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Thread: Small cell ???

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Eastman, Wisconsin
    Posts
    11

    Default Small cell ???

    I'm planning on starting 2 or 3 new hives next spring and I thought that I would get them going on the Mann Lake PF-120 foundations. Question is once I have them started (8 Frame and med boxes) do I need to continue with the small cell foundation for the second box or not? Do use the regular size foundation that I now have? If I use the ones I currently have they also do not have the wax drawn out on them(I had more than I needed for my first year).
    Thanks! Love this forum!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Small cell ???

    This question comes up a lot among those eager to switch yet still possessing unused foundation.

    I recommend you use small cell in any area where the broodnest is likely to be. However, in the long run you'll want to have all your frames interchangeable so you can move them here and there when needed.

    Personally, I have melted down any large cell foundation I've come across over the years. For me, it's just not worth bothering.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Small cell ???

    I am going to try to just use my old ones (large cell) for the honey supers. And am thinking I will probably take them foundationless. That way I've still got a use for the frames. That's my plan. Now I get to see how that works!
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, U.S.A.
    Posts
    396

    Default Re: Small cell ???

    If your going to use small cell what advantage would there be for larger cells for the super ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland County, AR
    Posts
    1,076

    Default Re: Small cell ???

    If you are talking to me, johnb, the advantage is using equipment I already have. Plus, large cells hold more honey since they are bigger. Don't know if that translates to a larger crop, but it seems to me that it should.
    Zone 7b ~ Central Arkansas
    8fr medium equipment

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    304

    Default Re: Small cell ???

    It is a hard question to answer, if I have small cell, do I need large cells too. Well, at a minimum, you need to have large cells in the supers for honey collections. Bees in a natural environment always have large cells for honey storage. Then you do need drone cells, because bees, in natural environment, have 15-20% drone cells. I like BWrangler's approach. He only advices to have about 1/2 of your frames in the center of each brood box to be small cell. In the winter and fall, when varroa control is very important, the queen will be laying in these cells anyway. In the later spring and summer, when she expands her laying out, she will use larger cells, but that's ok, because you want larger bees to haul all of the extra honey to the hive in the summer. A hive is a multicultural, multi-size population. A diversity in each bees size helps with it's function. If you take small cell bees swarm and add them to a new box, they will draw out large and small cells. Why, cause they need them both.

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