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Thread: Small Cell Hive

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    Not to mention you've got more bees. A small-cell frame has roughly 22% more cells/frame. (If i remember from when I actually did the calculation).

    (I do recall that an 8-frame small cell box has roughly 5% more cells than it's 10-frame large cell counterpart).

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    Yes that's something I have been thinking about, the queen will have to lay a lot more eggs, to make the same biomass of bees.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    Perhaps breeding a queen that lays one honking big egg would be the way to go!
    Regards, Barry

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    After keeping bees For almost FORTY years, 33 of those commercially, I STAND BY MY COMMENT. And sorry if the truth hurts. Go ahead experiment. Four university studies are out there for you to read. Why did I post-to give another opinion that might make a new and future beekeeper think about what the options are. I will go with the cargo planes any day--they haul more with less trips. TK

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    "Since we have made the statement that size of brood cell alone is not sufficient to produce a much larger worker bee, we must consider the fact that the crucial test for the commercial use of enlarged foundation is greater honey production. While this experiment should be a strong indication toward that end, the exact relation of this increase in the size of adult worker bees to a greater yield of honey has yet to be proved. During the past four years, we have been conducting an experiment in a commercial yard with from fifteen to twenty colonies containing brood combs constructed from each size of foundation, making an apiary of sixty colonies maximum. To date we have not been able to find any significant increase in the honey production due to the use of enlarged cell foundation. This experiment is still being continued in a location more favorable for honeyflows and we expect to have some definite results in the near future."

    http://www.beesource.com/point-of-vi...he-worker-bee/
    Regards, Barry

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    My hives produced about 100lbs of honey/ year with large cell.

    They produce about 100lbs of honey/ year with small cell.

    I see no real difference.



    I went from about 20% overwinter losses w/ large cell to about 10% winter losses with small-cell AND 8-frame.


    Don't know why, maybe I'm a better beekeeper now. I'm sticking with what works.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    I will go with the cargo planes any day--they haul more with less trips. TK
    Ah, but if you have more smaller planes making the trips, I see no advantage. The payload in a day is the same.
    Regards, Barry

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    I will go with the cargo planes any day--they haul more with less trips. TK
    If God wanted us to have cargo planes, he wouldn't have given us all those little Cessnas so many thousands of years ago. It was humans that decided big cargo planes were more efficient than the smaller Cessna.

    WAyne

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    Gentlemen, these are all good points well taken. I will be very interested in the outcome of the experiment that Barry is conducting. Barry, is there any way to find out if the energy expediture to maintain those five little bees is greater than that of the three larger bees. I do know that a larger animal (say an elephant) actually has a lower energy requirement to maintain its metabolism than a mouse. Also, queen burn out....you have created a situation where a queen will lay more eggs to the comb and in a shorter time, use up her fertility thus burning out quicker. And in these days and times, queens do not last. The old timer said it best--the queen will have to lay a whole lot more eggs to produce the same biomass of bees. It will take several experiments to figure all this out. I still think that a large cell bee with a larger honey stomach will out preform a small cell bee with a smaller payload capacity. Barry if your experiment proves me wrong then I will admit I was wrong. But at this stage of life--my airport was designed to handle cargo planes. TK

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    you have created a situation where a queen will lay more eggs to the comb and in a shorter time,
    actually we have created nothing. it is all natural bess have been successfully doing it this way for thousands of years. It was only since human intervention that large cell came about(along with Varoa)

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    I have been watching this thread with great interest. I know that "small cell" may not be the quick fix for all of beekeeping problems but I am all about doing it "natural". This (the way God designed it) seems to be better in my opinion.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    Also, queen burn out....you have created a situation where a queen will lay more eggs to the comb and in a shorter time, use up her fertility thus burning out quicker. And in these days and times, queens do not last. TK
    In looking at queens isn't it so that most people requeen after 2 years? From what I've read a queen can lay for 4-6 years. Is this correct? If this is the case even if the queen lays double the eggs, she's being replaced before perhaps 1/2 of her laying capacity is "used up". Am I thinking correctly here?

    TK I appreciate your thoughts and input. As Oldtimer said. . .Getting thoughts from many camps is how we learn. The whole "iron sharpening iron" kind of thing only in beekeeping. It's great to learn!!!!!

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    I do know that a larger animal (say an elephant) actually has a lower energy requirement to maintain its metabolism than a mouse.
    A mouse may mate hundreds of times per day, has a gestation period of 20 days, and is sexually mature in less than two months, with a lifespan of 3 years. There is no comparison to bees of the same species, with 25% different body mass.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    Delber, In ideal situations a good queen will lay a solid pattern for a good two years. BUT most do not make it that long anymore and supercede with in a season. There lies the quandry, 25% body mass diffrence in LC Bees and SC bees. Which uses less energy to function doing the daily chores of a colony of bees and thus is the more effecient???? Bees like animals are a little bit bigger the further to the north you go. Cell size increase also. It is an adaptation to conserve energy in colder climates. So I will stick with my cargo sized bees. TK

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    I have one last thought... I want to wait and see what the Old timer comes up with in New Zealand with his experimentation and What Barry determines with their ongoing experiment of Whether the size of the bee corralates with increased or decreased production. Then,along with the University studies, the discussion of LC vs SC can be put to rest. Beekeeping is about personal choice. And we as beekeepers,are a stubborn lot. I have a way of keeping bees that may be different from the way you keep bees. But both ways work. (I see more debate coming for sure) That is all that matters in trying to perserve the honeybee and keep it from extinction. Good Beekeeping, may all your supers be full. TK

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Kretschmann View Post
    What Barry determines with their ongoing experiment
    Ted -

    It's clear you didn't check out the link I posted. That quote I gave is from Roy A. Grout in 1936. If you want to know what has been written and studied about cell size and sizing of bees, there is plenty to read by following the link. Many more articles to the left as well. It will give you a good historical background on this topic.

    Here is his Thesis:
    http://www.beesource.com/point-of-vi.../introduction/

    http://www.beesource.com/point-of-vi...of-literature/

    http://www.beesource.com/point-of-vi.../experimental/

    http://www.beesource.com/point-of-vi...ee/discussion/

    http://www.beesource.com/point-of-vi...eybee/summary/
    Regards, Barry

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    Quote Originally Posted by WiredForStereo View Post
    Honestly, there's no guarantee that you will get 100% small cell.
    I'll go so far as to say you definitely won't get 100% SC comb from your foundation. As you say though, the success of having it drawn will always be connected to what the bees feel like their need is. Both Dennis and I have found that one only needs a certain percent of small cells in the hive to see the difference. If you keep those combs near the center of the brood nest, the queen will use them to raise brood.
    Regards, Barry

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    Question - In a few weeks when there's getting to be enough SC bees in the hive, I'm going to cut out the combs and get them to draw new SC foundation. I could put some drone combs in the hive so they won't feel pressured to try to make drone cells, but the drone comb is naturally drawn LC drone.

    Probably a dumb question but I have no experience with SC. Would putting in the LC drone combs help, or hinder, as far as getting a good result on pulling the sc foundation? Just thought as it's LC not SC it might influence them towards LC?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    Hi Guys

    For me, the either large cell or small cell question was settled a decade ago. A variety of different bees, including Lusbees the ultimate full regresssed small cell bee, were allowed to build natural comb in a top bar hive. The broodnests were dissected, measured and tabulated. You can read about it here:

    http://beenatural.wordpress.com/natu.../natural-comb/

    In a natural nest comb includes both sizes, each in the right location and used for the right purpose at the right time of the year. Look at "Seasonal Dynamics" toward the bottom of this page:

    http://beenatural.wordpress.com/natu...onal-dynamics/

    Big cells produce big bees? Small cells produce small bees? It's just not that simple. I wish it were, especially after measuring more than a thousand bees on both large cell and small cell comb throughout a season. Seasonal effects have more to do with bee size than does cell size. You can read about it here:

    http://beenatural.wordpress.com/lega...onal-bee-size/

    Sorry guys. I still get a chuckle with the airplane analogy. There seems to be a fly in the ointment with this one. But I will ramble on a bit more about it. It's not a new idea and has been used for more than a decade with no basis in any kind of fact. For me, the only value it has is to interject some humor into this debate. And that's not all bad. :-)

    This comparison doesn't fly no matter how you look at it. Not size wise, mass wise, energy hauled or burned wise. Just no wise, unless one's small cell size bees are very small - less that 1/30 of an inch long. Or unless one's large cell size bees are very big, about 3 feet long based on the differences between a Cessna and a small cargo plane. I don't think that kind of change has been produced in a change in cell size that averages about 10%.

    But to continue the analogy, I'd rather have a variety of different sized planes in my fleet, each suited to its purpose and time. That's a little of what natural cell is about. And it has much to do with the adaptability, resilience, and survivability of our little aerodrome of fliers. Maybe that's why the queen hooks up with so many different manufactures so that a wide variety of aircraft types are produced. :>)

    Yeowww, I rambled on long enough. Maybe too long.

    Take care guys. Let the bees teach you. And happy beekeeping.

    Regards - Dennis
    I once wrangled bees. But now, knowing better, I just let them bee.
    http://talkingstick.me/category/bees/

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    I don't have any experience with SC foundation, I let my bees draw natural comb, but I wouldn't think that putting LC drone foundation in along with your SC worker foundation would hurt their chances of drawing the worker foundation correctly, JMO. John

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Small Cell Hive

    Hi Guys

    When I initially tried to get small cell comb drawn, I included a frame of commercial drone comb in a single deep thinking it might help. But I've found the bees will do what they want. And it's very difficult, if not impossible, to duplicate what colony intelligence decides is proper. There are just too many variables for our human brains to handle.

    Bees not only want a variety of cell sizes. But they want the right cell size in the right location. A bad approximation of what they want only frustrates them and hinders the colony decision making process. It's costly to both the bees and the beekeeper in terms of time and energy. And the beekeeper will pay for it in cash.

    My experience indicates that the best bees will only draw out 40 to 60 percent of small cell foundation into small cell comb. So, if you live in a northern climate and want 100% small cell comb hives, plan on using twice as many hives as you want to end up with(not all hives will make the 40/60 cut). Dedicate all those hives to comb drawing for 3 years. Rotate acceptable comb out and repeat the process until you have enough comb for half the hives. Plan on at least doubling your small cell foundation costs as 60 to 40 percent of it won't be small cell size and will be culled in the process.

    Regards - Dennis
    I once wrangled bees. But now, knowing better, I just let them bee.
    http://talkingstick.me/category/bees/

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