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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Roxboro, North Carolina
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    5

    Default What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.Will the queen be able to adjust. Also is there any truth to the belief that some of the queens cannot fit their body into small cell comb to lay. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
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    3,027

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    You'll get some different sized workers. Neither they nor the queen will notice .
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,292

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    I've not yet seen any, good queen, have trouble laying in any cell she wanted to lay in.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,817

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    As Joseph said, queens are able to constrict their abdomen down to fit the cell, no matter the queen size.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    fairfield, sc
    Posts
    115

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    As mentioned, I don't believe the queen will matter. Unless you start with all small cell, there's not any method of 'regression' down to small cell with some mixture to start with. I'd originally started with all foundation, but quickly migrated to natural cell size by utilizing 'strips' and other methods and allowing the bees to create their own foundation - whichever size they wanted. Not whenever I start a hive, I usually start with 'some' already drawn foundation (usually drawn naturally by the bees from other hives) and allow them to drawn down and build their own sizes. In fact, this is all I use in my 'brood' boxes now. I've also been able to save some $$ using this method also. Whenever you get into frames that actually go into the supers, that can be tricky but there's allot of other discussional information around here for you to read up on.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,292

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    >What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    You get two different sized workers.

    >Will the queen be able to adjust.

    Yes.

    >Also is there any truth to the belief that some of the queens cannot fit their body into small cell comb to lay.

    In 12 years of small cell and most of that with 200 hives, I've seen it once. They superseded her shortly after. I think there may have been something wrong with her that she was so fat. It may not just be that she didn't fit in the cell, there may have been other reproductive issues the kept her from laying well and that caused her to be superseded.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Hopewell Junction, NY
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    Wouldn't there be a concern that mixed brood cell sizes would undermine the presumed benefits of sc beekeeping? One example might include a longer brood timeframe, which would provide more opportunity for Varroa, no? I introduce lc or foundationless frames only as outer frames on upper supers, where there's less chance for them to be used for brood.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,292

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    Not really, since the only reason I'm using small-cell and natural comb, is because it's out of the ordinary, any possible other effects, beneficial or otherwise, are strictly coincidental. Also, my homemade foundationless frames, cost less than $0.25/each, and the labor to make them is therapeutic. They also use no foundation (which further lowers their actual cost).

    Though, as you describe, I manipulate/manage any large cell/drone combs, to reduce drone production or stimulate drone production, as circumstances dictate. I only seem to be able to get nearly full medium frames of drone brood, when I place an empty drone comb in the heart of the brood nest.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,292

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    >Wouldn't there be a concern that mixed brood cell sizes would undermine the presumed benefits of sc beekeeping?

    Sure. But that wasn't the question. I would pull the large cell out and not use it...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lake Worth, Florida, USA
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    I've been using small cell but after doing research (thanks Michael Bush), I started using foundationless. The first foundationless frame I stuck in a hive was my biggest hive. I was curious if they would build it out or ignore it. They promptly made a frame of all DRONE comb. Geez!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,032

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    Quote Originally Posted by CessnaGirl View Post
    They promptly made a frame of all DRONE comb.
    With that data, I'd expect that about 99% of the time.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    They promptly made a frame of all DRONE comb.
    May I ask where you put the foundationless frame? Was it on the outside edge or between 2 brood frames in the center of the box?
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,292

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    Then I would move the drone comb to the outside edge and add another frame. They will likely build at least two combs of all drone if they have very little drone comb. Then they will build worker cells.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,333

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    Quote Originally Posted by CessnaGirl View Post
    I've been using small cell but after doing research (thanks Michael Bush), I started using foundationless. The first foundationless frame I stuck in a hive was my biggest hive. I was curious if they would build it out or ignore it. They promptly made a frame of all DRONE comb. Geez!
    It depends on what they need at what time of the year. If they needed drones at that time there will be more drone made on that frame. Usually it is a mix.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,032

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    Placed in a normal conventional hive filled with normal worker sized foundation and comb, a foundationless frame is almost always going to result in a frame full of drone regardless of placement or date. Like other aspects of beekeeping and especially treatment-free beekeeping, it's best whole-hog or not at all.

    When I do it it is usually to get drone comb out of the deal.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,682

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    What Solomon says, you put a foundationless frame in a hive on foundation, it will most likely end up all drone comb. Just move it to the outside for honey storage when it's capped drones. If you keep adding over time it'll get there after a couple frames to worker size comb.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Brewcat View Post
    You'll get some different sized workers.
    I doubt it. I have hives on 4.9mm cells. But the workers are not any smaller than workers from other hives. I have seen smaller bees in Spring and late summer, but never seen a difference between workers from a large cell hive and a small cell hive.

    Has anyone done any measurements or is this proven somehow? I reckon cell size doesn't matter - workers do have the same size if properly nourished. (Me thinks it nourishment which decreases/increases size, and this is how size is seasonal...)

    You see smaller bees in varroa damaged hives, though. Again, size shrinks because of failed nourishment because the mites suck out the larvae.

    Weight and size of the bees were the same in my apiaries, both smaller and normal sized cells. Other small cell beekeepers in Germany do state the same.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,292

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    >I doubt it. I have hives on 4.9mm cells. But the workers are not any smaller than workers from other hives. I have seen smaller bees in Spring and late summer, but never seen a difference between workers from a large cell hive and a small cell hive.

    I disagree. People are often invited to my apiary for beekeeping meetings etc. They all notice my bees are much smaller and often ask about it. Now a bee that is foraging is larger than one that is not as it stretches its abdomen when it fills it with honey.

    >Has anyone done any measurements or is this proven somehow?

    Baudoux. His measurements are in most of the old ABC XYZ of Bee Culture from the turn of the Century until at least the 40s. I don't have any from the 50s to the 60's so I don't know if they are in those editions or not but I have some older ones and they are and some newer ones and they are not.

    But they are reproduced here:
    http://www.beesource.com/files/lusby...ell-size-3.jpg
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #19

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    So two different observations here. In my apiary the bees on 4.9 mm cells are definitely not smaller. I have Buckfast and Carnicas in those hive, do you know the kind of bees that you use? Do you use small cell foundation or plain natural comb?

    Might be an interesting detail here.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    624

    Default Re: What happens if small cell foundation gets mixed with regular cell.

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    I doubt it. I have hives on 4.9mm cells. But the workers are not any smaller than workers from other hives. I have seen smaller bees in Spring and late summer, but never seen a difference between workers from a large cell hive and a small cell hive.
    I catch a lot of feral swarms and here I notice a difference in size from managed bee swarms right off.

    Mark would say it's antidotal evidence but I would argue 99.9% of all knowledge is.


    Don

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