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  1. #1
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    Default Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    Going to stir the pot here a little. I have a few different types of hives, including top bar. Love the idea of regressing bees to small cell. However, I think it has more to do with the cell size. Wouldn't you have to reduce the size of the queen as well? So, keep replacing the queen with one that started out of an emergency queen cell that's smaller? And, if we can artificially increase the size of the bee, could we create a 4.2 or maybe 3.9 size bee? Would that totally eliminate the options for verroa and trachael mite? Plus, new flavors of honey from smaller flower size. The possibilities.... I just need to figure out how to make tiny imprinted wax. I wonder if you can load a 3d printer with wax...


    Anyway, let's pretend we have the smallest of the small cell bees. What happens to the beespace? Is it no longer 3/8. Will we suddenly get crazy burr comb everywhere?

    What do you think?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    I'm interested in the bees space question.

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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobWok View Post
    Wouldn't you have to reduce the size of the queen as well?
    The queen's size is not dictated by cell size.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobWok View Post
    So, keep replacing the queen with one that started out of an emergency queen cell that's smaller?
    A very small queen is likely undernourished.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobWok View Post
    And, if we can artificially increase the size of the bee, could we create a 4.2 or maybe 3.9 size bee?
    Bees can only be made so large, the same goes for small.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobWok View Post
    What happens to the beespace? Is it no longer 3/8. Will we suddenly get crazy burr comb everywhere?
    Bee space isn't 3/8". 3/8" is more of an average. That's why some of use trim end bars down to 1 1/4".

    Quote Originally Posted by RobWok View Post
    What do you think?
    It's an exercise in futility.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    Oops! Wasn't beespace discovered while the bees were still natural sized, on foundationless combs, before they started
    making large cell foundation to make bigger bees? :scratch:

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    Yep!
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    Thanks for the input. I was actually wondering about the timing of the beespace discovery. I know it's not exact, just in general.

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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    The difficulty with bringing the beespace discovery into the discussion is that it like many other things is not exact. What I was referring to in the above post is that our hives are based on beespace, yes, in certain areas, but in the spaces between the combs, we allow the bees to fill it in how they see fit. We only define the distance between the midribs of the comb. The end result of that is our current endbar thickness which is a compromise between brood spacing and honey spacing which is why on a typical brood nest frame, the honey stores stick out a quarter of an inch or more some times further than the brood cells.

    There is a range of effective distances between the centers of the combs that we can use. Too far and the bees will build a new center between the frames. Too close and they will won't build out portions of the foundation or in the case of foundationless, they will extend honey comb into the space. What I and others have found is that if you adjust the width of the frames from 1 3/8" to 1 1/4", you get more consistently uniformly drawn frames where the honey stores don't stick out more than the brood. Now that I'm doing that more consistently, I need to take pictures of it. But I digress.

    My hypothesis is that smaller cells equal shorter cells, therefore calling for shorter center to center distance justifying the change to narrow frames. I have heard anecdotal evidence from another beekeeper on this site that using larger cells and narrower frames makes the process much more sensitive as the bees won't draw out the cells if they don't feel they have enough space. However, using PF-120 and 105 frames, I have not found this to be a significant problem except in cases where the bees draw out deep honey cells on one frame and then draw shallow cells on the next frame. Brood frames are beautiful with solid uniformly aged brood.

    I've written about some of this on my website: http://parkerfarms.biz/beespace.html

    But back to the question of queens. Queens' size is not defined by the space in her cell, her cell is large and not restrictive. Her size is decided by her genetics and nutrition. There is still some discussion as to whether or not keeping bees on small cell selects for genetically smaller bees and I'm sure we'll continue to have that discussion. But rare is the queen who is too large to lay in small cells and as long as she can do that, (and with sufficient rapidity) there's no other issue that needs to be resolved. Furthermore, it's doubtful that much more research will be done in the realm of small cell bees as scholarship seems to have abandoned the idea after a handful of poorly performed studies. Meanwhile, there are those of us who still keep doing it quite successfully.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    Thanks Solomon. Unfortunately, I think that open research is going to have to fall back to the individual. Universities are largely "for-profit" institutions now. The joke I heard about some Southern colleges is that they are large sports fields with small academic buildings tacked on around the edges. If it's not sports, then it's a research college funded by grants from pharmaceutical companies. Creating a self-sustaining bee that doesn't need chemicals is not a commercially viable enterprise from the position of Bayer and Monsanto. Self-sustainment is only a benefit to the homeowner, and small scale farmer. It doesnt benefit petroleum or big-pharma in any way, so we're going to have to do the research ourselves.

    Having run a couple of top bar hives, and cut out many natural hives, It is interesting to note the different way comb is built. The frame size is interesting. Have always wondered about the difference of the queen size too as in my observation hive, I have watched what looked like a queen too big to lay do just fine. Have not had the chance to see her ovipositor, but her abdomen seems to have little impact.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Furthermore, it's doubtful that much more research will be done in the realm of small cell bees as scholarship seems to have abandoned the idea after a handful of poorly performed studies.
    So . . . these "studies" were "poorly performed" because they didn't come to the same conclusion that you have? Or is there a reason why they were "poorly performed"?

    Everything I have read about these "studies" seems to indicate that they were performed correctly. Admitedly there is no one study that appears to apply ALL variables about SC that users claim is part of their benefit, but that doesn't mean the study was flawed or poor. It just means it refuted one, or a few, causal relationships and found that they didn't exist. Build on the research that is there until you find the one (or several) variables that are working. But to just throw all the studies out because you disagree with them, without taking the information that it gives, is a little foolish.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobWok View Post
    Universities are largely "for-profit" institutions now. . . . Self-sustainment is only a benefit to the homeowner, and small scale farmer. It doesnt benefit petroleum or big-pharma in any way, so we're going to have to do the research ourselves.
    Is this just another conspiracy theory, or do you have some information to present that shows how universities (and I do mean ALL places of higher education that are doing bee research) are "for-profit", are presenting skewed information to benefit corporations that are essentially giving them bribes, or that they are not interested in doing research toward "self-sustainment"?

    I haven't seen any of this information you speak of, and I have attended a college that did work on honey bee genetics and queen selection, and saw the research myself. Not saying it doesn't exist, but that statement belongs more in the "tailgater" section than here.

    Now, do you want to talk about small cell bee space, or are we content with talking about the evils of "corporations, universities, big business, and the government"?

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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    So . . . these "studies" were "poorly performed" because they didn't come to the same conclusion that you have? Or is there a reason why they were "poorly performed"?
    As you should well know by now, (I've referred you to the thread discussing them) they don't test real world variables, they don't set up proper controls, they were not based on actual practice, and tests were not run for any useful period of time or during any useful period of time. My views are as always open and available for all to see on this website and on both of mine, so there's no justifiable reason to cast dispersions at my reasoning or motives.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    Sorry, you got me there. I guess I was referring to the majority of the published studies appear to show that the University backers are large pharma type companies. I'm sure there are some universities or colleges out there that don't. Even then, most of the larger study groups - like the one's performed in NC, heavily treat their bees.

    We are a capitalistic society. We don't cure diseases (not much anymore) we treat them. That's where the money is. If the state goverment wanted to stop or reduce lung cancer, wouldn't they prohibit the chemicals put in the filters of the cigarettes- instead of suing the tobacco companies just under the bar that would put them out of business? (Altria is here in Va. I get to talk to a lot of cigarette makers). No, it's a revenue stream.

    Lets just say that significant financial backing isn't going to go behind natural methods that require no continued input that someone can create residual income from. Just like the makers of check mite and all the other medicines are not going to try to put themselves out of business - they're going to perpuate the idea you HAVE to medicate your hives or you will lose them.

    Not really on topic, but it's the hobby beekeepers working on sustainability, just like the hobby farmers.

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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    It is interesting that at Stanford they have a large genetic food testing division and yet they have an outside company come in and put bee hives next to the fields. Stanford itself has nothing to do with the bees on it's property. Just saying. Now back to the real stuff.

    Just to get bee space clear, the spacing of the normal frames are based on the spacing of the brood nest, right? This is why a lot of people have 10 frames brood nests, in a 10 frame box, and then only have 9 frames in the honey supers? This way they can build them out to the full depth that the bees like? Or are we just making them 9 frame for the bees to build them out for us, so we can uncap them easier?

    On bee size, I know that honey bees don't like tomato plants, but bumble bees do. Is this because of size, and if we make a honey bee larger would they like the tomato plants? I do like the idea of seeing what size you can make the bees and see if they would go after different plants because of their changed size.
    Disclaimer: I know enough to know I don't know anything yet.

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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobWok View Post
    We are a capitalistic society. We don't cure diseases (not much anymore) we treat them.
    Best keep this sort of hokum to Tailgater.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrHappy View Post
    Just to get bee space clear, the spacing of the normal frames are based on the spacing of the brood nest, right?
    It's based on it yes. But if you look in some of the very old literature, you can find different standard distances between combs. Michael Bush has a good bunch of discussion about this on his website.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrHappy View Post
    This is why a lot of people have 10 frames brood nests, in a 10 frame box, and then only have 9 frames in the honey supers? This way they can build them out to the full depth that the bees like? Or are we just making them 9 frame for the bees to build them out for us, so we can uncap them easier?
    Using fewer frames in honey supers is more for us than them. But on our end, it's always about manipulating the bees to be the most useful to us. That's one good reason why we use frames. However, like I mentioned before, there are a range of values we can use for comb spacing. On the upper end, it works quite well for extracting and is actually a little bit more efficient storage wise, but if you start with 9 frames or even 8 of foundation evenly spaced, you're just asking to get extra combs in between them. If you draw them out in the 10 configuration and then space them out, that is much less likely to happen. Again, it's about manipulation.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Best keep this sort of hokum to Tailgater.
    Sorry, you're right. I have a hard time staying on point sometime. My other forum is Airforums - I have a 1964 Airstream. We never stay on the thread! (see, did it again)

    I usually force the 10 frame draw out, then use the metal frame spacers to put it at 9. I used to take my frames to a guy that would keep just the "cappings" for payment for extracting my honey. I then realized because of my 9 frame spacing, he was ending up with caps and about 15% of my honey. I now have my own extracting equipment. )

    Wonder if there are any problems using a queen excluder if the queens get smaller. I realize that the queen cell is not dependent on the rest of the cell size, but you would have to assume that queens would regress as well over time. They may not though - so, is it any easier to find the queen when the rest of the bees are small cell?

    The one piece that I don't understand is why there is a tendency not to accept that small cell has some affect on the hive. The reason we have larger sizes is because of the increased yield. I'm just surprised no one tried to force a cross between the giant honeybee and the European if it was so successful - or maybe they did. I could see not wanting to go that route - it would ruin all of our standardized equipment. (did I just go off thread again?)
    Last edited by Solomon Parker; 06-05-2012 at 01:21 PM. Reason: Fix quote

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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    I guess we don't want to talk about bee space in small cell. As pepe lepue put it "le sigh." Oh well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    they don't test real world variables, they don't set up proper controls, they were not based on actual practice, and tests were not run for any useful period of time or during any useful period of time.
    And as I told you before, your rationalization about why they were "poor" makes little sense.

    1. They don't test real world variables
    A: And what exactly is a "real world variable"? How can you have a "real world variable" in comparison to a "fake world variable"? A variable is a variable. They tested one. I don't understand your point.

    2. They don't set up proper controls
    A: And has been pointed out to you previously, their controls passed academic peer review. A panel of individuals appeared to have thought the controls were "proper" . . . but you're probably right. You know much more than they do.

    3. They were not based on actual practice
    A: This I think is a hodge podge reason to say the study wasn't done correctly. Any scientific study is done based on scientific experience. Not actual experience. Actual experience is done by actual practitioners, not by scientists. If it was, they wouldn't be scientists. Any academic study, ever, on anything, is done by scientists. If you have a problem with that, you have a problem with science itself, along with any study every done. Those that study unemployment are not unemployed, by your logic their study can not be accurate as it's not based on individuals actually living the unemployed life.

    4. The tests were not run for any useful period of time
    A: Useful period of time is a very subjective view point. But that just leads back to my argument. Time was one variable. If in the studies it was done over a year period (which most were, if not shorter), then that just shows you when the variable is short, there is no correlation. That's all the studies were looking for. Correlations. None existed.

    5. The tests were not done during any useful period of time
    A: I don't know what you mean by that, or what the difference is with #4. Can you explain?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobWok View Post
    Even then, most of the larger study groups - like the one's performed in NC, heavily treat their bees.
    So . . . if you treat you are the devil? If you treat you can not have any useful results? Ever?

    All studies use wood and paint. I guess the results are automatically skewed in favor of the timber industry and the paint industry. Makes no sense to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobWok View Post
    We are a capitalistic society. We don't cure diseases (not much anymore) we treat them. That's where the money is. If the state goverment wanted to stop or reduce lung cancer, wouldn't they prohibit the chemicals put in the filters of the cigarettes- instead of suing the tobacco companies just under the bar that would put them out of business?
    That topic belongs in the tailgater forum.

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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobWok View Post
    Wonder if there are any problems using a queen excluder if the queens get smaller.
    I have not noticed any. I have not had an experience with a queen ending up on the other side of the excluder, but I rarely use them, only for raising queen cells these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobWok View Post
    is it any easier to find the queen when the rest of the bees are small cell?
    I find it quite easy to find the queen, but it may be my natural propensity to notice patterns or disruptions in the pattern.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobWok View Post
    I'm just surprised no one tried to force a cross between the giant honeybee and the European if it was so successful
    If I'm not mistaken, they are different species and cannot interbreed. I could be wrong.



    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    And as I told you before, your rationalization about why they were "poor" makes little sense.
    Then there's no reason to discuss it with you further. You don't make sense of what I say and I don't accept what you say.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    Lol... you two are funny.

    Here is a great scientific result of Small Cell(HSC) from a beekeeper(Randy Oliver)
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/tria...ll-cell-combs/

    He found that the Honey Super Cell, you might also say small cell, does help with mite load and used no treatment for a season.
    Bush and Dee Lusby have also wrote about the same thing.
    Disclaimer: I know enough to know I don't know anything yet.

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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    Having recently gone back to school and earned my Summa Cum Laude in Business Management, and having worked with both my adjunct professors as well as many PhD, I would like to comment on the "study" aspect. I also have two close friends are research doctors working on a fellowship to a well-respected medical college here in Richmond. I have a close family member that is an executive at one of the biggest pharma companies in the world. In talking with all of these folks, and having to evaluate many peer reviewed articles and studies myself... (I am not chest thumping here; I am building my credentials somewhat)
    r
    The results are as varied and prejudiced as the discussions we are having here. We are all going to have the ability to cite a study that will support our own conclusions, mostly because researchers go into a study with a forgone conclusion. It is all about testing hypotheses. As a result, your result can skewed. The majority of the studies are implemented by foregone conclusions such as, is this mitecide better than that one, or better than the control? It is usually a closed study incapable of dealing with the many, many factors that could affect the outcome. The results of the study justify the study, not beekeeping as a whole. I cannot argue with the facts that I do not treat, and rarely feed, and my hives make it through the winter just fine with plenty of honey and the person that treats has the same experience, but if he stops treating 80% of his hives die. I think it’s entirely because I am in a residential area that has gardens, but my neighbors are not wealthy enough to afford or care about perfect fruit, nor do they pay for lawn care or mosquito treatments.

    The only way that I could say definitively that non-treatment works is if I had a neighbor who had the same shade, hive bodies and bases, numbers, and inspected his hives the same times as myself, yet treated. We would also have to have clones of the same queens who were artificially inseminated with the same drones in the same amounts. Then, we could compare the differences. (Has anyone done a study to that level of detail?)

    I do not believe it is harmful to encourage the small cell folks. The larger the body of experimentation, the better we have a chance to get a mean average of assessment to determine benefit (or lack thereof).

    In the old days, the intent of beekeeping was maximum honey production. There was not transportation readily enough available to support pollination benefits on a wide scale, nor was it necessary. The main object was honey. For us small-scale folks (and maybe even more for the larger producers) keeping the bees alive is now the primary focus, and it is one of the biggest costs. Anything that helps create sustainability is going to help.

    Going back to my original post, what if we were to find that small scale solves a lot of the mite problems, both Verroa and trachael - what then? Will there be expensive re-tooling? Will there be mandates by some states in a certain direction, one way or another?

    It seems inconsistent. What if Bayer came out with a new organic mitecide that was cheap, and it gave some success stories on their advertisement in Apiculture, I think there would be wide reception. However, it seems that if someone comes out with a piece of wax that has a smaller imprint on it, and gives logic reference that the trachea is too small for some mite, and the gestation is too short for other mites, it's considered hogwash. (that may be a failing in our school systems that we stopped teaching logic and replace it with computer class or something)

    Let me put it this way. I’ve been in business for 20 years. Fortune 200 companies. We would cover items in class, in textbooks and in “peer reviewed” journals that would just make me laugh. These Ivy League professors did not work in business. They did not know what was going on. Few of them ever ran businesses – that succeeded. I used to look at their profiles and credentials to see if anyone of them ever had experience other than taking classes at school.

    Therefore, I look at “studies” with an eye of the skeptic. You or I can have just as grounded a study in our own back yard as these professions can, if you follow scientific methods. Additionally, there is a lot to say about intuition. In my field of work, I have solved million dollar problems that were considered unsolvable by the professionals. Some of the biggest and best inventors out there never went to college. Just because it came from a University does not mean I’m going to believe it. I can read peer reviewed articles and academic studies, and can read through the fluff that is a lousy test vs control, and there are a lot of them out there. I am going to put more credit in “the fat bee-man” and Michael Bush than some pimply faced kid at Purdue that is trying to get an A in his invertebrate biology class. Like the guy that’s been keeping bees for 30 years with 500 hives is going to know less than the guy writing his master’s thesis in entymology? He has an agenda – to get published, or get a job. Not to solve the world’s bee problems.

    But yeah, I threw out some tin hat stuff in the other posts without evidence. Sorry about that. Didn't mean to throw people off. (by the way, in person, I’m about the nicest guy you could meet.)

    Rob
    www.mongrelbees.com

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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    And if you spend any time around either of those guys, you're going to find out that they have their biases as well. However, I would not put Don Kuchenmeister in the same category as Michael Bush. Nothing against Don, I've bought his bees, but in the same breath, he'll refuse to use plastic frames because they're unnatural and talk about drinking out of a plastic bottle the FGMO with which he treats his bees. Never made sense to me.

    Personally, I'm in the midst of a Master's thesis research project right now. And I haven't seen all the stuff people talk about. All I've seen is hard working students trying to get done with their thesis.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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    Default Re: Will the beespace be different for small cell bees?

    Funny - about Don. Not in the same category except in the fact that they seem to watch their bees carefully and make assessments based on experience. Have not met either personally, though Don does say some crazy stuff.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not nocking the hard work of students either. I just don't think anyone should knock the beek that watches and studies his bees year over year and not give him credit as well. I think Washington bled to death as the result of the best care given by the physicians of the time, and some of our greatest inventors were not formally educated.

    Some of the great beekeepers in the past were clergy. They were just people that paid attention, and asked questions. Which is what we're all doing on these forums.

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