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  1. #1
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    Mar 2010
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    864

    Default 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    The last time I asked a question, I seemed to start a firestorm down on the TF forum (my apologies to everyone!) and I'm really trying to avoid that this time if at all possible.

    One of the many new things I learned from asking about small cell before things kinda blew up down there was that bees from 5.4 foundation need to be regressed in order to use 4.9 foundation and even then they often still try to build larger cells. Now what I am wondering is if the reverse is true. What happens when 4.9 bees are put on 5.4 foundation? Do they adapt or do they start producing more drones because of the larger cells?



    Rusty

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    Drones are substantially larger normally than 5.4mm cells. When a queen is failing and lays unfertilized eggs in worker cells, it has nothing to do with preference on the bees part. You could mix and match the two sizes and you woul get some abnormally formed cells but I doubt it would be of significant effect to the colony. Just no reason for the heat generated by cell size. Read Gullivers Travels to understand it.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    Rusty, your post on the tf forum was fine. As you've discovered it is a volatile topic.
    I had a number of 'regressed' hives some years ago. I culled the 4.9mm comb over a period of two seasons and replaced it with conventional foundation. In no instance did my bees have any problem...unregressing.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #4
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    Mar 2010
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    864

    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    You've both just relieved my mind. I don't want to experiment with something and then be stuck with it if I don't like how it works out. I'm thinking I want to try a hive of foundationless, as well, and then decide which of the 3 works best for me.

    Thanks again!

    Rusty

  5. #5
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    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    Dan, Why did you cull them out? I am curious. I am not sold on 4.9 though that is what I have mostly. Why not keep them in service? I can't find anything Wrong with them?

  6. #6

    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    Dan, Why did you cull them out?
    There were a number of reasons I abandoned small cell and I have posted on it in the past.
    To answer your question regarding why I culled all of it, in several of the few hives that successfully ‘regressed’ I was seeing significant signs of brood problems. Most notably, for the first time in a number of years, I had what appeared to be EFB and it was only in my fully and partially regressed hives. My conventional hives were not experiencing any of these symptoms.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  7. #7
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    Jan 2011
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    Great Falls Montana
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    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    I will watch for any brood problems, thanks, but my mind is still open on this whole size subject.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    Is there a measurable difference in wax between 4.9 and 5.4?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #9
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    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,711

    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Hills Farm View Post
    You've both just relieved my mind. I don't want to experiment with something and then be stuck with it if I don't like how it works out. I'm thinking I want to try a hive of foundationless, as well, and then decide which of the 3 works best for me.

    Thanks again!

    Rusty
    Ha Ha no need to worry about that, they will "unregress" even if you don't want them to. Part of my queen raising process, which is all done in 4.9 sized hives, is to hang a bit of foundation among brood for the queen to lay eggs in. By the time I use it the bees have normally added some more comb. If it's not drone, it will be 5.4 mm.

    Wild bee nests have a variety of cell sizes they do not adhere to strict rules, well, they do, but not our rules. Generally though 4.9 is pretty small for them they'll prefer something bigger.

    Interesting comment Dan about the extra brood disease in the small celled hives I've never heard that before. In my sc hives the brood is more patchy, but i've been putting that down to the bees being more hygeinic, although in truth, I have no idea why it's more patchy.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  10. #10

    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Interesting comment Dan about the extra brood disease in the small celled hives I've never heard that before. In my sc hives the brood is more patchy, but i've been putting that down to the bees being more hygeinic, although in truth, I have no idea why it's more patchy.
    Mine were patchy too but eventually I put it down to the inability of the larvae to expand adequately before it was mature. I'm pretty sure that Dee wrote about EFB problems in her operation during their intial regression but I'll be darned if I'm going to do a major search to find it
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Herrick, SD USA
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    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    There were a number of reasons I abandoned small cell and I have posted on it in the past.
    To answer your question regarding why I culled all of it, in several of the few hives that successfully ‘regressed’ I was seeing significant signs of brood problems. Most notably, for the first time in a number of years, I had what appeared to be EFB and it was only in my fully and partially regressed hives. My conventional hives were not experiencing any of these symptoms.
    I wasn't aware of this. Thanks for the insight Dan
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    VENTURA, California, USA
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    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Is there a measurable difference in wax between 4.9 and 5.4?
    Take a close look at the 4.9 mm and then look at the 5.4 mm you should be able to see the difference.
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    VENTURA, California, USA
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    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    EFB in the 4.9 mm cell?
    That's an observation, a bacteria that prefers 4.9 over 5.4.
    Stastically speaking.
    If we had more colonies in the data base, that would be very interesting.
    Or, the hive robbed out a EFB dead out. Eliminating the variables can be perplexing.
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  14. #14
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    Utica, NY
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    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    I guess I didn't phrase the question right. I meant to say is there a measurable difference in weight per frame if the bees construct 5.4 cells as opposed to 4.9 cells. I was wondering if 4.9 cells require more nectar to build them.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #15
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    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by BEES4U View Post
    EFB in the 4.9 mm cell?
    That's an observation, a bacteria that prefers 4.9 over 5.4.
    Stastically speaking.
    If we had more colonies in the data base, that would be very interesting.
    Or, the hive robbed out a EFB dead out. Eliminating the variables can be perplexing.
    Absolutely, I shouldnt try to speak for Dan, but he is no doubt saying that the reasons arent really bacterial in nature as much as the possibility that the stresses involved in the regression might be enough to trigger efb which is well known to be a disease that shows up in stressed hives. I dont care to get into a deeper debate on this as no doubt many have regressed and not seen efb. Just saying I think Dans observations are relevant.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  16. #16

    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by BEES4U View Post
    If we had more colonies in the data base, that would be very interesting.
    I am absolutely not trying to make any scientific claim...anecdotal only. In my case there was a pattern. Only the regressed and partially regressed colonies had symptoms. I only mentioned it to explain to Vance G why I felt the need to cull all of the 5.1 and 4.9mm frames.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    brownwood, TX, USA
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    778

    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    I have a simple question. All of my foundation is conventional 5.4 rite cell from Mann Lakes, and some of my bees are very small. It is understandable that small bees can be produced in larger cells, but is the converse true. Can large bees be reproduced in the small cells, or are all of the bees from small cells small bees?

  18. #18
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    Jan 2011
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    Athens, OH
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    2,646

    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    Another anecdote. I've almost exclusively used 4.9 PF-125's and started random commercially bought packages with no problems. They don't always follow the foundation, but mostly do. So far, they've all drawn at least 4 mediums by the end of the first season.
    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

  19. #19
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    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    Dan I am sorry I led you into trouble. This cell size discussion appears to be much like a Holy war. LS, I doubt the size of your bees is entirely determined by the size of the cell either way. Cell size is a nice thing to think about, but I doubt it is a worry, if that helps. If it doesn't, scream JIHAD! and find someone to fight with.

  20. #20

    Default Re: 4.9 bees and 5.4 foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    Dan I am sorry I led you into trouble. This cell size discussion appears to be much like a Holy war.
    Not a problem Vance G. No matter what side of the issue you find yourself on there is plenty of potential for disagreement. And I don't mind until the dialog gets personal.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

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