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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Package Bees - Cell Size

    I will be getting my bees tomorrow and installing them in my top bar hives. I was just curious, do package bees immediately start building "small cell" comb, or do they build the larger size they were raised on, or something in between? Do they just transition to "small cell" over time?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Package Bees - Cell Size

    Unless you know what cell size they were on it's hard to predict. Even then genetics plays a part as well. Commercial operations could be on Mann Lake PF100s (They used to just be sold as cheap frame/foundations) which are 4.9mm. Pierco deep frames which are 5.25mm. Pierco deep foundation which is 5.2mm. Or it could be Rite Cell or one of those similar ones that are 5.4mm. I have put bees that were on 5.4mm on foundationless and they usually built 5.1mm to 5.2mm. But I have also put packages on foundationless and had them draw 4.7mm. My guess is those used to be on the 5.2mm Pierco, but I don't know.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnatural...atisregression
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Package Bees - Cell Size

    So in your experience they tend to build a slightly smaller cell than they were raised on? Do they continue to go smaller over time / generations?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: Package Bees - Cell Size

    >So in your experience they tend to build a slightly smaller cell than they were raised on?

    Yes

    >Do they continue to go smaller over time / generations?

    Not over time or over generations, but over turnovers of comb. The smaller bees from those smaller cells will draw smaller comb. That smaller comb will produce smaller bees.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Package Bees - Cell Size

    Thanks! I really appreciate your help.

    So another advantage to top bar is that in the top bar system with the higher turnover of comb (crush & strain) this should happen at a "relatively" quick rate.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    245

    Default Re: Package Bees - Cell Size

    Quote Originally Posted by Top Bar View Post

    So another advantage to top bar is that in the top bar system with the higher turnover of comb (crush & strain) this should happen at a "relatively" quick rate.
    Not necessarily. Regression has nothing to do with turn over of "honey" comb. It's the brood comb that has to be turned over. To do that you have to cut comb off "brood" bars. You can do this in the early spring when brood is low. Hope this helps.
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: Package Bees - Cell Size

    They will most likely regress over successive generations depending on the size they have been raised on and to some extent the external ttlemperature

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    52

    Default Re: Package Bees - Cell Size

    Quote Originally Posted by beeman2009 View Post
    Not necessarily. Regression has nothing to do with turn over of "honey" comb. It's the brood comb that has to be turned over. To do that you have to cut comb off "brood" bars. You can do this in the early spring when brood is low. Hope this helps.
    Right, but don't the bees tend to back-fill brood comb with honey? I'm just asking because I saw that somewhere. I'm still new to all of this.
    Last edited by Top Bar; 04-11-2014 at 12:24 PM.

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