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  1. #1
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    May 2009
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    Default HSC / Honey Super Cell

    I started my hives in April last year. When I ordered my equipment, I ordered all HSC. Had no clue what it was, but it said SUPER, so I figured it meant stronger. (blush) In part, seems a good thing that I ordered it. But I'm wondering if I need some foundationless on outsides or some small cell in there, or do I leave well enough alone? I am treatment free and hives seem to be thriving. I just don't know what impact all HSC is creating. Thanks for the input.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: HSC / Honey Super Cell

    HSC is a company that has several products. If what you got is fully drawn (1" or so thick) then you got what is used for brood. If what you got is just plastic foundation in a plastic frame (one piece) but not drawn (in other words only thin plastic with embossed cell walls) they you got what they make for supers, which is 6.0mm size with a fake egg in the bottom to discourage the queen from laying it it, both because of the size and because of the fake egg. If you got the frame/foundation, I would not put this in the brood chamber. If you got the fully drawn plastic comb, then I WOULD use that in the brood chamber. It is 4.9mm fully drawn comb. While it takes the bees about two weeks to accept it, it works great after that.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
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    Default Re: HSC / Honey Super Cell

    I looked up the exact name of what I purchased and it is NOT HSC. Sorry. It is called "Superframe." It is the Plasticel in a wood frame, not drawn; slight wax coating. There was no description to cell size, so I called the factory and it is what they call the "standard" size, which they said is 5.4 mm. Is this, then, the "all around" size cell and they will adjust accordingly? I used it in every one of my 8-frame mediums, and also a few in the 2 deeps that I have. Am I making the bees work harder to do their job?

    When I originally ordered everything, I didn't even know there were different size cells to use (except for the drone comb size), so I am just wondering if I should be introducing something else or should I should leave well enough alone? I am thinking about ordering a few more items in hopes of trying to overwinter some nucs, so I thought if I needed something else I could go ahead and get it.
    Last edited by Seymore; 03-10-2011 at 07:36 AM. Reason: .
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  4. #4
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    Aug 2002
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    Default Re: HSC / Honey Super Cell

    >There was no description to cell size, so I called the factory and it is what they call the "standard" size, which they said is 5.4 mm. Is this, then, the "all around" size cell and they will adjust accordingly?

    This is large cell size and they will not adjust. They will just use it. IMO it should be 4.9mm in order to be the "right" size.

    > I used it in every one of my 8-frame mediums, and also a few in the 2 deeps that I have. Am I making the bees work harder to do their job?

    In my experience you are. They will have a lot more Varroa in my experience.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
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    May 2009
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    Default Re: HSC / Honey Super Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >This is large cell size and they will not adjust. They will just use it. IMO it should be 4.9mm in order to be the "right" size.
    Dang. I was getting that feeling that these were the wrong size.

    > I used it in every one of my 8-frame mediums, and also a few in the 2 deeps that I have. Am I making the bees work harder to do their job?

    >In my experience you are. They will have a lot more Varroa in my experience.
    Man, I was just reading about regressing bees and I was feeling so proud of myself for not having to do that!!! Pooh! This just in - 56 frames of 5.4mm! Wow, the more you know, the more you know you don't know. Thanks for the answer.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  6. #6
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    Default Re: HSC / Honey Super Cell

    So..... any recommendations what I should do at this point? I could get 4.9mm foundation and use the others just for honey? Or can I mix them? I bought these at Brushy and they only have the 4.9 in all wax. Mixing wax and Plasticel might be a problem, I'm thinking. My beekeeping philosophy, such as it is with barely a year under my belt, is no chemicals, wanting to keep my hives as natural as possible. I understand 4.9 is more natural too.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  7. #7
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    Sep 2008
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: HSC / Honey Super Cell

    Don't worry about the cell size that you are now using. Your bees will do well on what you have now, you will not have more varroa than if you were using 4.9.

    Success in beekeeping is not relying on a particular cell size, hive configuration or other gimmick. Success comes from having a good location, using a good strain of bee, checking your varroa population and treating when required, keeping your bees free of disease and keeping close watch on the condition of your queens. Successful beekeeping is learning what needs to be done, how to do it and then doing it on time.

    If you are not in a beekeeping association you should find one close and attend it's meetings, if no associations are close, find another beekeeper and help him work his bees. You will learn not only from what he does right but you will learn more from the mistakes you see him make.

    Don't believe everything that you are told about beekeeping. Try recommendations for yourself, and after they prove to work at least twice in a row, you can then say they are true. There is not only one way to keep bees successfully, but there are ways that are more efficient than others. They are usually simple and not at all complicated.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: HSC / Honey Super Cell

    Ok, it's final. I'm changing my moniker to Chicken Little.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  9. #9
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: HSC / Honey Super Cell

    I would find someone who wants large cell foundation and sell it to them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Devils Lake, North Dakota
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    9,123

    Default Re: HSC / Honey Super Cell

    Like MB said....... 56 frames isn't a lot to get rid
    off. Post it in the "For Sale" section or ebay. Then
    get what you want.

    Mann Lake has a 4.9mm PF100 & PF120 frames. Good
    price for undrawn frames.

    HSC fully drawn is nice stuff, heavy, but nice.

    My experience is that cell size does matter regarding
    mite load. 4.9mm and smaller helps.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: HSC / Honey Super Cell

    Guess I'll check out selling them. Still have time to get 4.9 in for my 2 new hives, I think. I definitely want to stay with the most natural.

    So, what does that mean for when I split my hives by adding new queens? I presumably will have 4.9 frames, but to get bees in there, I have to move over some brood and bees that are 5.4. I wil be mixing cell sizes, by at least, what? 3 frames of brood and bees that are currently in 5.4. And what about honey? Don't transfer any honey in 5.4 frames? Just feed like the dickens?

    AR, I do belong to a beek Assn here, and we are trying to get a few mentors to step forward, but to date the number of them has been... Uh.... ZERO. This has made it very difficult to learn beekg. THANK GOODNESS for everyone here!!!
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  12. #12
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    Default Re: HSC / Honey Super Cell

    My view is pull any frame that is large cell and isn't brood every chance you get.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
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    Default Re: HSC / Honey Super Cell

    Seymore, I have seen beekeepers that were reluctant to travel to other beekeepers locations to help them work bees, but usually if you offer to go to them to watch how they work, they are ok with that. In the associations I belong to, we always have question/answer sessions during the meetings but there is no learning experience like looking in a colony with someone that can explain what needs to be done and how to do it.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: HSC / Honey Super Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    My view is pull any frame that is large cell and isn't brood every chance you get.
    I understand that large cell is how most package bees come, so I'm guessing that means we must be able to mix sizes, I'm hoping. Cuz I gotta add bees to my queens.

    AR Beekeeper=I have seen beekeepers that were reluctant to travel to other beekeepers locations to help them work bees, but usually if you offer to go to them to watch how they work, they are ok with that. In the associations I belong to, we always have question/answer sessions during the meetings but there is no learning experience like looking in a colony with someone that can explain what needs to be done and how to do it.
    Both of these are great ideas for a beginner. I've thought of both; guess I need to push it more!
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  15. #15
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    Apr 2009
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    Issaquah,WA,USA
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    Default Re: HSC / Honey Super Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymore View Post
    Pooh! This just in - 56 frames of 5.4mm! Wow, the more you know, the more you know you don't know. Thanks for the answer.
    Last year I bought 1000 of the 5.4's. It is no big deal. Some say potato and some say patato. They all work fine. If they did not work no one would buy them.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Flesherton, Ontario, Canada
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    57

    Default Re: HSC / Honey Super Cell

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymore View Post
    Guess I'll check out selling them. Still have time to get 4.9 in for my 2 new hives, I think. I definitely want to stay with the most natural.

    So, what does that mean for when I split my hives by adding new queens? I presumably will have 4.9 frames, but to get bees in there, I have to move over some brood and bees that are 5.4. I wil be mixing cell sizes, by at least, what? 3 frames of brood and bees that are currently in 5.4. And what about honey? Don't transfer any honey in 5.4 frames? Just feed like the dickens?

    AR, I do belong to a beek Assn here, and we are trying to get a few mentors to step forward, but to date the number of them has been... Uh.... ZERO. This has made it very difficult to learn beekg. THANK GOODNESS for everyone here!!!
    56 is not much. I started five hives this year, added two splits, all together 230 of
    5.4 mm foundations were drawn by my bees. I'm sure there are people here who converted 1000s of frames.

    Now, I'm learning I should have regressed them and let them build their own. BTW, should have listened to MB about medium boxes among other things...

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