My 2/2012 Small Cell Apiary Status
I have had small cell hives since 2003, and established a small cell apiary after the small cell advocates indicated that SC should not be mixed with LC because the mites would vector over. In winter 2010/11 that site had 100% loss, ten out of ten. The site was brought back up to 13 hives in the summer of 2011 by importing bait swarms caught onto the small cell combs from the dead hives. Two of those hives did not establish, and the remaining eleven produced 475lbs of honey and wax surplus. As of 2/3/2012, only four remain, three weak and one boomer. Three of these were the latest swarms brought in. Substantial visible mite drop was found on two of the dead out bottom boards, and only a scattering on the others. All had substantial stores leftover and are in an area that has some winter forage available. We have had almost no winter.
Our area has been suffering from substantial Deformed Wing Virus death all winter. One SC hive at another site was booming until January and now has had substantial population loss from DWV.