Cell size survey. - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcin View Post
    Yes, I'd say ~2/3 of my frames are 1-1/4". But that didn't seem to influence the overall cell size the bees would build.
    Marcin,
    So looking back now, was the 1.25" frame really worth it in the big picture?
    Abundance of 1.5" wood around for the bar/frame construction really annoys me - I want to believe my efforts making 1.25" wood make at least some sense.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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  3. #42
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Chicago, ILL. USA
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    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Good question. I like that 1.25" frames make the brood nest more compacted and tighter, and that seems to be helpful in winter and spring brood up. I also like the fact that I can fit an extra frame into the brood nest ( 11 in 10 frame, 9 in 8, 8 in 7 ).

  4. #43
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    Jun 2018
    Location
    Boaz, KY, USA
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    1,249

    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcin View Post
    Good question. I like that 1.25" frames make the brood nest more compacted and tighter, and that seems to be helpful in winter and spring brood up. I also like the fact that I can fit an extra frame into the brood nest ( 11 in 10 frame, 9 in 8, 8 in 7 ).
    Marcin:

    Thank you for your replies and good feedback concerning your narrow frame observations. I sincerely appreciate it!

    Russ

  5. #44
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    Mar 2012
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    Catskills, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marcin View Post
    Good question. I like that 1.25" frames make the brood nest more compacted and tighter, and that seems to be helpful in winter and spring brood up. I also like the fact that I can fit an extra frame into the brood nest ( 11 in 10 frame, 9 in 8, 8 in 7 ).
    Do you remove the extra frame at a certain time of the season? Deb
    Last edited by Cloverdale; 03-06-2019 at 11:24 AM.
    Proverbs 16:24

  6. #45
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    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloverdale View Post
    Do you remove the extra frame at a certain time of the season? Deb
    Not from the core of the brood nest. Yes, there's time when it's really a pita to remove the frames because they have been glued together by bees. More often than not I'll space out frames in supers.

  7. #46
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    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    I use 10 in the brood and 9 frame spacers in the supers, but have an unlimited brood nest. I was wondering how difficult it would be to remove.
    Proverbs 16:24

  8. #47
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    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Well, while inspecting a dead case, I did more measuring.
    Looks like after two seasons of repeated new comb building in this particular case, this colony did make some ~5.0 mm cells.
    The smallest cells are at the bottom of the vertically hanging combs.
    20190313_151707.jpg
    20190313_152200.jpg
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #48
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    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    So, due to my methods of horizontal hive bee-having, few things became obvious to me (and confirm natural bee observations too).

    1) I do no artificial vertical switching of the combs (typical for multi-box Langs, for example).
    2) The deep body cavity is deep enough to emulate a natural vertical cavity.
    3) Bees only build natural comb and do as they see fit.

    This results in natural combs with cell size differentiation within the combs - vertically.
    On the pic attached, I marked three zones (Zone 1 is the lowest comb area).
    Zone 1 cells are approaching ~5.0mm
    Zone 2 cells are approaching ~5.2mm
    Zone 3 cells are larger still and more like drone cells/honey cells/large bee cells.
    20190313_152200.jpg

    Bees raised during the winter/early spring season will be raised in Zones 2 and 3.
    This is where bees can maintain proper conditions the easiest AND the cells are largely empty at this time - larger bees.
    I have no good picture for this case (will try to obtain).

    Bees raised in late spring/early summer will be raised in all three zones (1, 2, and 3) due to the favorable conditions and naturally growing colony timing - variety of bees (small, medium, large).
    All zones are largely available for brood raising.
    Not much storing going on yet in the Zone 3 until later in the season.
    StrappedFramesVertical_Small_Mod.jpg

    Bees raised in mid to late summer/early fall (winter bees) will be raised in Zone 1 - smaller bees.
    The Zones 2 and 3 should be mostly filled with winter stores and no longer available for brood raising.
    20171001_125435.jpg
    20171001_130344.jpg

    Too shallow of the frames/combs will probably interrupt the naturally vertical cell differentiation (I only presume this - need to observe in actuality).

    These observations suggest - uniformed bees do not exist if things left to develop as they should.
    Predominant bee sizing is changing with the seasons (in the vertical cavity setting).
    Last edited by GregV; 03-15-2019 at 12:23 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #49
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Richmond, VA, USA
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    325

    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    So, due to my methods of horizontal hive bee-having, few things became obvious to me (and confirm natural bee observations too).


    3) Bees only build natural comb and do as they see fit.

    This results in natural combs with cell size differentiation within the combs - vertically.
    On the pic attached, I marked three zones (Zone 1 is the lowest comb area).
    Zone 1 cells are approaching ~5.0mm
    Zone 2 cells are approaching ~5.2mm
    Zone 3 cells are larger still and more like drone cells/honey cells/large bee cells.
    20190313_152200.jpg

    Bees raised during the winter/early spring season will be raised in Zones 2 and 3 - larger bees.
    Bees raised in late spring/early summer will be raised in all three zones (1, 2, and 3) due to the favorable conditions and naturally growing colony timing - variety of bees (small, medium, large).
    Bees raised later summer/fall will be raised in Zone 1 - smaller bees (since the Zones 2 and 3 should be mostly filled with winter stores).

    Too shallow of the frames/combs will probably interrupt the naturally vertical cell differentiation (I only presume this - need to observe in actuality).

    These observations suggest - uniformed bees do not exist if things left to develop as they should.
    Predominant bee sizing is changing with the seasons (in the vertical cavity setting).
    Gregv,

    I think you've got it. Cell sizes vary based on bees needs, and by season. Dennis Murrell wrote on this years ago, and as I recall, reached similar conclusions. I think he might have charts or pictures like yours. I can't find his original website anymore, but I think I saved off most of his documents on an old laptop. He is very careful and observant.

    See the following links for a leaping-off point:

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...795#post289795

    http://www.elgon.es/diary/?p=1155

  11. #50
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    Jun 2018
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    Boaz, KY, USA
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    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    These observations suggest - uniformed bees do not exist if things left to develop as they should.
    Predominant bee sizing is changing with the seasons (in the vertical cavity setting).
    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    Cell sizes vary based on bees needs, and by season. Dennis Murrell wrote on this years ago, and as I recall, reached similar conclusions.
    GregV:

    Thank you for the update- this is really interesting, and I had not even considered this as a possibility. I enjoy reading your posts- you make me think.

  12. #51
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    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    Gregv,
    I think you've got it. Cell sizes vary based on bees needs, and by season. Dennis Murrell wrote on this years ago........
    Yes, his site went down (a shame - I really liked his site).

    I did not think to save down his pages, unfortunately (maybe few hive drawings).
    If you could share some of them from your laptop - would be very, so great!
    Keep in mind that the laptop might just go bad - it would be a good idea to save worthy documents on-line (on BS, for example).

    PS: I did few edits to my post above.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #52
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    Apr 2015
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    Richmond, VA, USA
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    325

    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Yes, his site went down (a shame - I really liked his site).

    I did not think to save down his pages, unfortunately (maybe few hive drawings).
    If you could share some of them from your laptop - would be very, so great!
    Keep in mind that the laptop might just go bad - it would be a good idea to save worthy documents on-line (on BS, for example).
    Gregv,

    That laptop IS going bad, though it is still functional. If I can get them, I might need help on how to upload them. I'll let you know.

  14. #53
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    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post
    GregV:

    Thank you for the update- this is really interesting, and I had not even considered this as a possibility. I enjoy reading your posts- you make me think.
    Thanks, Russ.
    Now that I have several hive-fulls of empty combs (due to my die-offs going just about as planned), I got tons of observations to be done before those combs go back into rotation.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  15. #54
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    Richmond, VA, USA
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    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Yes, his site went down (a shame - I really liked his site).

    If you could share some of them from your laptop - would be very, so great!
    Greg,

    I did look. The only page I saved was one on condensation in the hive. Even it was all tangled up. I couldn't even find the root .htm file to launch the page.

    Archive.org has a few on the pages from his several websites over the years. Unfortunately, most of the good ones are missing.

  16. #55
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    Mar 2015
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    Kamloops, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Seasonal variation of cell use and size is an interesting thought. I've speculated before that brood cell variation (and bee size) might result in a bit of a caste system with some task specialization, but the seasonal thing is another possible wrinkle. The best things about a more natural beekeeping is the many interesting observations of bee biology, questions that can be answered with a bit of digging.

  17. #56
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    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Quote Originally Posted by clong View Post
    Greg,

    I did look.......
    Too bad.
    Thanks for checking.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  18. #57
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    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Quote Originally Posted by lharder View Post
    Seasonal variation of cell use and size is an interesting thought...
    One benefit of having dead hives - they can be dissected at your own pace.
    I did some of that recently to survey cell sizing and distribution.

    Since I never thought about this before, I did not care to start marking the original builders of the combs.
    Over time the combs got transferred around and I don't remember who the original builders were.
    If to investigate this further properly, the original builders should be documented.

    But - found different patterns in cell building.
    It maybe the different patterns originated from different original builders.
    I will start tracing this in the summer 2019, time/patience permitting.

    One pattern stays true to what I have shown above - definitive cell size variation across the comb span vertically (~5.4mm LC is the upper-comb; ~5.2mm MC at mid-comb; ~5.0mm SC at lower comb; distinct gradient from LC to SC). And so if the seasonal size variation did occur - these would be the bees moving between the LC/MC/SC cohort proportions seasonally.
    20190322_172034.jpg

    The other pattern - no significant cell variation across the comb vertically - the upper comb is ~5.2mm; the lower comb is ~5.1m; one can almost call the entire comb as uniformed.
    One idea came to mind right away - these combs are coming from a different builder compared to the above (mid-size uniformed cell (MC) of 5.1-5.2 sizing vs. vertically varied cell of 5.4-5.0 sizing; this could be an expression of different bee units in my collection that I previously was unaware). The bees would not vary much seasonally per the cell size distribution (all MC).
    20190322_173739.jpg
    20190323_140604.jpg

    And for the fun of it - a perfect 100% drone comb.
    They really, really wanted it.
    Bees also left nice cross-comb paths in the corners and along the vertical attachment surfaces.
    20190322_173959.jpg
    Last edited by GregV; 03-29-2019 at 12:29 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  19. #58
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    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    I did some of that recently to survey cell sizing and distribution.
    This is a neat evaluation- thank you for posting your findings relative to this.

  20. #59
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    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Many years ago Dee Lusby posted a map about cell sizes. Let us take worker brood cells only. The jest of the map was that the further north and higher the altitude the larger the brood cell. It has been many years since reviewing the map and my memory maybe faulty, but the Canadian border had cell sizes in the 5.1mm area and the Deep South was 4.7 to 4.9 mm.

    All beekeeping is local. That is the problem with people from all over the continent commenting on cell size. It varies.

  21. #60
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    Default Re: Cell size survey.

    Many years ago Dee Lusby posted a map about cell sizes. Let us take worker brood cells only. The jest of the map was that the further north and higher the altitude the larger the brood cell. It has been many years since reviewing the map and my memory maybe faulty, but the Canadian border had cell sizes in the 5.1mm area and the Deep South was 4.7 to 4.9 mm.

    All beekeeping is local. That is the problem with people from all over the continent commenting on cell size. It varies.

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