When someone has experience in a subject, I defer to them. I prefer to let people speak for themselves and uphold what they say over what others say about them. Dee is the grandmother of small cell beekeeping. You're a newbee in New York. Ted is in Alabama. Alastair is in New Zealand. Dee is in Arizona. Dee can speak for herself, and she would have done had she not been run off by the opposition to small cell on this forum.
I have seen videos of Dee and heard her voice in video seminars. She does not seem to me to be a person who could be run off by anyone. I am not saying she needs to be hear but the woman is not frail by any stretch of the imagination.
Solomon, I will always be a newbie in New York even if I live another 30 years. It's the group I feel comfortable with.
Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping
With you on that Ace, one thing that did impress me watching a video of Dee working her bees is the obvious physical fitness of the woman.
I wouldn't want to cross her in a dark alley LOL!
Anyhow, one of my New Zealand friends is going to one of her Seminars in March. I'll be very interested in his impressions when he gets back.
44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).
She told me, so that's who I believe.
Dee and Ed regressed their bees back to 4.9mm in the early 80s. Here is a video of Erikson talking about Dee and ed and their cell size observations several years after in 1989, 3 years before they announced AHB were in Arizona.
Ted is technically correct re larger cells are built by bees the further they are away from the equator, but there is one huge exception. Apis Mellifera Major Nova is the largest known honeybee yet it is from the Rif mountains in Morocco, North West Africa. They are a LONG way from Norway or anywhere else above the 45th parallel. They represent a real anachronism since they are the largest known Apis Mellifera yet they are in an area surrounded by smaller bees.
And they says Size Doesn't Matter.
re africanized bees, they crossed the border from Mexico in 1990 and spread through the southwest over the next 3 years. They were widespread in Arizona by 1993.
As for natural size bees, it is very easy to find stock that is adapted to small cell just by doing a little selection work. It is easiest if you start with feral stock instead of commercial.
DarJones - 43 years beekeeper, 10 colonies, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell
Last edited by beemandan; 12-11-2011 at 10:17 AM. Reason: clarificatiion
You are correct, the opposition to small cell is considerable.
But don't let it get you down. Plenty of people have made the switch and have been successful. I believe that genetics is important and maintaining your own locally adapted stock. For me, the most important aspect is clean wax. We can only rejoice that newer chemicals are better, but they still lead to dependent bees which I try to avoid.
I feel your pain. I also find the opposition to treatment-free beekeeping in the Treatment-Free Beekeeping forum to be stifling. But I'm working to make it better and I appreciate everyone's efforts to do the same.
It is unfortunate that so many people have a difficult time sharing opposing views without that opposition becoming a personal slight, or an offense.
The reason I have stayed on this forum more than any other is the number of active members, and the fact that opposing views continue to be represented. However, in every forum I have participated in, I have at one time or another been met with what I would call unreasonably aggressive responses, and disrespectful accusations and comments.
It's sad that we get into that. Because there are a lot of people who are not able to deal with the confrontation, and who quickly withdraw from participation.
We are all weaker for their departure.
And too many forums descend into becoming a "clubhouse" with one, dominant philosophy that everyone keeps repeating to themselves. No one learns anything if they're right all the time.
So does there ever come a time when we can be OK with that and not have to keep trying to "correct" the other side with what we feel are the facts? I mean after it's been tried so many times without a change, can't we simply move on in some areas?
well said adam. the irony is that it's the very passion for this pursuit that not only drives us to be the best we can, but also makes it very personal. pride can be a two edged sword.
it's also interesting how much power the written word has. often times human nature leads us to take great offense when we are challanged in a printed post. i think it's because it lacks the same dynamic that would be there if face to face with the other person. take mark's recent visit with ace for example.
it's true that some posts get out of bounds at times, and the moderators deserve a lot of credit for filtering those.
yes barry, moving on seems to be the eventual outcome. hopefully without anyone getting seriously offended, but in the meantime there is a certain degree of entertainment value.....
I am honestly intending to stay out of the sc stuff. It is clear that no ones’ minds get changed and in the end absolutely nothing positive comes out of it.
I would still like clarification from MB….honest, just for clarification.
I believe the disconnect comes in when experienced conventional beekeepers think that newbees are misled into believing everything will be okay if they just don't treat and use small cell and everything will be okay. They have a valid concern. The trouble is, it's often other newbees reading these conclusions into the existing arguments. I've done my level best to assure that everyone knows that small cell is not a panacea and that there arent no speedbumps in this road. And for my part, I have done my best to discourage those inexperienced expert newbees from offering that kind of advice. Still for my troubles, my ideologies have been labelled as lies and poison. Maybe you haven't read such posts because they get moderated. Let me make this clear from my experience. Small cell does not fix everything and you don't have to be small cell to be treatment free. Also, if you are treatment free, you should not expect fewer losses than with treatments.