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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
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    422

    Default Foundationless studies

    Does someone have any links to small cell or natural cell foundation effects on Varroa. I've heard from several people and even noticed an article in the ABJ that said small cell beekeeping had no effect on varroa levels. I'm curious what studies have been done and published by reputable sources. Or even the effects of natural cell (foundationless) on hive health and diseases/pests in general. Please and thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sherburne, MN, USA
    Posts
    58

  3. #3
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    Sep 2011
    Location
    Strafford, NH, USA
    Posts
    346

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    T152, your first link and your last link are the same information from two different sources (trade journal, sci. publication) and are both against small cell foundation. All of it is interesting reading though!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,820

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    My opinion is that we need to stop making the bees do what is not natural for them in the broodnest, like giving them small or large cell foundation. How about letting the bees draw what they want, or don't we trust them to do what is right for the colony. Everyone would like a quick fix to the varroa problem, but let's see, it's been over 100+ years that we have been forcing them to be unnatural in the broodnest with respect to cell size, so a solution is not going to happen that fast. I use natural cell in my broodnests, and my bees still have mites, but I have not lost a hive to mites in over 4 years and they are extremely productive. John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    None of the studies that have been done test in real world conditions, throughout all the seasons, over a period of years, the way we real beekeepers keep bees.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    King County, Washington
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    None of the studies that have been done test in real world conditions
    Sure there have been...Look what happened to all the feral colonies on foundation less comb when varroa arrived? For all practical purposes, they became extinct.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    305

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    Really an excellent point rbees. I'd say the main difference is varroa prefer the larger, longer maturing drone cell. I haven't seen any convincing evidence on the small cell theory. I do very much like the foundationless approach so they can construct the broodnest how they want with the cell size they want, with as much drone comb as they want.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,258

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    None of the studies that have been done test in real world conditions, throughout all the seasons, over a period of years, the way we real beekeepers keep bees.
    Still waiting for the SC folks to publish a study the way they say it should be done. I even offered one well known SC proponent a slot at EAS 2+ years ago if he could do the study "The right way." Something empiracle and not..."It works for me, so I don't need to do no da** study.

    If you're going to discount Seeley, Berry, et al, then you have to come up with something that backs up your claims.

    I'm still waiting.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    Tom Seely gave a great presentation at EAS. Of all the feral hives he measured the average cell size was, if I remember correctly, 5.2mm versus the 5.4 of standard foundation. Hardly a difference at all to me.

    In my opinion there has been enough research done using the scientific method by well known entomologists to prove to me that the solution to varroa lies somewhere else than inside of a cell that is .3 mm smaller.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    The first one is a study that showed small cell doesn't work.

    And if you read to the bottom of the Beenatural guy page it shows he is no longer small cell. He gave up on it.

    The other two I believe sell bees. Simply marketing.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    So all the feral colonies did not become extinct after all, how did he define feral?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    These are studies by entomologists in several states.
    A. M. Ellis1 , G. W. Hayes1 and J. D. Ellis2
    (1) Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection, Apiary Inspection Section, 1911 SW 34th St., Gainesville, FL 32614-7100, USA
    (2) Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Bldg. 970 Natural Area Dr., Gainesville, FL 32611-0620, USA
    Received: 3 October 2008 Accepted: 10 November 2008 Published online: 6 December 2008
    Abstract Due to a continuing shift toward reducing/minimizing the use of chemicals in honey bee colonies, we explored the possibility of using small cell foundation as a varroa control. Based on the number of anecdotal reports supporting small cell as an efficacious varroa control tool, we hypothesized that bee colonies housed on combs constructed on small cell foundation would have lower varroa populations and higher adult bee populations and more cm2 brood. To summarize our results, we found that the use of small cell foundation did not significantly affect cm2 total brood, total mites per colony, mites per brood cell, or mites per adult bee, but did affect adult bee population for two sampling months. Varroa levels were similar in all colonies throughout the study. We found no evidence that small cell foundation was beneficial with regard to varroa control under the tested conditions in Florida.

    Small-cell comb foundation does not impede Varroa mite population growth in honey bee colonies*
    Jennifer A. Berry1, William B. Owens2, Keith S. Delaplane1
    1 Department of Entomology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
    2 Owens Apiaries, 4510 Springwood Drive, Monroe, GA 30655, USA
    Received 1 October 2008 – Revised 23 March 2009 – Accepted 27 April 2009
    Abstract – In three independently replicated field studies, we compared biometrics of Varroa mite and
    honey bee populations in bee colonies housed on one of two brood cell types: small-cell (4.9 } 0.08 mm cell
    width, walls inclusive) or conventional-cell (5.3 } 0.04). In one of the studies, ending colony bee population
    was significantly higher in small-cell colonies (14994 } 2494 bees) than conventional-cell (5653 } 1082).
    However, small-cell colonies were significantly higher for mite population in brood (359.7 } 87.4 vs.
    134.5 } 38.7), percentage of mite population in brood (49.4 } 7.1 vs. 26.8 } 6.7), and mites per 100 adult
    bees (5.1 } 0.9 vs. 3.3 } 0.5). With the three remaining ending Varroa population metrics, mean trends
    for small-cell were unfavorable. We conclude that small-cell comb technology does not impede Varroa
    population growth.
    3. McMullan, J. B., Brown, M. J. F. (2006). Brood-cell size does not influence the susceptibility of honey bees (Apis mellifera) to infestation by tracheal mites (Acarapis woodi). Experimental and Applied Acarology 39: 273-280.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  13. #13
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    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    1,374

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    Feral colonies are most definitely not extinct where I live.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    Up here in Canada they are not extinct either, and it's the same story from the scientists. They say feral untreated colonies with mite cannot survive the winters here, yet in the real world we know that they do. The other thing I have noticed is they tend to focus in on the small cell term which is really only part of the picture of natural beekeeping.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    Sustainable feral hives is making the assumption that bees do not repopulate dead cavities which they surely do. Tom Seeley has a great book, Honeybee Democracy, documenting scientific studies from many regions. Unless you have tracked nesting cavities continuously visually, you assume.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,374

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    I have noticed lots of things people say that have no bearing in what is actually observed.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    King County, Washington
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul McCarty View Post
    Feral colonies are most definitely not extinct where I live.
    I didn't say the ARE extinct, I said that for all practical purposes they became extinct when varroa arrived...which in areas where varroa was prevelent most certainly was the case. DId varroa get ALL...no...almost all...yes.

    Ever why the rental fees for the Almonds and other crops went up so much after varroa?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,033

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    Extinct is a pretty concrete word. You can't be partly extinct or somewhat extinct. You are either extinct or you are not extinct. You can be going extinct (requring an eventual extinction) or you can be recovering from near extinction. How is 'extinct for all practical purposes' anything less than NOT EXTINCT?

    The idea that feral bees went extinct or even for any practical purposes is pure conjecture. The facts remain that feral bees are still out there, which means they didn't go extinct, nor would they have for 'all practical purposes' because for all practical purposes, extinct is extinct, and not extinct is not extinct.

    Extinct, noun, No longer in existence; having died out.

    Feral bees are not, nor were they ever, extinct, nor, as evidenced by their recovery and continued existence, extinct 'for all practical purposes.'
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    649

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    How about "decimated"? I have read 90% of feral colonies disappeared. Since they are subject to augmentation from tended bee swarms, any hive livinging in the bush cannot definitively claim descendence from ancient feral colonies. It is practice to point to the existence of some wild colonies to support the philosophy that bees get tougher if you treat them rough. There are some convincing examples supporting this concept but the jury at large is still out.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    JACKSON OHIO
    Posts
    485

    Default Re: Foundationless studies

    Quote Originally Posted by rbees View Post
    Sure there have been...Look what happened to all the feral colonies on foundation less comb when varroa arrived? For all practical purposes, they became extinct.
    If all the feral colines are extinct then why do i get several calls for cutouts and swarms every summer. Talked to the bee inspector during my hives inspections last saturday and we both agreed that the feral population is alive and well here.

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