Small Cell Claims Debunked - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    Interesting article by Keith DeLaplane in the April issue of ABJ regarding the use of small cell foundation and its effects on varroa mites.
    I would think that DeLaplane's time could be better spent solving a problem...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    If anyone out there has been keeping a significant number of hives with no treatments for more than a decade on large cell, I'd love to discuss their experiences and why they think cell size doesn't matter. I tried not treating on large cell and not treating on small cell. The differences were quite significant.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    You can have 100 beekeepers do the same study and you'd get 100 different results.
    Since local conditions, genetics and management methods are complicated and all critical for any kind of results, I don't think there is any real way to have conclusive results in simple studies. If one small thing is overlooked or changed, the results may be considered a failure, where as someone else may experience success. Who is to say ether one is right or wrong?Throw the human factor in the mix with limited or exceptional powers of observation/experience and the results of some of these studies are bound to be 'food for thought' at best. I think it is always wise to keep an open mind.


    I've been asked for the scientific 'proof' my sugar blocks work too. LOL, It's just a recipe that works for me. And apparently it works well for others. Along with feeding my protein mix in fall, It's something I believe in for over wintering success. Try it or not. It's up to you

    I think I'd put small cell beekeeping in that category. Try it ...or not. It's apparently worked well for some. Why fight over it?
    Last edited by Lauri; 03-28-2014 at 04:24 PM.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    That's some smart thinking Lauri.

    I think that the smaller, resistant, feral bees come first. Then they settle into smaller cells.

    I also recall reading a study where higher mite mortality was attributed to mites being smothered in tighter fitting brood cells, but, I can't recall the source.

  6. #25

    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    I would think that DeLaplane's time could be better spent solving a problem...
    The original study was intended to see if indeed small cell solved a problem. The issue addressed by repeating those results is advise new beekeepers that small cell is not a panacea for everyone. That seems like potential problem solving to me.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    >I also recall reading a study where higher mite mortality was attributed to mites being smothered in tighter fitting brood cells, but, I can't recall the source.

    http://www.apidologie.org/articles/a.../01/Martin.pdf

    The conclusions:

    "For ectoparasities which reproduce in enclosed cavities the amount of space can be an important constraint on their ability to reproduce successfully. Therefore, species like Dichrocheles phalaenodectes which breeds within the tympanic organ of moths (Treat, 1975) and Varroa sp., display traits such as lack of cannibalism, nest sanitation and space partitioning (Donzé and Guerin, 1997).One consequence of space partitioning in Varroa sp. is that the first (male) egg is laid near the cell cap. This increases the survival probability of themalemite since it is the only place in the cell not affected by the bee’s molt (Fig. 2). However, the male mite must now pass the constriction caused by the bee’s appendages to reach the feeding site which is established by the mother mite on the bee’s abdomen (Fig. 2). Since only one male is produced per batch of eggs, its death will result in all the female offspring being unmated and so unable to produce offspring (Akimov andYastrebtsov, 1984; Donzé et al., 1996; Martin et al., 1997; Harris and Harbo, 1999).

    "A survey of the literature revealed a close correlation (r2 = 0.97) between fore wing length and brood cell diameter across 14 races of A. mellifera (Fig. 1), also fore wing length is closely correlated to bee head width (r2 = 0.97 worker & drone) in Apis (calculated from data inRuttner, 1988). Therefore, since the pseudo-clone which is among one of the larger A. mellifera races, is being reared in some of the smallest cells found in A. mellifera. (Fig. 1), there will be significantly less space between the bee pupae and cell wall in cells occupied by pseudo-clones than A. m. scutellata workers which may impede the movement of the mites. This may explain our frequent observations that dead male protonymphs and some dead mother mites appeared to be trapped in the upper part of cells containing the pseudo-clone. This is illustrated by the high level of male protonymph mortality found in cells occupied by the pseudoclone (48 × 0.90 = 43%) compared to those occupied by A. m. scutellata workers (28 × 0.59 = 16.5%). While in A. cerana drone cells, ancestral host of Varroidae, only 1–2% of the male offspring die (Tab. II). Interestedly this species builds the widest drone cells (7.1–7.2mm)of any Apis sp. but rears the smallest Apis drones based on head width.” --Reproduction of Varroa destructor in South African honey bees: does cell space influence Varroa male survivorship? Martin, S.J."

    Followed by this paragraph which is only assumptions not based on anything observed in the study other that the fact that they WERE affected by the space:

    "Although reproduction of Varroa sp. is affected by the space between the developing bee and cell wall, reducing cell sizes as a mite control method will probably fail to be effective since the bees are likely to respond by rearing correspondingly smaller bees which explains the close correlation between cell and bee size (Fig. 1)." --Reproduction of Varroa destructor in South African honey bees: does cell space influence Varroa male survivorship? Martin, S.J."
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    Post#23 Lauri, - that is a wonderful way to do a cell comparison and save tons of $$ on foundation.
    I might have to try 10 or 20boxes with those 1/2 fr of plastic fd. They will surely fill out the sides.

  9. #28

    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    Michael Bush, do you believe that the study you just linked establishes any credibility for small cell?
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    Quote Originally Posted by CtyAcres View Post
    Post#23 Lauri, - that is a wonderful way to do a cell comparison and save tons of $$ on foundation.
    I might have to try 10 or 20boxes with those 1/2 fr of plastic fd. They will surely fill out the sides.
    I am looking forward to seeing how they work it. It will not only save me 1/3 to 1/2 on foundation costs, I'll get some natural comb too. A great compromise and the best of both worlds. I have quite a few overwintered hives on 3 and 4 deeps. As soon as they are packed with young bees, I'll make a simulated swarm with the foragers and established queen and install them at the old location on these frames. I expect perfection. That is one of my methods of mite control...no studies to back it up tho, so don't shoot me.
    Last edited by Lauri; 03-28-2014 at 03:34 PM.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I would say anything involving bees that is less 100 hives for less than five years is probably not very accurate.
    Michael,

    How did you come up with these colony numbers and years?

    Experimental design and statistical model used are important to the accuracy and reliability of data and conclusions generated. Increasing the number of repititions, locations, years can help to reduce variability in results, in some cases.

    For cell size impact on varroa reproduction I am not sure how increasing colony numbers, beyond a certain minimum, and years of studies is going to make results more reliable. Cell size is not going to change from year-to-year, unless it takes even smaller cells and there need to be a number of cycles of broods reared first. If it takes multiple years of studies to removal seasonal variation of varroa reproduction than something besides cell size is the controlling factor.

    Tom

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    A good and balanced read Bernhard.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    If you are of the opinion that bees should be able to deal with mites on their own then let them determine cell size.

    John poor valley bee farm

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    is advise new beekeepers that small cell is not a panacea for everyone.
    Whew, glad it doesn't apply to me, I'm an old beekeeper!
    Regards, Barry

  15. #34

    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Whew, glad it doesn't apply to me, I'm an old beekeeper!
    All indications are that it seems to work better for old beekeepers.....maybe someone should study that angle.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    add this to WWX . thats why i am foundationless. no guides and no starter strip. i let the bees decide what size cell they want. i dont measure the cell size. some colonies clearly breed smaller bees. i figure they know whats best INSIDE the hive.

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    Quote Originally Posted by CtyAcres View Post
    Post#23 Lauri, - that is a wonderful way to do a cell comparison and save tons of $$ on foundation.
    I might have to try 10 or 20boxes with those 1/2 fr of plastic fd. They will surely fill out the sides.
    Hey, I moved that part to this thread where it seemed to fit better with the OP.
    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...Foundationless!
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    If anyone out there has been keeping a significant number of hives with no treatments for more than a decade on large cell, I'd love to discuss their experiences and why they think cell size doesn't matter. I tried not treating on large cell and not treating on small cell. The differences were quite significant.
    Well it surly doesn't take a decade for mites to kill a colony. I been having about 40 colonies , some with small cell, some with natural cell and some with large cell all treatment free. Last year I went into winter with 40 and came out with 39. Checked them last week and all are strong.
    All are doing good with all three types of comb.
    So that's making me neutral on the subject. Use whatever you believe in and have fun doing it.

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    I'm neutral too. Get mites regardless of cell size LOL.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I'm neutral too. Get mites regardless of cell size LOL.
    Same here, in theory it makes sense, but I need data proof and data to make the switch. Whos to say the mite doesn't evolve to propogate under conditions presented with smaller cell size. Genetics is the key, if asian bees can live with them so can eventually other bees. Those bees who groom and who are not brood crazy ie Italians.

  21. #40
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    Default Re: Small Cell Claims Debunked

    To repeat some points and amplify them (although sitting this one out might have been smarter):
    (1) good studies describe what they do in enough detail that other scientists can repeat the study the same way and see if they get the same results. As Lauri points out, there are a lot of local factors that make replication difficult. The careful description of method also is intended to help readers form an opinion about whether the study/results are likely to be similar to their situation. Poorly describing the study, and/or overgeneralizing study results, is common in the media. Sometimes most of us are guilty of overgeneralizing results that we like. For example, "small cell debunked."
    (2) Michael Bush's point is that short term studies of particular factors do not thoroughly test what needs testing--in other words, what is the appropriate dependent variable to be studied? In a post a few weeks ago (yes, the wars follow each other quickly) he made the point that several apiaries with small cell and several apiaries with 5.4 mm cells need to be set up and tracked for several years. The key dependent variables that need measuring are not mite count nor mite drop nor days to hatch nor mite behavior in the cells (those are interesting questions but not the key questions), but instead colony survival and productivity--under specified management methods and conditions--that is, in well controlled and described studies.
    (3) I doubt that such studies will be done with a broad enough sample size to settle the issue, as the studies would be expensive and probably not result in products to sell. In the meantime, we have specific individuals who can describe what worked for them in what environment and with what management methods and bees. Large scale commercial beekeepers, if they wished to consider changing paradigm, could have researchers do this kind of test, and for them the financial consequences could be material.
    (4) As critics of small cell point out, it is possible that credit is attributed to small cell that may belong to the entire complex of location, bees, and management. It is possible that small cell without some of the other factors will be insufficient to lead to success for other beekeepers. So we are back to Lauri's point, which some other folks often make as well: try what you want to try. See if it works. I would encourage folks to look at not only small cell but the complex of management techniques. In the case of Michael Bush and some others here on Beesource their methods are well documented, and they have thus far been generous with answering questions, so that folks can form an opinion and try it if they wish.
    (5) In the absence of definitive studies, skeptics should remember that small cell claims have not been disproved; advocates who say "it worked for me" have at least one case study.
    Last edited by RudyT; 03-28-2014 at 08:41 PM.

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