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  1. #221
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Semantics is what turns a piece of half raw castrated bull meat into a sizzling hot juicy rib-eye steak. They are one and the same thing but the meaning is drastically different because of the words used. You can guess which part of that statement describes the current state of this thread.

    I personally feel this conversation went overboard to the point of driving folks away from beesource. That is a very undesirable outcome. Both sides of this issue need to be present if anything valid is to be achieved.

    I would present the following facts
    1. There have been three published studies of small cell as a control for varroa
    2. All three studies have given the same result, it does not work.
    3. All three studies were flawed in one way or another because of setup, time frame, or other variables
    4. Anecdotal support for small cell working is available from at least 3 valid sources.
    5. Commercial beekeepers who have tried small cell on a large scale have consistently had crashed colonies within 2 years of setup.

    When you put all of that together, there is ONLY one conclusion. Something besides small cell is at work. Instead of beating each other up, why don't we focus on finding what is actually operating to help small cell colonies survive.

    DarJones
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  2. #222
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    We know what Tom Seeley would say, don't we? Something about the mites being less viriulent? Which suggestion is rejected by scers. If I understand things correctly.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  3. #223
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Something about the mites being less viriulent?
    As I've mentioned before, IF this is true, then the only solution is to act as though we're dealing with AFB. We must go treatment-free 100% and wholesale and allow every hive with these virulent mites to die in one fell swoop. That's the only viable solution in the long run. It's that or centuries of treating to hold back mites that when given the chance will kill themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Which suggestion is rejected by scers.
    I don't buy it because my hives don't die from mites. I know for a fact that there are all sorts of bees around here from all sorts of places, feral and commercial. Like someone said, there would be big crashes every other year as these virulent mites find their way into our untreated hives. Every time I purchase a hive from elsewhere, it should cause a wave of destruction. As it is, new hives seem to live or die on their own. That's my experience.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #224
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Makes sense to me. Your experience. Therte is probably alot of ther less viriulent mites argument that I don't know or understand.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  5. #225
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Now if the mites carry some sort of virus that causes hives to go queenless in November or causes perfectly healthy clusters of bees to not be able to find honey two inches above them, that mite I could definitely be interested in eliminating. I'm not sure if small cell helps in the virus department.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #226
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    >The simple question, then, after reading these three studies, do you believe that small cell, alone, reduces mites?

    Let's try it the other way. I believe based on my experience that you can't get mites under control without small cell. The studies are far too short to be relevant. I always believe my own experience over anything else. That's what a skeptic does... test it yourself.

    In the long term if we stop treating we will get less virulent mites. Many people, including me and Dee Lusby that I know of, have been saying this for a decade. But for that to be the mechanism of my success with Varroa it would require a huge die off, which did not happen. The same with saying it's the genetics of the bees. That would also require a big die off which didn't happen.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #227
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    So, is there any beekeeper of 500 cols or more who fits the bill? Who has gone sc and treatment free? Maybe two or three in the United States who would talk to us?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  8. #228
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    As far as I know, there's only Dee, and nobody accepts her results because they claim she has africanized bees.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #229
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Well, why is there only one? Being as there is only one, doesn't suspicion make sense regardless?

    Were I the only beekeeper in the country w/ hives producing 300lb crops year after year for 30 years, I bet you'd be suspicious. So, when someone makes claims which don't jibe w/ the experience of masses of others don't you think suspicion is understandable?

    Is there really no one else?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  10. #230
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    Without a single controlled study, they accepted the Lusby’s on faith….I suppose. Dee said it was a product of cell size but the number of other possible variables is enormous.
    What are those other possibilities? I'm not being argumentative either. I didn't accept Lusby's on faith. I had to do the work myself to see firsthand what would happen with my bees in my location doing what they did. That is no longer faith, that is reality.

    So along come three independent studies that say that cell size, alone, doesn’t reduce varroa. That is all they claim. And yet considerable time, energy and ego are being spent to discredit these studies.
    That's all they claim, but they base that on a very different management practice from mine. The real shortcomings of these types of studies is inherent in their very narrow focus and time. No where will you find it said that one can put SC into their hive and within a few months they will have reduced varroa with bees being able to manage them. The whole hive as an organism gets left out. It doesn't come close to anything I have or went through to get where I am being treatment free.

    Just, please explain why these studies are so threatening.
    They're not threating to me. They don't hold much weight in value to me because I don't manage my bees like they did in their studies. Perhaps SC alone isn't they answer. Perhaps it's just a trigger in the hive organism that brings out other factors.
    Regards, Barry

  11. #231
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    I think there are several factors that make Dee's operation a success. Most importantly she does not migrate her bees. They are stationary. If you've watched some of the videos of her working her hives, you know they have some African genes in them.I believe that small cell is beneficial for those who do not move their bees. But I strongly believe that those who pollinate or chase the bloom will fail without monitoring and treating hives when varroa loads exceed threshold levels.

  12. #232
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    I know for a fact that there are all sorts of bees around here from all sorts of places, feral and commercial. Like someone said, there would be big crashes every other year as these virulent mites find their way into our untreated hives. -Solomon Parker
    I find this extremely interesting. See, to my way of thinking, this statement refutes the "drifting bees carry mites to other hives" objection that was raised in previous discussions of at least one of these small cell studies.

    In the interests of disclosure here, I should point out that I've been shifting to almost exclusively foundationless frames from "conventional cell." I did not treat from 2003 to 2008 with conventional cell, and I haven't treated since switching to foundationless. I don't consider myself "treatment free" simply because I still would rely on a rescue treatment if mite populations started climbing. I just haven't needed to treat in that amount of time. I haven't been suffering losses due to mites since 2003, either.

    I have no good hypothesis for why I haven't needed to resort to an acaricide in that amount of time.

  13. #233
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    See, to my way of thinking, this statement refutes the "drifting bees carry mites to other hives" objection that was raised in previous discussions of at least one of these small cell studies.
    I don't follow your logic. What I am saying is that the 'virulent mite' theory were true, those mites would from time to time be carried to my hives where they would propagate and cause crashes.

    Unless you mean that if the 'virulent mite' theory were true and mites were not being carried to my hives then that means mites aren't carried. Is this what you mean?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  14. #234
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post
    I just haven't needed to treat in that amount of time. I haven't been suffering losses due to mites since 2003, either.
    There are probably other questions I could ask which might shed some light on why your case is as it is, but, how many colonies do you run? Where are your bees from? Packages, nucs, swarms? Do you buy queens or raise your own?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  15. #235
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I don't buy it because my hives don't die from mites. I know for a fact that there are all sorts of bees around here from all sorts of places, feral and commercial. Like someone said, there would be big crashes every other year as these virulent mites find their way into our untreated hives. Every time I purchase a hive from elsewhere, it should cause a wave of destruction. As it is, new hives seem to live or die on their own. That's my experience.
    It would be interesting to know how many hives you have bought, and how many splits you have made, and how many swarms you have collected, over the years, and how many hives you have now.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #236
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    I'm going to be a bit blunt:

    If the goal here is to discuss the studies, then some reasonable percentage of the participants actually have to read the studies.

    If we are going to discuss the merits and/or deficiencies in these studies then the reading has to be done with a critical eye.

    I think I have demonstrated with the Seeley study that we can't simply rely on peer reveiw or "trust in the scientists", no matter who they are, to vet out obvious problems...again, the reading has to be done critically.

    Most of these studies are not that hard to read (for me, the statistical math is the part I understand the least well).

    The study (especially the study on bees) has not been performed/written that a reasonably intelligent person can't find some flaw or weakness....if you are reading a study and do not see any problems you are not reading very carefully or critically.

    It seems to me that very few people have read any of the studies. It is a useless discussion if what we discuss is what we all "heard about the studies"...which is what appears to be happening.

    It seems to me that virtually all of the points I've made in regard to the Seeley study (which I did read) have been ignored. It's a shell game...I point out serious flaws (really serious flaws) in one study, and instead of acknowledging the weaknesses, other studies are referred to. The problem is that these other studies are seriously flawed as well...they have the same credibility as the Seeley study (they are published in peer reviewed pulblications)...their authors are a little less famous that Tom Seeley....yet we are to assume that they provide "proof" because people who are unwilling to actually read and/or discuss them say they must...because they also are published.

    Oh well.

    deknow

  17. #237
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieck View Post

    In the interests of disclosure here, I should point out that I've been shifting to almost exclusively foundationless frames from "conventional cell." I did not treat from 2003 to 2008 with conventional cell, and I haven't treated since switching to foundationless. I don't consider myself "treatment free" simply because I still would rely on a rescue treatment if mite populations started climbing. I just haven't needed to treat in that amount of time. I haven't been suffering losses due to mites since 2003, either.
    Very interesting post. There is also at least one other conventional cell beekeeper I know of who does not treat for mites. As these folks don't seem to talk about it much I'm sure there will be more out there. Love to know how it actually works, perhaps sc cell is not even needed. Who knows?
    Last edited by Barry; 12-01-2011 at 02:24 PM. Reason: over quoting
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  18. #238
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Dean makes a good point. Let's keep the discussion toward the merits of the small cell studies. That's what this thread is for. I was ridiculed in the first few posts that this thread should not be about small cell in general, but about the studies. They should be able to be critiqued without discussion of 'what's your opinion as to why small cell works' and 'how many hives do you have.' I'm happy to answer any and all personal messages in private. But let's stay on the studies that have been published and that have been linked to within this thread.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I have to admit, when I read through the portion that mentions the plastic combs, it didn't catch my eye because I have never used them. That's why I focused on the length of the study and the testing metric.

    What about the study I posted which does show a confirmatory correlation between smaller cell size and varroa populations? Or is that to be simply discarded because africanized bees were involved?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  19. #239
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    I don't follow your logic. -Solomon Parker
    Let's see.

    The claim I heard when the Berry study first started receiving publicity was that having small cell hives among "large cell" hives would not show a decrease in mite numbers because drift among colonies would "level" mite populations among hives. This criticism was offered up as an explanation as to why mite infestations were actually higher in small cell hives in the study than in the conventional cell hives by them.

    If your hives are surrounded by various other sorts of hives, and if "mite leveling" works the same in your area as was suggested as a criticism for the Berry study, you should have just as many mites in your hives as all those other colonies around you do. To my way of thinking, that means your bees and your management techniques might not be offering you any advantages with regards to mites.

    Or, it could mean that "mite leveling" was overemphasized as a criticism.

    I'm not sure. I don't know the circumstances. But I do believe that your experience suggests that effects to mite populations from drift may not be a strong criticism of the study.

    (Edit)

    It seems to me that virtually all of the points I've made in regard to the Seeley study (which I did read) have been ignored. -deknow
    Maybe that's because the Seeley study isn't included among the three listed at the outset for discussion here?
    Last edited by Solomon Parker; 12-01-2011 at 02:55 PM. Reason: Off topic, see post 238

  20. #240
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    One of the biggest problems I have with these studies is their short time frame and always running LC bees right next to the SC bees. I'd like to see separate yards used as a control to sharing the same yard. Everyone I know that has had good success with SC did not keep LC at the same time in the same place.
    Regards, Barry

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