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  1. #1
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    Default Small cell for honey supers?

    I use all deeps and have all my hives on 4.9 cell . .
    Should i go with the same size when it comes to honey supers?
    I did get some honey this year on these frames and it seem that they where not as thick as the large cell frames i have used before.
    Now this past year was a build up year so all hives where working hard getting ready for there first winter building all the comb for there hives{14}.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  2. #2
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    i don't have any experience with it, but i have read that it is more difficult to spin honey out of small cell because of capillary action, which is not what i would have predicted.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  3. #3
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    Massillon, Ohio
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    As far as I'm concerned, the more small cell (brood size) comb I have the better. The reason is that brood sized comb can be used in either the brood chambers or in the supers. Larger cell super frames cannot be used effectively in the brood area if needed. I like to have that flexibility, especially for spring swarm management.

    My exclusive honey supers are made up of frames pulled from the brood boxes that have too many drone cells built on foundationless frames. The honey does seem to extract a little easier from larger cells, but for me the advantage of having interchangeable frames outweighs the extra effort in extracting. If I want deeper cells in the supers I'll space out 9 drawn frames in a 10 frame box and they will draw the cells out deeper.
    To everything there is a season....

  4. #4
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    good answer mike.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    MIKE i will Definitely be trying 9 drawn frames in a 10 frame box .
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  6. #6
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    As much as I would hate managing deep supers (I would definitely not lift any that had honey in them) I think it's important to have all the same size frames in your operation. In mine they are mediums...

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#uniformframesize

    "Whatever style (hive) may be adopted, let it by all means be one with movable frames, and have but one sized frame in the apiary."--A.B. Mason, Mysteries of Bee-keeping explained

    I feel the same way about cell size. If everything is interchangable your life as a beekeeper is much simpler.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    radauti, romania
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    3

    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    I think glock have right. If you use up fewer frames, with a greater distance, lay eggs and no queen cells will be elongated, but the same size. Below can be used anytime and after extraction.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    You don't really want elongated frames in the broodnest though do you, so once you spread them out in a honey super and if they get elongated, haven't you just turned them into honey frames only, or will the bees cut them back down to size? I think it would just make pushing frames together more difficult if you try rotating them back into brood areas and I thought larger cells were more efficient for honey storage.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2009
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    Blacksburg, VA
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    You don't really want elongated frames in the broodnest though do you, so once you spread them out in a honey super and if they get elongated, haven't you just turned them into honey frames only, or will the bees cut them back down to size? I think it would just make pushing frames together more difficult if you try rotating them back into brood areas and I thought larger cells were more efficient for honey storage.
    Typically, when you uncap the honey frames, they are not elongated anymore and could be used anywhere in the hive.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    That's true rkereid for extracted frames (and I use a heat gun), but if you let bees overwinter on them I guess you'd still have to cut them back to size, just seems like an unnecessary step to me and be simpler to use dedicated frames for honey and just cycle out old brood frames every few years, render them down and start fresh.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    That's true rkereid for extracted frames (and I use a heat gun), but if you let bees overwinter on them I guess you'd still have to cut them back to size, just seems like an unnecessary step to me and be simpler to use dedicated frames for honey and just cycle out old brood frames every few years, render them down and start fresh.
    Yeah, if they stay on the hive in the 9 frame configuration, it would be a problem using them in a 10 frame box.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    As much as I would hate managing deep supers (I would definitely not lift any that had honey in them) I think it's important to have all the same size frames in your operation. In mine they are mediums...

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#uniformframesize

    "Whatever style (hive) may be adopted, let it by all means be one with movable frames, and have but one sized frame in the apiary."--A.B. Mason, Mysteries of Bee-keeping explained

    I feel the same way about cell size. If everything is interchangable your life as a beekeeper is much simpler.
    So michael your saying stay with all 4.9 cell deeps and thing will bee easyer being all the same size.?
    Thank you.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  13. #13
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    Jan 2003
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    Manitoba Canada
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    I have not drawn out any 4.9 foundation, but I have talked to fellows that have. They tell me its much harder to draw out 4.9.
    So if that is true, why not struggle with 4.9 in the brood chambers to get it drawn right, and let the bees free to draw larger cell above the nest
    Your supers will be separated anyway, and your honey will extract much easier in the long run

    Most beekeepers who use 4.9 tell me they only use 4.9 for about 4-5 frames in the brood nest anyway because of the difficulty to draw it out. That said, most natural beehives will not draw out 4.9 out for the entire nest anyway.
    So, if you follow your own logic, and want to provide the bees with more of a natural comb size, then in theory you should have a variety of cell sizes throughout the nest. Larger one more typically would of been used for honey storage
    Last edited by Ian; 01-02-2013 at 03:41 PM.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  14. #14
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    Jul 2008
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    OKC, OK USA
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    I try to keep mine all 4.9 and here is why...I do not use queen excluders and every spring my queens are up in the super I left them for winter stores laying away until a good flow forces them down.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  15. #15
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    May 2008
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    Concord, CA
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    Our honey here is very thick, around 15-16% moisture. Its very hard to extract it from the small cell frames. The honey comes out of the larger cell frames no problem.
    That's the only reason I don't use it in my honey supers.
    Dan

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    Dan, how many small cell frames do you run inthe brood chambers?
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  17. #17
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    Quote Originally Posted by KQ6AR View Post
    Our honey here is very thick, around 15-16% moisture. Its very hard to extract it from the small cell frames.
    And it is harder to uncap also.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    10 frames in the brood boxes, if 11 would fit without alteration I'd run 11.
    In my honey supers I run 9 frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    Dan, how many small cell frames do you run inthe brood chambers?
    Dan

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    I also run 10 frames in brood and 8 or 9 in supers

    but how many small cell frames do you run in your brood chambers
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Concord, CA
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    Default Re: Small cell for honey supers?

    except for the drone frame, all the frames are small cell mann lake pf frames.
    All of the hives have at least 3 brood boxes in the summer, to make fresh comb for nucs & other uses.
    Dan

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