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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,215

    Default Re: Is small cell working?

    I think there is more to it then just small cell

    There are successful treatment free large cell and successful treatment free small cell, and unsuccessful large and small cell both treatment and treatment free.

    There are so many factory that play into this, bee genetic, food, temp, humidity, winter location, hive splits, swarming, break in brood... all have an effect on varroa. It can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years to kill a treatment free hive.

    Varroa has hit the feral natural cell size population just as hard.


    On that same note I am in the process of regressing to small cell, using essential oils and oxalic (as needed) until I get there. PF-100 to get there quick. And will also be using foundationless frames to cut costs. And if it doesn't work I will try different bees and stay with small cell.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: Is small cell working?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    StevenG,

    Whatever you are doing right, keep doing it. John
    Thanks John, appreciate the encouragement. I am convinced it is the genetics of my bees. there are others on the forum successfully treatment free, on large cell.

    One survey that might be of interest, is to find out how many sc beekeepers lost bees this winter? and how many colonies?
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Is small cell working?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    It can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years to kill a treatment free hive.
    It's not only treatment-free hives that die. From what I've seen, untreated (previously treated) hives die in one year. A newbee friend just told me this morning that half the people in the local beekeeping association meeting were 'second timers', starting again after losing all their bees last year.

    StevenG is doing good work, demonstrating that treatment-free can be done on non small cell. I respect that and say nothing to diminish his data. I'm committed to doing what works. But I'm not going to switch to his method because what I'm doing already works. I lost 1 of 11. Other friends in the area have lost 1/1 and 5/7, both treatment-free, both large cell. Now I have been given a year-old hive full of unused commercial style large cell frames with plastic foundation. Shall I experiment perhaps?

    The answer to the thread question is of course yes, for some people. But there is no indication that it is the only thing that works, nor is one required to do it to work. Interesting how there are almost more cell size threads on the non-treatment-free portions of the site than there are here. I'm for treatment-free however that works out. It's my view that it's the only long term sustainable solution.

    I have some other thoughts, but I think I'll start a new thread.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,899

    Default Re: Is small cell working?

    StevenG,

    It's very interesting to me how one can get successful outcomes against the mites spanning multiple years using three different systems, SC, LC, and I would assume natural cell also, which is what I currently use. I have all Langs except for two top bar hives, and the two top bars have the most longevity among all of them, going on their fourth year this season. They have mites of course, but the bees are handling them so far, I plan on raising some queens for the first time off these hives this year, they definitely have something going for them genetically I feel. Oh, and these two hives have also been right near the top as far as honey production goes among all my hives. John

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: Is small cell working?

    John (jmgi) congratulations on your success! And I think that's going to be the key, split from your successful/survivor colonies. Your observation about sc, lc, and natural I think is correct. Beekeepers are having success with all three types, and beekeepers are also failing with all three types. So is it safe to conclude that cell type is not the predominant factor in successfully being treatment free? I think so. Right or wrong, I keep coming back to the genetics and breed of the bee being predominant, and the management of the beekeeper a distant second.

    Sol, your comment about being committed to doing what works is an important insight. I think we've discovered in the few years of treatment free discussion we've had here, that there is no singular right way to keep bees treatment free. For instance, I'm successful in SE Missouri on large cell, whereas Mike Bush, much farther north, fails on large cell but has great success on small cell. To me it is important for beekeepers to do their research, develop a plan, and work that plan, making adjustments as necessary. The "Treatment Free" forum you've started has gone a long way to facilitating more beekeepers trying to go treatment free, and probably helping them succeed.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,336

    Default Re: Is small cell working?

    >So, what you are saying is that there is absolutely no cooperation between bee lab or university researchers and the beekeeping community concerning mites after 30 yrs., hard to believe, but sounds like its a fact the way I see it.

    Dee was working with Eric Ericson and he published a paper on the positive effects of cell size. A while later he decided to blame the success on AHB apparently.

    > Michael Bush is well enough known among serious beekeepers that it seems if he has a path to significant success against mites and keeping colonies alive, we should introduce him to the people who do the big studies, is that what it is going to take?

    At this point the academics have already concluded that it does not work based on their poorly designed short term studies. None seem interested in the flip side, which, imo, would be to look at the successful treatment free beekeepers and determine WHY they are succeeding and trying to duplicate the results.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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