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The 4.9mm Foundation (Small Cell) how do you deploy it within a Hive that has the standard size cells. Do you just place the fames inside the hive with the 4.9mm foundation or do you gradually make your bees accept it by placing a frame or two in at a time....?????
What about packaged Bees, would they accept a new hive with just 4.9mm cells already waiting for them...?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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There are different methods. The least traumatic for you and the bees is just keep feeding empty frames of 4.9mm foundation into the middle of the brood nest and culling out frames of honey or empty frames that are larger. It takes about two turnovers of comb to get to 4.9mm as the large bees will usually draw it about 5.1mm but the bees raised on the 5.1mm will usually draw 4.9mm

Just try to keep the center of the brood nest the smallest comb. Use a metric ruler and measure across 10 cells and move the decimal point over one place. In other words when you get 10 cells that are 4.9cm then one cell is 4.9mm.

The other method is to do a shakedown and take all the comb from the bees and let them start out like a package. This is probably a quicker way to get it done, but more stressful and more work up front.
 

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If I start a package foundationless and space top bars at 1-1/4" center to center, will they draw all 4.9 in the broodnest?

My understanding from reading Dennis Murrell's top bar site is that there will be a variety of cells within the brood chamber with the small cell being drawn mainly toward the bottom of the frame.

What has been your experience?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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My experience is if you take large cell bees and put them on foundationless frames and space the 1 1/4" the first comb they draw will be about 5.1mm and they well get smaller from there. By the time the emerging bees from the 5.1mm start building comb it will be 4.9mm or smaller, but that will be several combs after they start. You can then either move those smaller ones to the center or put some empty frames in the center for them to draw smaller.

I find the smallest cells in the center, not at the bottom.

Some of the differences may be due to comb size. Mine are all medium frames. His measurements are on a fairly deep top bar hive with a longer comb.
 
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