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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Countryboy View Post
    Then why do you call it worker cells?
    Cos they are worker cells. When I take another pic in a few days, there will be eggs in them.

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    I have a thread discussing this in detail on my site in the "Questions about Breeds and Strains" forum... its kind of hard to notice, but the thread is titled "Natural Cell (4.9) and best queens"...

    Great work btw!
    OK so the regression will take a while? dissapointed with that the info I got from a well known sc / nc author was first regression 5.1, second regression 4.9. If the reality is it's only 1 mm a time, this is all going to take too long!! But ATM there is NO regression, the bees raised in these cells will be no smaller than I have now. So we are not even moving in the right direction.

    Thanks for the HSC offer, but no bee products such as wax can be imported to my country as we don't have EFB and some other nasties. Anyhow, part of this project is to check the validity of some of the info on the net, so going HSC would short circuit that and not give fair opportunity for the bees to perform as it's claimed they will on some web sites.

    I didn't notice that thread on your site Robert, it must be well hidden LOL, I'll have to get back & have another look. Cheers
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #42
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    or do a forced swarm by shaking them all off existing comb into a hive of no comb and let them start fresh.
    You're sure that will make a difference?
    If you are really sure it will work I'll start over and do it that way tommorrow.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
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    2,694

    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Anyone know who carries HSC?

    http://www.simpsonsbeesupply.com/ has them for $6 each, or a case of 20 for $118 - bottom of page 4 in their pdf catalog.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
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    2,694

    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    OK so the regression will take a while? dissapointed with that the info I got from a well known sc / nc author was first regression 5.1, second regression 4.9.

    If the author is who I think it is, they also recommend feeding in foundationless frames in the spring during broodnest buildup, and they say to take your time doing it...that it will probably take 2 years to get all the combs regressed.

    They also say that the all plastic honey super cell is an easy instant regression, if you can get the bees to accept the plastic.

  5. #45
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Thanks CountryBoy, I checked it out, I see, they are plastic. So I would be allowed to import them.

    But I'm not going to I don't want to force the bees onto something unnatural, I'm wanting to see what they WANT to build.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #46
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Countryboy View Post
    If the author is who I think it is, they also recommend feeding in foundationless frames in the spring during broodnest buildup, and they say to take your time doing it.
    Feeding them in? As in the way I am doing it? Or all in one hit as Barry suggested?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    All results are variable by genetics, time of year, combs the bees were raised on, spacing of combs, etc.

    Typically first regressions are 5.1mm or so. That's assuming the bees are typical in their response, the size they were raised on is 5.4mm, the time of building the comb is early spring or after the flow and not for honey storage, preferably the spacing would be 1.25" on center (32mm).

    Bees are seldom typical. I've had them build 4.7mm right out of a large cell package. I've had them build 5.2mm right out of a large cell package. I have not had much 5.5mm comb at all and when I do it's for honey storage. But in the end the issue is the core of the brood nest. That needs to be about 4.9mm.

    If you want consistent results the most consistent results have been with Mann Lake PF100 and PF120s or wax coated PermaComb or HSC. The Mann lake PF100 series are consistently drawn the size they are imprinted, which is 4.95mm while the HSC is basically the equivalent of 4.9mm as is the wax coated PermaComb already drawn. And, of course, there is 4.9mm foundation.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #48
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    OK thanks Michael well I'm going natural cell not foundation, so, in your opinion, can I do it as I'm doing, exchanging the combs in over a few weeks, or do you think there would be an advantage in shaking the bees and doing all empty frames in one hit?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    I would measure the core of the comb and mark the top bar. I would move larger combs to the outside edges. As they are empty of brood and there is nectar and pollen coming in, I'd pull those out and harvest or scrap them, cut the comb out of the center (and leave a full cell around the outside edge for a guide) and put them back in the center, or move them up into the supers. It usually takes at least two turnovers of comb in the brood nest to get the core down to 4.9mm. Some bees need even more, but usually two will make it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #50
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    OK I'll keep going like that then.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,385

    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    You're sure that will make a difference?
    It will if you were trying to go SC. I have not done "natural" cell.
    Regards, Barry

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Grahamsville, NY
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    440

    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    ...But I'm not going to I don't want to force the bees onto something unnatural, I'm wanting to see what they WANT to build.
    This is very good idea.

    Try not to fall under wrong influences.
    My bees' natural cell size runs from about 4.9mm to 5.5mm in the core of the brood nest.
    But in general, the average cell size is about 5.25mm to 5.30 mm.
    Do not squeeze your bees, because "Small-cell comb foundation does not impede Varroa mite population growth in honey bee colonies."
    More details are here: http://www.beebehavior.com/small_cel...rroa_mites.php

    Boris

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    I don't want to force the bees onto something unnatural, I'm wanting to see what they WANT to build.

    Have patience then. Don't try to force the bees faster than they want to go.

    Feeding them in? As in the way I am doing it? Or all in one hit as Barry suggested?

    Feeding them in one at a time...maybe two if you have enough bees to fill the gap created by putting in an empty frame. (Don't open the broodnest too far.) I found that if I gave bees two foundationless, they often drew drone comb on one or both frames, but I seemed to have better control getting them to draw out better worker combs if I only gave them one comb at a time.

    I think doing a shook swarm to remove the bees completely from the combs seems stressfull and disrupts the normal hive processes. If I was going to give the bees a whole box of undrawn combs, I would put it below the box they are in, and then feed them - as they fill the upper box, it will force them down, and force them to draw new worker combs.

    I would suggest that you decide on one approach and stick with it. Flip flopping may just cause more problems, and it ends up being a wild goose chase.

    What I have done is to put a foundationless frame in the center of the brood cluster in early spring, and then came back and put in another frame a month later. The next spring, I fed more frames in.

    I have also started packages with one or two combs, and the rest foundationless frames, and I would put a foundationless frame in the center of the cluster when the cluster was strong enough to fill the gap. I just kept feeding frames in as the cluster expanded.

    I have also taken 5 frame nucleus hives and put one foundationless frame at a time in and let them draw worker combs. Nucs seem much more interested in drawing worker comb, and I can get worker combs drawn all summer long with nucs. The nucs are kind of treated like comb factories, and I give other colonies (or splits or nucs) the drawn combs I remove from the nuc.

    As I fed in more foundationless frames, I would look at other frames too. I tried to keep good worker combs near the center of the cluster. The frames with the most large cells got moved farther from the center of the cluster.

    This is what has worked for me.

  14. #54
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Hmmm.... Well there seems to be a division of opinion over wether to shook swarm or feed frames in gradually. Anyway, I've decided, just to cover all bases, to do what Barry said, shake the bees and put in all empty frames.

    So I did that about an hour ago, and cut the existing combs out as per M Bush, photo below.

    But as per CountryBoy I know this could be headed for a mess so I'll be looking in on them every few days to straighten out combs if need be.

    I guess one plus with all the brood removal is there cannot be much varroa left, they had a bunch of capped drone brood.

    And thanks Boris, interesting link!


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

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Middle TN
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Oldtimer,

    Keep the pictures coming, I sure do enjoy looking at them.

    Won't be long before I will be following some of your footsteps over here. My difference will be 4.9 foundation either side of a foundation-less frame, or drawn 4.9 comb either side. Over a period of time remove the foundation frames leaving just 100% bee drawn frames on no foundation.

    Bryn

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Middle TN
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    To those more knowledgeable.

    A large queen laying on 4.9 drawn comb, would she have a lower laying rate due to the difficulty of her entering the cell, and would/could this lead to the queen being superseded?

    Bryn

  17. #57
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    OK well let's know how that goes Bryn.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,385

    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    So I did that about an hour ago,
    Poor bees, I bet they didn't sign up for this test!
    At least this way you'll get all the various type combs and cells.
    Regards, Barry

  19. #59

    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by bjoynes View Post
    A large queen laying on 4.9 drawn comb, would she have a lower laying rate due to the difficulty of her entering the cell,
    I added a 4.9 drawn frame to a hive that I had 'regressed' to 5.1. Up to that point they were unable to draw 4.9 successfully themselves, so I added a drawn frame of 4.9 to the center of the brood nest. The queen either couldn't or wouldn't lay in the 4.9. She kept the frames on either side full.
    I also had some that laid very sporadically in 4.9 but did well in 5.1.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Natural Cell Hive

    I have seen the issue once. But once out of hundreds of queens is more of a fluke than a pattern.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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