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  1. #1
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    Default Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    Some reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically:

    - Honey combs and especially brood combs become smaller in size and dark over time, because of the cocoons embedded in the cells and because of the tracking of "travel stain".

    - Honey/brood combs also hold reproductive spores of honey bee pathogens such as American foulbrood, chalkbrood, Nosema and bee gut disease.

    - Honey/brood combs also absorb and hold environmental chemicals (miticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides) and chemicals/medicine used by beekeeper.

    - Honey/brood combs could be damaged by Wax moths/Waxmoths larvae or by hive beetles. In addition, adult Wax moths and larvae can transfer pathogens of serious bee diseases.

    Therefore, normally I replace brood combs every three years or when combs become dark-brown.

    And finally, my advice for beginners: try to establish packaged bee colonies in virgin hives with virgin foundations to avoid disease transmission. Raise your bees in the combs with the proper cell size, but not in the combs that were contaminated and contain cells that were reduced in sizes.
    You can get more details here: http://www.beebehavior.com/packaged_bees.php

    I hope, my simple recommendations can help you to avoid degradations of your bee colonies.

    Boris Romanov

    Useful info - "High Levels of Miticides and Agrochemicals in North American Apiaries: Implications for Honey Bee Health" from:http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0009754

  2. #2
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    Boris, what is your take on small cell size foundation?
    You think they will help with the mite problem or you prefer the larger cells for brood rearing?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    You raised the very important questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Boris, what is your take on small cell size foundation?
    You think they will help with the mite problem...
    "...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 cm(2) brood. ..."
    You can get more details here: http://www.beebehavior.com/small_cel...rroa_mites.php


    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    ...or you prefer the larger cells for brood rearing?
    You can find out the needs of your bees to build a comb with naturally required cell size by using my recommendations posted here:
    http://www.beebehavior.com/foundatio...brood_area.php


    In my opinion the ARS Russian bees FROM THE CERTIFIED BREEDERS is the best solution to fight against mites. But there is one problem - the waiting list.
    http://www.beebehavior.com/russian_bees.php

    Boris Romanov
    Last edited by Boris; 04-14-2013 at 03:35 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    Thanks you, Boris. I learned a lot already from your links.
    At the same time answered my own questions. Very interesting and informative
    site you have there. Like the idea of card board strips. I'll try that with cereal
    boxes from now on. What a great idea about the fishing line. How to make these
    lines to fit tighter on the frame?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    ... How to make these lines to fit tighter on the frame?
    Nothing special - just run/thread a fishing line through the holes and tighten it as much as you can.
    I will try to make a video.

    Boris Romanov

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    1,250

    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    I'm using 25 lb test monofilament on my foundationless frames. I run the line through the two middle holes on each side on my deep frames, and tie a double overhand knot on the outside of the end bar. Then I yank the knot toward me, and pull on the ends. There's enough slip in monofilament that this will tighten up the two strands pretty well. But because mono does slip unless you tie a specialized knot, I put a dab of Titebond III on the knot to stabilize it.

    So far it's working very well. I theorize that it will work better than wire, because the diameter of the line is larger than the diameter of the wire usually found in frames, so less tendency to cut new wax.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    michigan
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    23

    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    The study often cited for "small cell doesn't help with varoa" is by Jennifer A. Berry, William B. Owens, and Keith S. Delaplane.

    Their protocol was to mix up a mess of bees from a mess of hives (some small cell, some not) and then put half of the mixed up bees on small cell (that they had not drawn) and half on "normal" or large cell (that they had not drawn) and then do mite counts so many weeks later.

    This is a much different set of conditions than bees that have been regressed to small cells, and happily and quietly go about their business on comb that they have drawn themselves, in the generally small cell range, making what they see fit as they need it.

    And I agree with your premise that wax should be cycled out of the hive periodically.

    finest regards,

    troy

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    ... How to make these lines to fit tighter on the frame?
    I've just uploaded my new short video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCUH3...ature=youtu.be

    Some comments to this video:
    Take a fishing line eight foot long.
    Run/thread this line through the holes and tighten it as much as you can.
    Light the knot to keep it from untying.

    Hope it will help.

    Boris Romanov
    Last edited by Boris; 04-15-2013 at 03:29 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    Interesting that you don't need that much tension on the lines.

    The big C clamp will work for the tension on the 2 side bars. But don't over clamp to break off
    the bars. Tie the knot big enough so it won't slip back out of the hole. Done!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Interesting that you don't need that much tension on the lines...
    The fishing line works just as a guideline for 6-10 days...
    In fact, to this day I have never used C-clamps. And to keep knots from untying I prefer to light all knots.

    Boris Romanov

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    Quote Originally Posted by solarguy View Post
    The study often cited for "small cell doesn't help with varoa" is by Jennifer A. Berry, William B. Owens, and Keith S. Delaplane...
    I mentioned three studies on my website.

    The second one "The efficacy of small cell foundation as a varroa mite (Varroa destructor) control" is by Ellis AM, Hayes GW, Ellis JD. 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. ellisa@doacs.state.fl.us

    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 cm(2) brood.
    To summarize our results, we found that the use of small cell foundation did not significantly affect cm(2) 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."
    From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19067184

    And the third one "Brood-cell size has no influence on the population dynamics of Varroa destructor mites in the native western honey bee, Apis mellifera mellifera" is by Mary F. Coffey, John Breen (Department of Life Sciences, University of Limerick, Ireland ), Mark J.F. Brown (School of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, TW20 0EX, UK) and John B. McMullan (Department of Zoology, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland)

    Abstract
    "The varroa mite (Varroa destructor) is an ectoparasite of the western honeybee Apis mellifera that reproduces in the brood cells. The mite will generally kill colonies unless treatment is given, and this almost universally involves the use of chemicals. This study was undertaken to examine the effect of small cell size on the reproductive success of the mite, as a method of non-chemical control in the Northern European honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera. Test colonies with alternating small and standard cell size brood combs were sampled over a three-month period and the population biology of the mites evaluated. To ensure high varroa infestation levels, all colonies were infested with mites from a host colony prior to commencement. A total of 2229 sealed cells were opened and the varroa mite families recorded. While small-sized cells were more likely to be infested than the standard cells, mite intensity and abundance were similar in both cell sizes.
    Consequently, there is no evidence that small-cell foundation would help to contain the growth of the mite population in honeybee colonies and hence its use as a control method would not be proposed."
    From: http://www.apidologie.org/index.php?...95/m09095.html


    Boris Romanov

    P.S.
    A few years ago the Betterbee company removed small cell foundations from their catalog.

    The Pierco company (one of the biggest manufacturer of plastic waxed plastic foundations and One-piece waxed plastic frames with foundation) prefers cell size of 5.25 mm for deep frames.
    Last edited by Boris; 04-16-2013 at 07:26 AM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris View Post
    P.S. A few years ago the Betterbee company removed small cell foundations from their catalog.
    And that proves what? A few years ago, Mann Lake added small cell to their products. So?
    Regards, Barry

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    ... A few years ago, Mann Lake added small cell to their products. So?
    From the Mann Lake Ltd. 2013 catalog (page 24):

    "Small Cell Foundation
    Some believe that the 4.9 mm cell impedes the Varroa Mite's ability to reproduce and that it helps to breed a more mite resistant bee. Scientifically (!), these claims have yet to be confirmed (!). "

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    We already know that Boris, you just posted several studies that "support" your view. Following it up with a statement about BetterBee, is suppose to prove what? What it proves is that they didn't make enough money off it. They are after all, in the business of making a profit. Is there scientific proof that says our wax supply is contaminated? I believe there is. Yet all suppliers still sell wax and wax coated foundation. They all sell chemicals as well. BAD!!!!
    Regards, Barry

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    We already know that Boris, you just posted several studies that "support" your view...
    Nonsense,

    I presented you the statement from the company, that you mentioned - not me.
    And if the Mann Lake stated: "Scientifically, these claims have yet to be confirmed", that means THERE ARE NO SCIENTIFIC confirmations of "somebody's believes" about efficiency of small cell foundations - period.

    Boris Romanov
    Last edited by Boris; 04-16-2013 at 08:32 AM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    Have a good day, Boris. We're on different planes/plains.
    Regards, Barry

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    Ltd, M.L.
    An employee Owned Company
    "Free Shipping!*, 2013"
    Page 35
    10 Frame Entrance Guard with Excluder [this is a queen excluder to go over the hive entrance]
    Avoid swarming and ensure that your queen and drones stay in the hive with our Entrance Guard with Excluder.
    Page 33
    Slatted Rack
    First developed in 1900, the slatted rack is essential for overwintering and swarm control in the North.
    Page 34
    10 Frame Cloake Board
    ...making it a must have for beginners to queen rearing.
    It's important to cite these sources in a proper academic manner, and to look at what they are actually saying.

    deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    ...It's important to cite these sources in a proper academic manner, and to look at what they are actually saying. deknow
    Nonsense,

    What is wrong with my post # 13? Please be specific.

    What "they are actually saying" in these statements: "Some believe that the 4.9 mm cell impedes the Varroa Mite's ability to reproduce and that it helps to breed a more mite resistant bee. Scientifically, these claims have yet to be confirmed."

    What is your proper interpretation of these statements?

    Boris Romanov

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris View Post
    What is your proper interpretation of these statements?
    Boris Romanov
    ...that the same source tells us that putting an excluder over your entrance will prevent swarming, that a slatted rack is essential for overwintering in the north, and that a Cloak board is a must if you have never raised queens before.
    ...the same source that will sell you smoker fuel.
    This is marketing copy, nothing more. Coke is the real thing....and if I only drank more beer, I'd be having fun with sexy girls in a speed boat.

    deknow (thinking I should go buy some beer)
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Reasons to replace honey/brood combs periodically

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    ... Coke is the real thing....and if I only drank more beer, I'd be having fun with sexy girls in a speed boat. deknow (thinking I should go buy some beer)
    This is the very "valuable" statement for the forum of beekeepers.

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