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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Reynoldsburg, Ohio
    Posts
    20

    Default how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    I'm looking for ideas on how to take an established colony from large cell deeps to small cell mediums, from foundation to foundationless. Any thoughts will appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    Put some frames in with a starter strip. Make sure each one between a couple of established frames so they build straight comb. The rest is easy.
    Cheers
    Rob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,755

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    Use Mann Lake's PF -120 frames...

    Oops, never mind. I over looked the "foundationless"...
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,710

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    Michael Bush has a page that includes going foundationless:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    Last edited by Michael Bush; 01-30-2014 at 07:30 AM. Reason: Not sure how that happened... fixed the link
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,232

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    Michael, that is a link to a file on your computer. Please change it to a link on your website.
    DarJones - 45 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, MO
    Posts
    47

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    I put bees directly on pf100 (4.95) and they had no problems drawing it out.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    I think the easiest way to switch over to foundationless is to start expanding the brood nest with foundationless frames in the Spring. If you mark your frames with foundation before you start, you can keep raising them up in the supers and then get rid of them when you harvest.

  10. #10

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    Quote Originally Posted by honeydrunkapiaries View Post
    I put bees directly on pf100 (4.95) and they had no problems drawing it out.
    I started with small cell bees in NUCs last year and based on your comments and after reading MB's paragraphs of regression, I'm a bit confused. Can I buy a box of "large cell" bees, put them in a hive with 4.9 small cell foundation that includes a few pulled small cell brood frames in the center and the box bees will naturally start making 4.9 cells on the remaining new foundation frames or do I still have to do a shakedown?
    Started beekeeping in 2013 and having a blast with my 10 small cell hives!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    Quote Originally Posted by barberberryfarm View Post
    I started with small cell bees in NUCs last year and based on your comments and after reading MB's paragraphs of regression, I'm a bit confused. Can I buy a box of "large cell" bees, put them in a hive with 4.9 small cell foundation that includes a few pulled small cell brood frames in the center and the box bees will naturally start making 4.9 cells on the remaining new foundation frames or do I still have to do a shakedown?
    This sounds like a shakedown to me - there is no large cell comb left from what you're describing.

  12. #12

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    Quote Originally Posted by merince View Post
    This sounds like a shakedown to me - there is no large cell comb left from what you're describing.
    Thanks for clarifying that. That's correct. All I have is small cell bees, foundation and comb - no large cell comb. I've opted to buy 4 more "small cell" NUCs this spring from a local supplier rather than reserving the much cheaper boxed bees through my club's affiliated Georgia supplier because of this regression issue. I guess I chose the right path as I really didn't want to deal with the regression issues and there are no "small cell" boxed bee suppliers in the South that I am aware of.
    Started beekeeping in 2013 and having a blast with my 10 small cell hives!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,710

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    Wolf Creek in mid-Tennessee says they offer 4.9 package bees:
    http://wolfcreekbees.com/products_bees.asp
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  14. #14

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Wolf Creek in mid-Tennessee says they offer 4.9 package bees:
    http://wolfcreekbees.com/products_bees.asp
    Thanks RS! I take it you have bought small cell bees from them before and were quite pleased with the results?
    Started beekeeping in 2013 and having a blast with my 10 small cell hives!!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,710

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    I bought 2 packages of Italian bees from Arnold in Knoxville in 2012 and am pleased with them. Arnold's Italians are described as 'chemical free' and locally raised, but are not 4.9 bees. I have never done business with Wolf Creek, but they were on my evaluation list when I was looking for my first bees.
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 01-30-2014 at 05:15 PM.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    >Can I buy a box of "large cell" bees, put them in a hive with 4.9 small cell foundation that includes a few pulled small cell brood frames in the center and the box bees will naturally start making 4.9 cells on the remaining new foundation frames or do I still have to do a shakedown?

    If you put large cell bees on small cell drawncomb, you are done regressing. They will use the small cell comb and raise small cell bees.

    If you put large cell bees on PF120s (or PF100s), in my experience they will draw it as it is made (4.95mm) and in a generation you'll have small cell bees.

    If you put large cell bees on small cell wax foundation, it's hard to predict. Sometimes they will draw it 4.9mm and sometimes they will make it kind of funky and weird trying to fix it and they will draw an average more like 5.1mm.

    If you put large cell bees on foundationess and let them decide it is also hard to predict. Some will build as small as 4.7mm in the core of the brood nest the first try. Some will build it as large as 5.1mm

    If you end up with some in between sized comb (like 5.1mm or so from wax 4.9mm or natural comb) the bees raised on that comb will probably draw 4.9mm pretty well. The 5.1mm comb, however will need to be moved to the outside edges or removed in order to get them down to 4.95mm or less in the core of the brood nest, which seems to be the tipping point for Varroa.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    If you put large cell bees on small cell drawncomb, you are done regressing. They will use the small cell comb and raise small cell bees.
    If I use all mediums for my brood chamber with boxed bees and use medium "small cell" comb from my extracted medium honey supers, will that suffice or do I need to use previously drawn brood frames to avoid regression?
    Started beekeeping in 2013 and having a blast with my 10 small cell hives!!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    >If I use all mediums for my brood chamber with boxed bees and use medium "small cell" comb from my extracted medium honey supers, will that suffice

    What is the cell size on the comb? Measure across 10 cells and divide by 10

    > or do I need to use previously drawn brood frames to avoid regression?

    It doesn't matter if it's "brood frames" but it does matter what size they drew them.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #19

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    Thanks Michael for all your wisdom! I'll definitely make that measurement before proceeding.
    Started beekeeping in 2013 and having a blast with my 10 small cell hives!!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: how do you regress from large cell to small cell???

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Can I buy a box of "large cell" bees, put them in a hive with 4.9 small cell foundation that includes a few pulled small cell brood frames in the center and the box bees will naturally start making 4.9 cells on the remaining new foundation frames or do I still have to do a shakedown?

    If you put large cell bees on small cell wax foundation, it's hard to predict. Sometimes they will draw it 4.9mm and sometimes they will make it kind of funky and weird trying to fix it and they will draw an average more like 5.1mm.

    If you end up with some in between sized comb (like 5.1mm or so from wax 4.9mm or natural comb) the bees raised on that comb will probably draw 4.9mm pretty well. The 5.1mm comb, however will need to be moved to the outside edges or removed in order to get them down to 4.95mm or less in the core of the brood nest, which seems to be the tipping point for Varroa.
    OK, so (for pickup in April) I've purchased package bees, (I'm guessing large cell) and I plan to put them on new small cell foundation 4.9mm. It sounds like I'll end up with the two answers above? So I may still possibly need to regress even though I've started with 4.9mm foundation?

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