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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Going small cell

    I will be trying to convert to small cell in the spring. My established hives are all 5.4. I'm going to get a few more packages in the spring so I'm thinking I'll just put in SC foundation with these bees since it's basically a shake down. I was also wanting to put in a couple of drawn frames to get them started, but I'm not sure if that's such a good idea considering they're LC. Do I give them a couple and then rotate them out as the season progresses?
    The new packages will be installed in 8 frame deeps. Give me some thoughts SC folks...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: Going small cell

    Starting packages on small cell is a good idea, and yes, large cell drawn frames will be doing exactly the opposite of what you want. Just start on small cell foundation or Mann Lake PF-100 frames would be even better.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,213

    Default Re: Going small cell

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnatural...m#HowToRegress

    I would feed in small cell (4.9mm) or foundationless and take your time. The PF100s will speed things along as they will draw it 4.9mm to start with.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Going small cell

    Michael,

    I've studied your website, and I have your books (so I have a hard copy if technology ever fails us), and I think we have the same idea on things (but not nearly as much experience with bees as you.) That's why I'm wanting to switch to small/natural cell. I suppose my main question is should I put in a couple of frames of the drawn comb I already have so they can get a head start along with the SC foundation, or just install the SC foundation alone? I have no interest in the plastic frames what-so-ever. I will be gradually working in foundationless frames with my established hives. How would you go about expanding with a few packages to small cell?
    Last edited by jadell; 01-03-2012 at 10:02 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    647

    Default Re: Going small cell

    If you'll order your new bees from one of the SC beekeepers like Don Kuchenmeister (Fatbeeman) in Georgia, they will already be SC and you won't have to regress them.

    Or, you can do like I do and do removals and catch feral swarms to get bees already regressed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,001

    Default Re: Going small cell

    Last spring i bought 5.4 nucs and every frame they expanded onto was Mann Lake 4.9 Some colonies were good little engineers and followed the new blue print pretty well but some made a mess of it repeatedly. I scraped it off if not full of worker brood and let them reconfigure. By the time the later generations raised in smaller cells were drawing supers, I got a pretty good product for the most part. I will scrape down any that are poorly drawn, that is a major benefit with plastic. I plan on following Mr Bush'e advice about feeding in foundationless between well drawn comb right away in the spring before they feel the need to build a lot of drone comb.

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