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Thread: small cell?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Perry, Florida, USA
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    Default small cell?

    If I were to regress my bees to small cell in the brood nest would it also require it in the honey supers? I am all for treatment free but also care about my bees as well as the cost to regress.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Alberta Canada
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    233

    Default Re: small cell?

    As I understand it no you dont regress the honey supers.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: small cell?

    If you are planning on switching to treatment free, all old wax needs to go. If you are already treatment free and are switching to small cell/natural cell, honey supers can remain without causing any problems. Remember though, they can get up above and lay brood if they want and this will give you a crop of bigger workers. Many of us say it's best to just switch it all out so you may be able to switch frames around without needing to know which are which.

    My honey supers are brood frames which have accrued too much drone comb or were drawn horribly.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #4
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: small cell?

    I have no excluder I'd rather have it all the interchangeable. If you use an excluder it doesn't really matter as long as you keep them separate.

    Take you time regressing. Bees draw comb. It's what they do. Letting them is not that much of a "cost" as long as you don't push them to do it all at once.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Perry, Florida, USA
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    226

    Default Re: small cell?

    I want to go treatment free but would rather have bees so the jury is still out there. If I can only change my brood chamber then I will probably go that way. I use deep brood chambers and meduim supers. I am a hobbyist so I dont move my brood chambers very often. I do have access to dozens of sites and may progress beyond hobbyist to sideliner soon depending on how much work it becomes. I am retired and dont know if I want another job.

    Michael I havent gone to all mediums but it may become an option in my future as my back retired before I did. When I start stacking medium supers I think maybe going all shallows.

    Thanks
    Paul

  6. #6
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    Dec 2002
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    Default Re: small cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by psisk View Post
    I want to go treatment free but would rather have bees so the jury is still out there.
    What does this mean?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: small cell?

    I use small cell in brood boxes and 5.4mm in the honey supers. I don't use queen excluders and don't have problems with queens in the supers.

    So, there's a little bit of data anyway.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: small cell?

    psisk; You will not have to regress to small cell to go treatment free. You can stay with standard foundations and your bees will do as well as they would if you went to small cell. Use a hygenic bee, replace comb on a 3 year rotation schedule, and stay on top of the colonies needs and you will be successful without a lot of expense.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2002
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    Default Re: small cell?

    >You can stay with standard foundations and your bees will do as well as they would if you went to small cell.

    Not in my experience. Not by a long shot.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
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    Sep 2008
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: small cell?

    Your experience is not necessarly everyone's experience. I had 20 colonies on small cell for 3 years and I still have 4 that are small cell. The small cell colonies and the standard cell colonies (25 at that time) were managed the same and had the same results in production, disease, pests and overwintering. The standard cell colonies experienced less queen problems than did the small cell.

    My experience is limited to beekeeping in north Arkansas which is considered as a poor beekeeping area(60 pounds is a good harvest), and is nonmigratory. We have winters when the bees can't fly for about 2 weeks, sometimes 3 but usually not more. If I can keep bees with no treatments on standard cell surely psisk can do as well or better in an area like Florida.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: small cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    If I can keep bees with no treatments on standard cell surely psisk can do as well or better in an area like Florida.
    No, I'm sorry, that's not how it works. Until you keep bees in Florida, you have no business saying such a thing.

    You and I can discuss beekeeping in Arkansas, and I can discuss beekeeping in Oregon because I have experience there. But if you don't have any experience keeping bees in Florida, you should not make assertions about it. Mike has experience in that which he speaks. You should do the same.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  12. #12
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: small cell?

    I did not know that Mr. Buch has beekeeping experience in Florida, and I was not aware that he had hired you as a spokesperson. Mr. Bush is a knowledgeable beekeeper, allow him to speak for himself. If you, Mr. Parker, can disprove any statement that I have made then feel free to do so. I have 35 years experience with honey bees so that should qualify me as to forming opinions concerning how to manage honey bee colonies, and I will voice those opinions until you bar me from Beesource.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: small cell?

    When you have experience in treatment-free beekeeping in Florida, I won't challenge you on statements thus.

    I have visited Mr. Bush at his home and thus am familiar with what he does as well.

    Say what you will, but it won't go without a disclaimer.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,399

    Default Re: small cell?

    AR Beekeeper is sharing what worked for him/her in their location. Take it for what it's worth. It is different than what I experienced here in Illinois. I must confess though, I never tried keeping bees on clean LC comb after they all started succumbing to mites and treatments were used. I switched to using SC. I still use my LC honey comb in the supers with a queen excluder usually. At least until the first super is filled with honey.
    Regards, Barry

  15. #15
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    Default Re: small cell?

    "I have 35 years experience with honey bees so that should qualify me as to forming opinions concerning how to manage honey bee colonies, and I will voice those opinions until you bar me from Beesource."

    Amen.

    AR Beekeeper,

    My bees are on foundationless mediums (natural comb). I have tried to use PF-120s in a medium body in those hives to see an example of a full frame of 4.9mm cells. No dice. They ignored it.

    I'm not sure what you mean by 'extra expense'.

    When I look in the Mann Lake catalog, the PF 120s seem to be less expensive than the non 4.9mm frames (assembled and plastic).

    Is there another expense that you're referring to?

    With great respect,

    WLC.

  16. #16
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: small cell?

    Everyone is entitled to their observations and experience, of course.

    My experience on large cell with no treatments 100% died from Varroa as evidence by Varroa feces in the cells and thousands of dead Varroa on the bottom board. I had this experience several different years.

    My experience on large cell WITH treatments 100% died from Varroa as evidence by Varroa feces in the cells and thousands of dead Varroa on the bottom board.

    My experience on small cell with no treatments 0% died from Varroa as evidence in what deadouts I did have, by lack of Varroa feces in the cells and very few dead Varroa on the bottom board. I did not treat most of them since about 2002 and did not treat any of them since 2004.

    It seems to me that cheapest and easiest sized cell is natural cell. No foundation to buy, no foundation to put in or wire.

    And as mentioned the PF100s and PF120s are pretty cheap compared to buying wood frames and large cell foundation, or any other kind of one piece plastic frame.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beessctheories.htm
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17

    Default Re: small cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Everyone is entitled to their observations and experience, of course.
    And they are frequently different.
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    My experience on large cell with no treatments 100% died from Varroa
    My experience on large cell WITH treatments 100% died from Varroa
    As evidenced by these statements, for if this were universally true there would be no more conventional cell beekeepers.

    I ‘regressed’ thirty hives to 4.9mm some years ago. I no longer have any small cell hives. Another example that no one size fits all…….
    Last edited by beemandan; 08-18-2011 at 06:26 AM.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    2,834

    Default Re: small cell?

    There obviously are other factors which influence the survival of honey bees on small cell and large cell for that matter. I don't have any reason to question Michael Bush and AR Beekeeper on their opinions, which differ on their experiences with various cell sizes. Neither of these people would be motivated to tell an outright falsehood, what benefit would that be to anyone. We need to respect another opinion based on his/her experience with a particular beekeeping subject without implying that anyone is completely wrong and that their way is the best way. What works for one person in a particular locality has been proven to not work for another person in a different area, that's just the way it is when it comes to honey bees IMO.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Hartwell, GA
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    183

    Default Re: small cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Everyone is entitled to their observations and experience, of course.

    My experience on large cell

    My experience on large cell

    My experience on small cell
    Hard to beat a record like that, I'm sold on small cell primarily by my mentor and Michael Bush natural approach to bee keeping. With that said, I didn't even know the difference and bought my new hives with standard foundation, when I picked up the NUC's they were on Small cell and I was told to change the brand spanking new foundation. By the time I had received it from the supplier, the bees had drawn out at least two frames of the large cell and the queen was laying in them. I left them in the hives, I now have big bees, little bees and supersized drone bees. No varo yet, I expect it, lots of beetles in the traps. I do plan on changing them in the spring to all smc.
    Last edited by Barry; 08-18-2011 at 03:27 PM. Reason: excessive quoting

  20. #20

    Default Re: small cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottsman View Post
    No varo yet
    Don't kid yourself.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

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