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  1. #21
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Isn't Small Cell Just as Fraught with Potential Issues as Large Cell?

    I've been trying to answer that Dee by seeing what happens with my own bees. But I've been messing with the sc bee so much it's not possible to say for sure, what would happen if they were run normally. What it looks like so far though, is the sc bees have a similar biomass in the hive through winter, ie, more bees. This is the first summer I've had full sc hives, so far, a slightly lower bee biomass, but I'm pretty sure, more bees. I'm running 2 x FD super brood nests, and the queen pretty much lays them up, she must lay more eggs than a LC queen has to.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
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    647

    Default Re: Isn't Small Cell Just as Fraught with Potential Issues as Large Cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Deknow,

    Do you think frame sizes have any affect on cell size as well? I tend to agree with Beregondo's observations and thoughts on the subject as well. I think small cell changes the hive dynamics more than people think. The thing with bees is hives are so variable it's very difficult to make comparisons.

    I agree with you about frame size, and I find I get far less messed up combs with SC bees with 1 1/4" frames in the brood nest.

    Like Dean and Micheal suggest I use mostly foundationless but I do start a lot of new feral swarms on PF120's in order to have nice straight combs to later pyramid up between foundationless frames. Next year I will be shaving them down to 1 1/4" frame width to match my foundationless frames. I also plan to try some 1 1/8" inch frames.

    Don Semple
    Overland Park, KS

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
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    966

    Default Re: Isn't Small Cell Just as Fraught with Potential Issues as Large Cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by deejaycee View Post

    In the second, there's a leap from having more small bees as a proportion of the hive population, to just having more bees altogether.

    I often see this correlation drawn - that there are believed to be more individual bees in a small cell hive than a larger cell hive - as if the mass of the bees is some sort of constant to be divided by the size of the bees to get the population.

    Small cell comb certainly means more cells on the face of a comb.. but where does it the assumption come from that this means more bees in the hive? Surely that's ruled by the queen's laying capacity and the hive population dynamics, neither of which, as far as I can see, are ruled by the size of the cells?
    I understand that most have more space fo their queen to lay in than she uses.
    My Russell Sunkist queens actually do run out of room sometimes.
    At those times, more cell-dense comb certainly makes a difference.

    I'd also note that with 10% less distance btw cells, travel time btw each egg laid might reasonably be assumed to be reduced 10%, with a corresponding increase in population.

    Whether another person thinks those differences might might matter or not, I wasn't commenting on another person's preferences.
    The sentence began,

    "I like having more, smaller bees.."

    You are not qualified to assess whether what I observe unless you are present observing it as well, are you?

    While I am basing my comment on observation, someone else's comment is based on the assumption that queen lay rate is the only variable in effect.

    Unfortunately, the commentor is ignorant of the history of the colonies in question.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Portland, Oregon
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    966

    Default Re: Isn't Small Cell Just as Fraught with Potential Issues as Large Cell?

    I am not one of those zealots who think small cell is the answer ot all problems.

    Nor am I one of the zealots who think large cell comb is the One True Way and all other views must be discredited.

    I'm not an expert on much, but I am an expert on my experiences.
    And an argument based on assumption seldom makes a more compelling point than experience does.

    Do what you like in your own yard.
    But please don't present expense and tradition as a "safer" way when others are actually being successful with alternatives.

    I believe that last sentence, in fact is the point of this thread, is it not?

  5. #25
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    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    3,055

    Default Re: Isn't Small Cell Just as Fraught with Potential Issues as Large Cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post

    I keep thinking of "free range chickens" that are kept indoors until their habits are established, then a small door to the outside is opened so they can "range free" if they wish...but they don't wish, they are already trained not to go outside, and they don't.
    deknow

    This whole thing sounds good but is not even close to reality. Chickens may hesitate when given access to unfamiliar space. But I know for a fact first hand that this idea is bull. I have a chicken that has been kept in a pen for two years. and it will come out of that pen in a heart beat if given the chance.

    Okay so forget all about training bees to make smaller cells or what not. I will just agree that it can and is done.

    My question is why? what good does it do? I know about the claims concerning Varroa mites and not enough room to reproduce. Other than that are their any other reasons it is beneficial to have smaller bees or smaller cells?
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  6. #26
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    Sep 2011
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    Reno, NV
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    3,055

    Default Re: Isn't Small Cell Just as Fraught with Potential Issues as Large Cell?

    deejaycee, I have seen unrelated reports that the bees do manage there population in accordance with stores. Since I do not think bees can either count or conduct a census. I consider it reasonable that there measure if any of population would be based on mass. Or how much room is in the hive. IN this case it would require a larger number of small bees to fill a given space.
    That is at least one way that you woudl end up with more individual bees by having smaller bees.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
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    54

    Default Re: Isn't Small Cell Just as Fraught with Potential Issues as Large Cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    I do not know of anyone in Nova Scotia that is truly "treatment free" that isn't a new beekeeper. It's easy to be treatment free until your bees die, and until spring shows healthy bees - me being treatment free could just mean that I've decided to make the winter harder for my bees. We shall see.
    Adam
    Adam,
    My bees came from one beekeeper up here in CB. He was a commercial beekeeper for years and is now retired. I do not live in an area where there is a good chance for collecting swarms. I am thinking I should consider getting some bees from another area (not too far away) but possibly from the mainland area. Do you recommend or know any beekeepers in your area who you would consider a good supplier, I understand they may not be completely treatment free, but using good management practises. Do you plan to sell any nucs yourself if your bees are healthy in the spring? Donna

  8. #28
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    6,012

    Default Re: Isn't Small Cell Just as Fraught with Potential Issues as Large Cell?

    dfrizzell I may be confused but did I read somewhere that varroa are not in youir area yet? If so, wouldn't import any bees.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Isn't Small Cell Just as Fraught with Potential Issues as Large Cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    dfrizzell I may be confused but did I read somewhere that varroa are not in youir area yet? If so, wouldn't import any bees.
    When I first started posting here I did not have mites and Cape Breton Island has been mite free until recently, may 3-5 years now. I live in one of the little pockets on the island that did not have mites until this year, now I do unfortunately...found them very late this fall.
    Donna

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    2,893

    Default Re: Isn't Small Cell Just as Fraught with Potential Issues as Large Cell?

    I'm thinking that to get the most benefit from small cell or even natural cell in regards to varroa, shouldn't one also get their brood combs spaced more tightly, as I understand in nature bees have closer to 1 1/8" centers as opposed to 1 3/8" in the standard Lang hive. This tighter comb structure surely has many benefits to the bees, and quite possibly would have a negative effect on mites. I know they have done studies on small cell impact on varroa, which didn't turn out to be that effective, but might there be a better result if it had been done with brood combs on 1 1/8" centers. John

  11. #31
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    Nov 2009
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    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Default Re: Isn't Small Cell Just as Fraught with Potential Issues as Large Cell?

    Hi Donna,

    Sorry I'm so long getting to this.

    I have gotten bees from a couple of people, but I must admit that I'm not too closely aware of their management practices. I don't know of anyone around here who is treatment free. I got bees from Kevin Spicer in the valley this spring, and so far I really like them. PM me if you'd like a contact number.

    As for me selling bees, I think that's a year off anyway.

    Adam

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
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    54

    Default Re: Isn't Small Cell Just as Fraught with Potential Issues as Large Cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    Hi Donna,

    Sorry I'm so long getting to this.

    I have gotten bees from a couple of people, but I must admit that I'm not too closely aware of their management practices. I don't know of anyone around here who is treatment free. I got bees from Kevin Spicer in the valley this spring, and so far I really like them. PM me if you'd like a contact number.

    As for me selling bees, I think that's a year off anyway.

    Adam
    Thanks for the contact Adam, I did find his phone number online. I know that newfoundland still has mite-free/TF bees but not sure yet if nucs are available or if I can even import them.
    Donna

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Otsego County, New York, USA
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Isn't Small Cell Just as Fraught with Potential Issues as Large Cell?

    In answer to the original post question: Most of you are probably familiar with Jennifer Berry's research and findings but for those who are not, I think it would be a good idea read this article - link below. We know that strong opinions are held by many, but many others are of the opinion that the small cell size concern of recent times is much ado about nothing.

    http://www.ent.uga.edu/bees/personne.../Berry1109.pdf

  14. #34
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    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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    1,976

    Default Re: Isn't Small Cell Just as Fraught with Potential Issues as Large Cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by d.frizzell View Post
    Thanks for the contact Adam, I did find his phone number online. I know that newfoundland still has mite-free/TF bees but not sure yet if nucs are available or if I can even import them.
    Donna
    If NFLD doesn't have mites, then I don't think it's worth trying to import from there. If you have mites, and you're going to be treatment free, then the bees have to be able to withstand the mites. Buying from a mite-free area means they have not had any selection pressure to do that.

    Adam

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Isn't Small Cell Just as Fraught with Potential Issues as Large Cell?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    If NFLD doesn't have mites, then I don't think it's worth trying to import from there. If you have mites, and you're going to be treatment free, then the bees have to be able to withstand the mites. Buying from a mite-free area means they have not had any selection pressure to do that.

    Adam
    Yes, I agree Adam, I already have bees here that have not been exposed to mites so may not be much to gain there (NFLD). I do have more contacts up here so will keep looking at possibilities. Donna

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