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going to small cell

3200 Views 14 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Michael Bush
i'd like to eventually get my hives on small cell, and maybe use three mediums instead of two deeps for the brood nest (using permacomb).

but, it wasn't long ago that i bought a truck load of pierco plastic "frame and foundation", many of which have yet to be used. i'm afraid if i start buying some new kind of comb then, by the time i have it, some new super GREAT comb will be invented that does EVERY THING for you.

at any rate, i don't want a pinch in my wallet any more than there already is, and i don't want to lose out too much on what i already have.


so, that having been said, i want to have a good plan of what to do and when. i'm thinking of going to one medium and one deep for the brood (my second deep is always packed full of last years honey when the speing flow starts).

also, i don't know a thing about small cell. can i mix and match in the brood nest? what happens when they turn it into drone comb? do you use one of those green drone frames?

in short, i want a good, long term plan, that will save my back, my wallet, and my bees from several pests and deseases.

thanks.
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for responding to all of this.

i think i'm mis understanding you when you mention 8 frame. i'm currently working with normal deeps using nine frames. i'm assuming that your talking about an eight frame medium rather than a regular medium that you run with eight frames ( that the bees have drawn out).

thanks again. i'll proably come back with more quesions about small cell.

here's one. what exactly do i need to be aware of concerning "regression".
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
here is something i don't undserdstand.

you mention putting in frames with no foundation or "getting the size down". this may seem like a dumb question, but is small cell simply the natural size cell the bees make on there own?

if permacomb is the wrong size, how do you get it down to the RIGHT size?

i've seen small cell foundation for sale in the catalogs, but i thought you were sort of "forcing" the bees to work with a different size.

there is a LOT i need to learn about this before i even think of trying it.

much help, instruction, or good links would be greatly apreciated.

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hello again,

if i don't shave the frames down (keeping ten frames a hive) will i have as much success at getting small cell as i would if i shaved the frames?

can i do this without any starter strips?

when is the best time to start the process and how many empty frames can i put in at once (i'm assuming that i can't put to empty frames back to back of eachother)?

thanks for all your help thus far. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks again.


here's a couple more questions. the first one i know you've answered somewhere before, but i can't readily find it.

1) if this is as easy as it sounds, then why do some bee catalogs discourage amatures from trying it?

2) if small cell is really this effective against mites, then why didn't more ferral colonies survive (since it's the size they like to build anyway)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
here is yet another question.

murphy mentioned earlier on this topic, that he simply uses balsa strips rather than a full frame.

are there problems with this (bees conecting the deeps together, or the frames being flimsy with no other support than a balsa strip)?
 
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