Re: What is actually the natural cell size for worker comb
Richard, please consider this quote from the referenced paper.
The author clearly considered three cell sizes yet very little of the prior work he referenced differentiates between worker cells and honey storage cells. This suggests at least a few of the authors made measurements of honey storage cells which are a bit larger than would be used in the middle of the brood nest.
Apart from the queen cells, which have their own distinct shape and protrude from the comb, three kinds of hexagonal cells appear in a hive: worker, drone and honey cells. Worker cells, in which worker brood is reared, are usually the commonest, the smallest and are located in the centre of the comb
To me, 4.9 cells are a divergence from the normal size that bees prefer. My bees tell me this by drawing free comb in the broodnest in the range 5.1 to 5.2 mm. This is with bees that have been on small cell for 5 or more years.
I take exception to your statement that "This paper has been disclosed before in BeeSource and none of you read it apparently or you would not be calling 4.8 natural." I read that article and many others in the last 2 years. Please expand your reading or be less inclusive in using absolutes.
NW Alabama, 47 years, 22 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest