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  1. #1

    Default A blast from the past.

    Ok….not trolling….not weaseling…..it just caught my eye.
    I pulled some supers yesterday and while extracting today came across this frame (second from the right). A remnant of an experiment a number of years ago.


    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  2. #2

    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    I think the only comment I would want to make is that sometimes we get painted with the 'stuck in the old ways' brush....and it isn't always true. I ran a handful of small cell hives some years ago. Oldtimer....another conventional beekeeper just finished a small cell trial....
    and I'm sure there are others.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    20 colonies on 4.9 for 3 years. P.T. Barnum's statement, "There is a sucker born every minute," well I guess it was my minute.

  4. #4

    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    20 colonies on 4.9 for 3 years. P.T. Barnum's statement, "There is a sucker born every minute," well I guess it was my minute.
    If you're in it for three years...and everyone looks good........
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    I was in it for three years and it was a pain in the you know where. Nothing about regressing was as easy as it was described and the 20 colonies in the same yard that was on standard Pierco plastic was as healthy, had fewer varroa, and the overwintering losses was the same in both groups. At the end of the 3 years I phased out the small cell because introducing new queens was a problem. The new queens would take 3 weeks or more to start laying, they did not like the 4.9 at all.

    I am glad I did the small cell thing, it gave me a chance to prove to my satisfaction that it failed to produce what it was reported to do. My purpose in keeping bees is for the pleasure of keeping bees, so I was only out the expense of the foundation. At the time I had several yards and enough bees so that any losses would not endanger my hobby.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2009
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    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    I was in it for three years and it was a pain in the you know where. Nothing about regressing was as easy as it was described and the 20 colonies in the same yard that was on standard Pierco plastic was as healthy, had fewer varroa, and the overwintering losses was the same in both groups. At the end of the 3 years I phased out the small cell because introducing new queens was a problem. The new queens would take 3 weeks or more to start laying, they did not like the 4.9 at all.

    I am glad I did the small cell thing, it gave me a chance to prove to my satisfaction that it failed to produce what it was reported to do. My purpose in keeping bees is for the pleasure of keeping bees, so I was only out the expense of the foundation. At the time I had several yards and enough bees so that any losses would not endanger my hobby.
    So your saying 4.9 don't keep the mite counts low?
    I been getting all my brood boxes on 4.9 but there mixed with 5.1s right now but most on 4.9 and I have mites so I don't know about this sm. cell thing helping with VARROA. I didn't have any problem with making queens on sm. cell but they seem to draw out 5.1 much better . I use 5.1 for my honey supers {I use all deeps}.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 32 hives==== T{OAV}

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    I started to regress with 5.1 also. The bees made comb that was useable with the 5.1 foundation, but when the 4.9 was introduced they made comb that was not useable. I used deep frames also and there would be perhaps 1/4 to 1/3 of the frame that had cells the queens would use for worker brood. I introduced 4.9 three times before I had frames that 1/2 to 3/4 of it in worker cell size. I started drawing comb on the spring flow, when it started to taper off I started to feed sugar syrup to keep the comb drawing going, but it was the second year before my comb was what I would consider useable.

    The mite counts were the same on small cell as the counts on Pierco foundation. Actuall, the counted mites were more on the small cell colonies but usually not more than 200 to 500. All of my colonies were above the 4000 count, small cell and standard, when at the end of the 3 years I treated and counted the mite fall.

    My advice is to do mite counts and watch the brood patterns. If you are using good bees they will attempt to remove the breeding mites and you will see the uncapped pupa and the spotty brood pattern. Here the danger time is after mid July, and usually late August or early September when the crash comes. I have not treated the bees in my home yard now for 3 years and this year I did no splitting or requeening. I am paying the price now, some colonies are showing very poor brood patterns and the colonies are casting swarms caused by heavy varroa infestations. The 24 hour natural falls are all over the 40-50 mite range and 3 colonies are dropping 90 +. I hope to start putting in the Hopguard tomorrow, it is a month late but that is the life of a sloppy beekeeper!

    If you have decided to try small cell, by all means go ahead and do your best to make it work. Don't believe all you read about how it is a cure all for all beekeeping problems, it is not. Enjoy your bees and try new and interesting things, always try to learn more about management. Pleasure is what it is all about, unless you are one of those poor souls that tries to make his living with bees!

  8. #8
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    Mar 2011
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    Utica, NY
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    10,156

    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    I am paying the price now, some colonies are showing very poor brood patterns and the colonies are casting swarms caused by heavy varroa infestations.
    Is that a known cause of swarming? How might (no pun intended) that help the swarm?

    I am not on small cell but I an not going to throw someone under the bus that is. I spent a large part of my adult life doing things that others said they tried and was impossible until I proved it to them. If you don't have your heart into something, if you half believe in it, you will most certainly fail, guaranteed.

    You didn't try small cell anymore than I tried small cell. You just put yourself through a little aggravation to convince yourself that it doesn't work.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    Acebird, I have kept more bee in my hip pocket than you have kept in your entire life. You are like several posters on the forums, you mouth a lot but you know little about practical beekeeping.

    No one hoped more than I did that small cell would work, but it did not. I stated what I did, what the result was and made my recommendations to a fellow beekeeper. Why don't you tell us about your experiences with practical beekeeping?

    I spent most of my adult life dealing with scumbags and honest sportsmen, I learned early on how to spot the difference between a fake and the real McCoy, and I have you pegged. You know very little about bees.

    I have made my position known, so I intend to drop this subject and not drag on and on as is the usual procedure.

  10. #10
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    Feb 2010
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    4,317

    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    My problem with PF 120s is still ladder comb. It's annoying.

  11. #11
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    SNOW SHOE PA USA
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    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    I started to regress with 5.1 also. The bees made comb that was useable with the 5.1 foundation, but when the 4.9 was introduced they made comb that was not useable. I used deep frames also and there would be perhaps 1/4 to 1/3 of the frame that had cells the queens would use for worker brood. I introduced 4.9 three times before I had frames that 1/2 to 3/4 of it in worker cell size. I started drawing comb on the spring flow, when it started to taper off I started to feed sugar syrup to keep the comb drawing going, but it was the second year before my comb was what I would consider useable.

    The mite counts were the same on small cell as the counts on Pierco foundation. Actuall, the counted mites were more on the small cell colonies but usually not more than 200 to 500. All of my colonies were above the 4000 count, small cell and standard, when at the end of the 3 years I treated and counted the mite fall.

    My advice is to do mite counts and watch the brood patterns. If you are using good bees they will attempt to remove the breeding mites and you will see the uncapped pupa and the spotty brood pattern. Here the danger time is after mid July, and usually late August or early September when the crash comes. I have not treated the bees in my home yard now for 3 years and this year I did no splitting or requeening. I am paying the price now, some colonies are showing very poor brood patterns and the colonies are casting swarms caused by heavy varroa infestations. The 24 hour natural falls are all over the 40-50 mite range and 3 colonies are dropping 90 +. I hope to start putting in the Hopguard tomorrow, it is a month late but that is the life of a sloppy beekeeper!

    If you have decided to try small cell, by all means go ahead and do your best to make it work. Don't believe all you read about how it is a cure all for all beekeeping problems, it is not. Enjoy your bees and try new and interesting things, always try to learn more about management. Pleasure is what it is all about, unless you are one of those poor souls that tries to make his living with bees!
    Great info thank you .
    I did not think it was a cure all just thought it would help .
    I'm a four year beekeeper and wasted a lot of cash on this hobby but i'll know if sm.cell works or not .
    guess it's like fogging I tried that and well i'm OAV now and that's working for the VARROA lots has been learned in the 4 years I have had bees.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 32 hives==== T{OAV}

  12. #12
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    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    4.9mm is the cell size for AHB stock.

    Do you have any stock that might be AHB derived?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    If you don't have your heart into something, if you half believe in it, you will most certainly fail, guaranteed.
    Yes I got that tone a bit after my small cell attempt didn't work out. I was told it was cos I didn't believe in it, because I have been a commercial beekeeper, because I was not "fully committed", etc..

    Which goes to show the level of dogma around the subject. Some folks just could not accept that it didn't work, because it didn't work. I put my heart and soul into it and researched and did everything. EOD, didn't work.

    Belief or lack of, is a crutch. Once for a joke, after a water diviner had been to a friends farm to tell him where to put wells, I visited & told him the water divining thing was a load of crap. The wire the guy had used was still there, my friend had tried the wire himself but it didn't work. So for a joke he gave it to me, I rolled my eyes but walked around with it and in some places it did swing around & hit me in the chest etc. Turns out they were the same places the water diviner had picked. So my non belief didn't change anything.

    To say something with bees didn't work cos the guy didn't believe in it is getting into the realms of mysticism. The reality is a thing will work or not work depending how it's done, not the level of belief someone has. Most of the people I know locally who lose hives to mites do so because they believe they will not lose the hives to mites.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #14
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    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    Then I wonder why michael bush stands behind sm. cell.
    He says it fixed his varroa problem.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 32 hives==== T{OAV}

  15. #15
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    Jefferson Co, TX
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    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    Sometimes what we believe is the cure or answer to a problem/issue is not really the cure but some other overlooked item is the real answer. It is not easy for anyone to accept.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    You didn't try small cell anymore than I tried small cell.
    Acebird, you don't believe AR Beekeeper when he said that he tried small cell for three years?

    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  17. #17
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    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    Glock wrote:

    Then I wonder why michael bush stands behind sm. cell.
    He says it fixed his varroa problem.

    I wondered the same, and so I asked him to retry large cell as a proof, and he refused. I questioned if he was using small cell to select a different bee, and hat was the reason for his success.

    Crazy rOLAND

  18. #18
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    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    AR Beekeeper.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    I introduced 4.9 three times before I had frames that 1/2 to 3/4 of it in worker cell size. I started drawing comb on the spring flow, when it started to taper off I started to feed sugar syrup to keep the comb drawing going, but it was the second year before my comb was what I would consider useable.
    Would this be wax foundation? I never did have good luck with the wax. Used the plastic this year and what a difference. Not a bit of trouble and these are package bees, not any kind of regressed bee.
    Regards, Barry

  20. #20
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    Default Re: A blast from the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by GLOCK View Post
    Then I wonder why michael bush stands behind sm. cell.
    He says it fixed his varroa problem.
    I'm not saying it didn't work for him, it may well have. I'm just saying it didn't work for me, that's all. probably a whole heap of other factors are different between M Bushes bees, climate, etc, and mine.

    Something else to be aware of though, the latest new treatment free sensation, Tim Ives, does not use small cell. He thinks it's about sugar.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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