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

    Default Small cell foundation observations this year

    I started adding small cell foundation (SCF) into a couple of hives this year as an experiment to see what would happen. I'm going to call our normal foundation large cell for this post. I did an inspection today and this is what I saw:

    1.The queen has chosen to stop laying brood in all the large cell comb in the hive. I opened the brood nest this year with the SCF.

    2.The lowest box is mostly large cell, and is completely filled with pollen (normal).

    3.Everywhere the SCF was placed, brood was there. There was an entire deep of SCF added also.

    4. The large cell on either side of the SCF contained honey, nectar, or pollen...no brood. Even if the SCF comb was the only one for a few frames.

    5. I had noticed that the younger bees looked smaller from the entrance, so that's why I took a look to see what was going on.

    These are just a few of the observations I can remember right now as I cool off. I'll add more as they come to mind.

    I also started two new packages completely on SCF, and they are doing the best I've ever seen packages do. Granted we aren't in a drought here, but I've never had them take off like this before. Oh yeah, I run all deeps.

    Discuss....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rowan County NC
    Posts
    347

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    Ive notices pretty much the same thing...I have ended up pulling all of the foundation out and have been regressing sizes. anywhere there is still any larger cell size, they either store pollen or honey in it and the queen dont lay in it
    "You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    proctorsville, vermont
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    i have been switching to foundationless. the queen prefers it. i started a nuc with all the necesary ingridients on natural foundation. the bees are smaller and they reered the smallest queen i have seen yet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Haslet, Tx
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    I am about to place foundationless and am really glad to hear this!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN., USA
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    I'm baffeled by one thing.
    First off, I have been a firm believer in SCF and natural comb since right off the bat. It pleases me that you and you all are getting satisfactory results and I assume happy with them.
    Just (I thought) that standard long sence enlarged 5.4 mm bees had to be regressed down before they could draw out comb on SCF. jadell's bees seem to be dong it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,071

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    It's a highly variable phenomenon. Some will immediatly, some wont at all. More will on Mann Lake Plastic Frames (PF-100, 120). A few refuse.

    I'd like to combat that idea that you have to regress to some intermediate size between 5.4 and 4.9. The best thing to do is go straight to 4.9. It wont likely be drawn perfectly the first time, but it will happen eventually.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,933

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    It's funny how people's experiences can be so different. In 2007 I used a half case of SCF. The bees reworked the foundation and I got the ugliest looking frames I'd ever seen. I don't think that I got one small cell, although I admit that I didn't measure every one. I still have the other half of the case of foundation. I have recycled most of the frames and the others are the honey frames on the edges of the boxes. I have my Jenter box in one.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,383

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    Was that wax foundation?
    Regards, Barry

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,383

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I'd like to combat that idea that you have to regress to some intermediate size between 5.4 and 4.9. The best thing to do is go straight to 4.9. It wont likely be drawn perfectly the first time, but it will happen eventually.
    Ah, it looks to me like you're being combative with your own statement. If they don't draw it out perfectly the first time, that pretty much means they drew an intermediate size and one will have to continue again to get it smaller. My experience, I've never been able to get full frames of SC comb. I've stated before that all my wax foundation was milled at the Lusby's and their mill gives no side wall imprint, just a very shallow bottom rhombus. That is why I'm looking forward to trying the PF-120's next season.
    Regards, Barry

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,933

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    What I used was wired wax foundation. I still have the case in the basement that might have brand.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    I use Mann Lake Wired Wax SCF
    They love it and it looks beautiful.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Was that wax foundation?
    Barry,
    If that question was for me, yes it was small cell wax. Not sure of the supplier, I got it from a local bee supply guy.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    proctorsville, vermont
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    100_2721.jpgi let the bees draw ther own, with just a litle piece. this is the results of 7 days.100_2714.jpgi also find that once they start drawing there own they leave the other foundation alone. just my observation in my hives.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,383

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    Quote Originally Posted by jadell View Post
    Barry, If that question was for me,
    Yes. Can you find the name of the manufacturer?
    Regards, Barry

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    While not wax foundation I am trying the Kelley foundationless deep & Med. super, 10 ea. to see what happens.
    http://kelleybees.com/Products/Detai...3333&grouped=1
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Brookline Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    I started to use SCF this year and what i've observed is that except for a few exceptions the queen lays a very spotty pattern and they like to refill the empty cells with nectar

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,383

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    Please give brand name and if it's wax or plastic.
    Regards, Barry

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Brookline Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    small cell foundation from Brushymountain wax foundation is was crimp wire

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,383

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    If you or anyone else has a small piece of sc wax foundation you could spare, I'd love to have a piece so I can compare it to the foundation I made using a sc mill. An inch by two would be plenty.
    Regards, Barry

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Small cell foundation observations this year

    Seems as though it's from Dadant. His website is wildmountainbees.com. I'd be happy to send you a piece.

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