a varroa mite in there, and the same would apply even in a cell measuring 4.9. I think we can rule out small cells causing death to varroa by suffocation.

    A more likely possibility, is that some studies have shown small cell bees completing their developement faster. If a larva could emerge faster, it will reduce the odds of varroa completing their lifecycle. This is why drone larvae, with their slower larval development, are refered to as "varroa factories".

    However to balance what I've just said, all properly done scientific studies ( to date ) on the subject have shown small cell does not reduce varroa infestation and in fact can have the opposite effect. Nonetheless, anecdotal evidence persists.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  15. #95

    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbus View Post
    So why is utilizing older (but still in use) brood frames not an option in generating smallcell-making bees?
    Developing brood within cells produce wastes. Beeswax absorbs much of this but over time becomes 'saturated' and instead of being a sink for, it becomes an additional source of contamination. Even in the days before many of our modern day pests and parasites, before such widespread use of many pesticides, feral colonies of bees would typically fail after a few years....I'm told...and it was supposed that contaminated brood comb may have been one of the causes.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  16. #96
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    >Smaller bees make smaller cells, right?

    Yes. If they are not mislead by foundation...

    >And after a while the brood cells fill with debris that essentially shrinks the diameter, correct?

    Not debris. Old cocoons. And the bees will let them shrink to what they find acceptable and then they will chew them out to what they feel is acceptable (see research by Grout)

    >So these bees emerge smaller (?)

    They do, yes.

    >So why is utilizing older (but still in use) brood frames not an option in generating smallcell-making bees?

    It could be. The disadvantage to the old comb is those hundreds of cocoons hiding who knows what spores between those layers. Many more layers that they would have allowed on natural sized or small cell comb.

    >(This is, of course, for those specifically shooting for small cell, vs. natural cell)
    The corrections to my "logic" are most appreciated.

    Your logic is basically sound. If you add the chewing out you have the whole picture.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #97
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    While googling for that article you mentioned Michael, I found this, which is an interesting read so have linked it
    http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/denwood.html
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  18. #98
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Wash Co., Ohio
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    117

    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Thank you all - the cocoon/spore-store factor makes perfect sense.
    I really should have thought about that when last pitching old frames...

    And it seems to add weight to the SC camp, as they will chew out more often (as the space is smaller) thus lessening the spore buildup potential. Freaking geniuses, they are!

    And one more thing, because I cant let stuff go - is it HYPOTHETICALLY possible to irridate old combs, thus creating a spore-free small cell brood frame that they are already using and creating smaller bees from?

  19. #99
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Irridating combs can be done and has been used as a disease control measure.

    However I don't think you can go to small cell bees that way. I have used brood combs that have been in use 40 years, and the bees are still pretty much the same size.

    It has been mentioned about wild hives only lasting a few years before they die out. Nowadays I think that is mostly true, but I don't think it's because of cell size reduction due to cocoon build up in brood cells.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  20. #100
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Wash Co., Ohio
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    117

    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    40 Years??!!

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