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  1. #281
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Anyone planning to start a business for the first time would seek out those who are already running that business successfully, to gain as much insight into it as possible. Researchers would do well to follow the same path.
    Regards, Barry

  2. #282
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Well let's be honest, a successful small cell beekeeping business is pretty hard to find. The definition a researcher might consider valid would be someone who is successful enough with their bees, to actually live off their bees. Like other beekeepers do.

    If all you had to do was switch to small cell and everything's solved, everybody would be doing it by now. Commercial beekeepers, everybody.

    The candidates for a successful small cell business that come to mind would be Bush, deKnow, Lusby. Bush apparently has hardly looked at his hives in two years and has around 50 that have survived. DeKnow buys honey from others and re-sells it, and I won't go into Lusby, don't want to look totally negative, but I'll say a researcher may have reasons not to go there.

    But don't kick me, cos I'm trying to be honest. I wouldn't be trying small cell myself if I wasn't hoping it will work. But I'm honest about my beekeeping and got to say it's often frustrating trying to get a full and honest answer to some of the major questions.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  3. #283
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Bush apparently has hardly looked at his hives in two years and has around 50 that have survived.
    I'll testify in court that many of the dead colonies were due to extraneous conditions. When we went out to inspect the yards, the first two sets we found were dead and most of the hives had the lids blown off and were rained and snowed into. It was obvious what killed them. Other yards like the ones next to a tree line and the one that is completely surrounded by woods fared much better. Michael's losses in the last three years cannot be taken in the same context as anything else, unless you want to consider commercial beekeepers who tried to go treatment free in the same period. Then he rates pretty well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    DeKnow buys honey from others and re-sells it,
    This is a gross simplification. I'm sure he'll be in soon to correct the record.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    don't want to look totally negative,
    Not looking very positive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    But I'm honest about my beekeeping and got to say it's often frustrating trying to get a full and honest answer to some of the major questions.
    You've gotten nothing but honest answers. Perhaps it's explanations you're looking for. In that case, the 'science' isn't explaining much.
    Last edited by Solomon Parker; 12-12-2011 at 02:34 PM. Reason: Retraction
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #284
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Not looking very positive.
    Exactly.

    But hey, didn't really want you to get hung up on that, just the world is hardly teeming with successful small cell beekeeping businesses. If that's not positive, well it is what it is. Not positive, if you say so.

    And you are right, explanations is what I'm looking for. Same as every serious beekeeper is.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #285
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    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    My impression (entirely from reading) is that the Lusby operation is about 700 hives, non migratory, out in the desert. Please feel free to correct me (you guys won't need any encouragement )

    Is honey her main source of support? Or is it breeding stock? She is the largest commercial SC operation that I have heard of. Never heard of a +500 migratory one... guess there could be one.

  6. #286
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Well let's be honest, a successful small cell beekeeping business is pretty hard to find.
    That's evidence that you miss applied my example. To add another sentence after my last one in the post above: Anyone planning to do a study on SC would first meet with, and learn firsthand what it looks like from those doing it.
    Regards, Barry

  7. #287
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    HPM I would like to fill you in, but that would be "not positive".

    Much as I think some things would be better out in the open, I am very aware of the feelings of others, strongly held, plus the fact that wether I am right or wrong, I can always be accused of being "not positive", and not wanting to look like a troll.

    Also, I'm hoping for a positive outcome from this discussion that will be of benefit to me and others, rather than a factional argument, and it doesn't take much to get one going around here!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #288
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    That's evidence that you miss applied my example. To add another sentence after my last one in the post above: Anyone planning to do a study on SC would first meet with, and learn firsthand what it looks like from those doing it.
    Barry I'll accept that if that's what you meant I'm fine with it.

    I think my comments were valid but all the same hoping this discussion will yeild useful discussion.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #289
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    I think your comments are valid as well, as are Jim's, just not what I was expressing. Perhaps a new thread to discuss the business aspect of SC is the right way to proceed. Jim, can I move your post to start a new thread?
    Regards, Barry

  10. #290
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    It won't be a very big thread LOL!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  11. #291
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    The trick is to give it a very controversial name, like "SC business plan is small sell"
    Regards, Barry

  12. #292
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    That should attract the punters!
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  13. #293
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    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    The trick is to give it a very controversial name, like "SC business plan is small sell"
    .
    I don't think I can top that, get er goin Barry, I'm gonna go find me a helmet and flack jacket before I get any more involved.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  14. #294
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Barry is spot on wrt how one would run their own business.

    Oldtimer, having worked at least a little with SC and regression, would you think that one could (from LC bees on LC comb) simply put wax SC foundation in the honey supers, have the bees draw and fill all this comb (in the honey supers) as SC comb with zero drone cells, extract the honey, and have perfect SC frames devoid of any larger cells to start a colony the next year?

    I'm assuming you did enough research to realize that this is not how to regress your bees...not a good use of your resources....not likely to put you in a position to be able to fairly evaluate anything about SC.

    This was exactly the plan that the grant for the Seeley study called for. My guess is that the first two years were basically wasted trying to get some comb drawn via this method. Although I don't wish to be overly critical, this was a waste.

    http://cris.nifa.usda.gov/cgi-bin/st...crisassist.txt

    All combs will be built by providing colonies with honey supers filled with frames of either small-cell or standard-cell foundation. The bees will build these combs while filling them with honey. At the end of the summer, we will extract the honey from these combs so that they can serve as brood combs the following summer.
    Oldtimer, read below..."at this point, no way has been found to get bes to reliably construct combs of small cells."

    No matter how you slice it, Tom didn't do any homework, and wasted two years of work (grant money, and an undergrads' time) where a half hour phone call to even the most ardent detractors of small cell would have helped them come up with a better plan. What a waste for no good reason. You certainly wouldn't waste your own time in that way...you bothered to start a thread and ask questions before you started.

    MPACT: 2007/10/01 TO 2008/09/30
    The principal outcome over the past year has been a Change in Knowledge. Specifically, I have learned just how difficult it is to get honeybees to build combs made of smaller than usual cells. This is an important finding, because beekeepers are being encouraged to have their bees build combs with small cells as a means of controlling the mite Varroa destructor, and beeswas comb foundation is being sold to guide the bees to build these combs, but at this point no way has been found to get bees to reliably construct combs of small cells. I now know that I cannot recommend this approach to Varroa control. There has also been a Change in Action. Because I've not succeeded in getting my bees to build combs filled with small cells, I've decided next summer to perform the key experiment of this project (setting up paired colonies, with one colony in each pair living on combs of small cells and the other colony living on combs of normal cells, then comparing the two types of colonies in terms of the growth of their populations of the mite Varroa destructor) using combs of small cells manufactured of plastic, rather than built by the bees of beeswax. This will at least enable me to test the critical hyptothesis: a colony living on small-cell combs will have a lower population growth rate of the Varroa mites than will a colony living on regular-cell combs..
    PROGRESS: 2007/10/01 TO 2008/09/30
    OUTPUTS: The principal output over the past year has been an Activity: developing further the methods for getting the bees to build combs with small cells (4.9 mm diameter), rather than their normal size cells (5.4 mm diameter). The key experiment of this study calls for setting up paired colonies, with one colony in each pair living on combs of small cells and the other colony living on combs of normal cells, then comparing the two types of colonies in terms of the growth of their populations of the mite Varroa destructor. I have tried various methods for getting bees to build small-cell combs but have not yet found a method that results in combs filled with small cells. Instead, I get combs that are a weird mixture of small cells and quite large cells. So, despite my best efforts over the past two summers, I have not yet performed the key experiment. Given that I have just one more summer of support in this project, I will perform the key experiment next summer using combs of small cells that are made of plastic and that are commercially available. Doing the experiment this way is not ideal, for these combs are too expensive for general use by beekeepers, but using them will enable me to test the still untested (but widely believed) hypothesis that small-cell combs lower the population growth rate of the Varroa mites in a honeybee colony. We shall see!
    It's all very disapointing.

  15. #295
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Has anyone contacted Seeley about these points? I bet we could get in touch with one of the students and get some more details as well.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  16. #296
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    "All combs will be built by providing colonies with honey supers filled with frames of either small-cell or standard-cell foundation. The bees will build these combs while filling them with honey. At the end of the summer, we will extract the honey from these combs so that they can serve as brood combs the following summer."

    There's just no excuse for this. Truly a waste of time and resources.
    Regards, Barry

  17. #297
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    I spoke with him in person before the study was published (it was taking longer in review than he had expected, and he hadn't gotten it back yet)....he seemed surprised that there would be any question about using plastic (note that in the documentation above, he only seems to see a problem with the cost), and was pretty confident that any effect would be seen in a couple of months. At that point, I hadn't read the study, and was pretty surprised that he was using HSC and calling it equivalent to wax.

    But this is now published in a peer reviewed journal.

    deknow

  18. #298
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Truly a waste of time and resources.
    It seems to me that it speaks to the mindset with which many people approach small cell beekeeping. It's the idea that nothing else has to change, that it's another treatment, just put it in and it works (or doesn't as the case may be).

    Let me be clear, in case anyone may be reading this and not know what we're talking about. Normally, with conventional sized comb, placing foundation in the super to be drawn by the bees is common practice. The cells are large enough that the bees will usually draw them for honey storage with no complaint. Small cell does not work that way. If the bees are not in the mood to make brood comb (i.e. spring, in the middle of the broodnest, or they have been shaken onto foundation), they will not make brood comb consistently on small cell wax foundation. They might on PF-1xx's but I don't yet have enough experience to make that claim. This is why I liken small cell to being foundationless. With small cell, the bees have a much more powerful impetus to simply make whatever they want. Even with an established small cell hive, you're only going to get a few perfect combs each year. Because when they're done building brood, they're gonna build honey storage and wax foundation doesn't have the ability to force the issue.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  19. #299
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    Sol - your experiences do not match mine. ON A GOOD FLOW, and a populace hive, 5.1 foundation was drawn out as well as normal cell, and 4.9 drawn with some mistakes, but still a functional frame. Our suspicions where that the A.m. melifera(sp?) was more inclined to make small cells than lingusta(sp?).

    Crazy Roland

  20. #300
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    Default Re: Small Cell Studies

    And this was in the honey super?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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