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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Hopkinton, Massachusetts
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    67

    Default Using small cell foundation in second deep

    It's just about time for me to add my second deep brood box this coming weekend. Right now I have standard foundation (not sure the exact size) in my first brood box. I did some reading about the potential benefits of small-cell and would like to give it a try. So my question is this: Can I put small cell foundation in with standard-cell bees? Will they draw small-cells? Will they rework the cell size? What's the best and worst case scenario? I read lots of the threads about regression on this forum, but I'm still not sure what will happen if I simply give them only small-cell from here on out. Can anybody shed some light on this? It may be important to note that this was a package started this year, recently requeened with a Carniolan.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,238

    Default Re: Using small cell foundation in second deep

    >Right now I have standard foundation (not sure the exact size)

    5.4 or something close depending on manufacture

    >Can I put small cell foundation in with standard-cell bees? Will they draw small-cells?

    No they will draw something close to 5.1

    If you are regressing your bees with foundation or foundationless, it will take several tries and you will need to remove 5.4 then the 5.1 ... until you get to small cell. Could take a few years.

    If you go with small cell plastic (Mann lake PF100s plastic frames) they will go right to 4.9. This is the quickest and easiest way to regress your bees. Then move the 5.4 to the outside to be used as honey storage.

    Plastic has cons just like the others. They won't work it unless there is a flow. Add extra wax to the frames for better acceptance. Place a frame between two brood frames a few at a time and they will work them better. Move the 5.4 to the outside for honey storage and remove then as you get more 4.9 built.

    Once you regress your will be able to use foundationless frames. IMO this is where it's at.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Hopkinton, Massachusetts
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    67

    Default Re: Using small cell foundation in second deep

    Thanks FlowerPlanter. So assuming that for a while my bees will build some 5.1mm or intermediate size, how often should I replace the center brood combs?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: Using small cell foundation in second deep

    As soon as they almost finished the frames put more in. Something like this.
    HBBFBBFBBH

    I would keep putting frames in the brood nest until all the 5.4 is honey storage and cull them out as you go. Count 10 frames and measure. Write the number the top of the frame (5.4, 5.1, 4.9). The do the same to cull out the 5.1. When you get to 49 mm per 10 cells you are there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,939

    Default Re: Using small cell foundation in second deep

    Just use PF-100's from Mann Lake. I have no problems getting them drawn out. I use standard foundation in my supers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Hopkinton, Massachusetts
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Using small cell foundation in second deep

    Why is it that the PF100s allow them to skip the intermediate regression?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,939

    Default Re: Using small cell foundation in second deep

    They can't rework it easily.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Hopkinton, Massachusetts
    Posts
    67

    Default Re: Using small cell foundation in second deep

    Interesting. Thanks very much for the help and information.

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