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This year I'll be starting my regression to small cell. I had bees with DWV showing up last fall, so would like to get brood cells regressing happening soon. OTOH, I'd hate to set the hive back (productionwise) by putting 11 frames of SC foundation for them to draw instead of storing honey. I'll be using OA vaporization in addition to whatever else I do.

Could a nuc, heavily fed (all summer if need be), be used to produce frames of drawn regressions of comb to feed into the hive? Kind of a production facility, putting a starter strip frame in the center as a finished one is taken out from the side?

Or should I just bite the bullet and sacrifice the honey for wax and regress aggressively on the main hive (funny phrase)? Or, I guess, both?
 

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>Could a nuc, heavily fed (all summer if need be), be used to produce frames of drawn regressions of comb to feed into the hive? Kind of a production facility, putting a starter strip frame in the center as a finished one is taken out from the side?

Yes, it can. Of course it won't produce much and you'll have to manage it carefully so it doesn't either grow or shrink too much. But I would be feeding empty frames into the brood nest of the production hive anyway to keep them from swarming and they will draw more anyway.

You can do both.
 

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Brew,
You might have read the posts claiming that drawing foundation doesn't necessarily reduce honey storage much.

I've considered the same thing before I started regressing. One challenge in regression is that it takes at least one intermediate generation of brood to be reared and grow to wax-production age before it can draw the smallest cells. I finally decided that it might simply be too taxing to do with a nuc. But I was sure that a single deep could do it. And that is the approach I took, concentrating on setting up a single for my comb production. Once it has enough intermediate combs for a good broodnest produced, these can then be passed on to another hive to get it through the intermediate stage. Then you'll have 2 regressed hives And intermediate comb. Now you're compounding!
One other trick that I employed was to remember that the small-cell only need be in the broodnest, so I was able to set them up well enough for winter by leaving LC frames of stores on the edges and SC in the cluster area.
Waya

PS. Don't forget the queen "includer".

[ February 25, 2006, 09:18 PM: Message edited by: wayacoyote ]
 

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Ben, I'm not regressed yet but I'm a little nervous about the way you said that. The goal is to regress the bees so they are more varroa tolerant, back to their natural size, less time in the capped brood. Not just to get small cells in the brood chamber.

So you need to let the bees work it in the hive you're regressing. Yes the nuc can help, but it won't work just using the nuc. You'd end up with a regressed nuc and a confused hive.

Hawk
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The goal is to regress the bees so they are more varroa tolerant, back to their natural size, less time in the capped brood. Not just to get small cells in the brood chamber.
Doesn't the small cell size cause successive generations to be smaller (faster hatching), so the one is caused by the other? I do understand the relationship between SC, hatching time and Varroa (that it's not SC per se that helps w/ mites).

I'll put a new box of SC foundation on for 1st regression and use starter strips thereafter. I'm guessing the best strategy would be to combine the best 10 frames of brood & food into the lower box before the flow starts, and melt down the rest? When's a good time to put on a whole deep of foundation?

And the includer, you mean over the entrance so she can't abscond? Is that a risk with this kind of tear-down (half the hive)?

[ February 26, 2006, 10:51 AM: Message edited by: Ben Brewcat ]
 

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(Not just to get small cells in the brood chamber}

I would think this is the only place it would affect varroa due to this is where the brood is. Where else would put them Hawk?

Is no one making 5.1 or 4.9 plastic? It seems there would be a market for them. I have racked my brain trying to get a comb rotation plan to first regress (at least brood combs) to 5.1 and then to 4.9. The wired looks maybe possible since our migration days may soon be behind us. Of course I'v purchased a thousand groove top frames the past few years culling comb for plasticell use which would be contrary to wired.
 

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Dadant stocked 4.9mm plastic for a while. It seems to work ok with regressed bees and not on unregressed bees, based on my experience and what others have also reported. They don't seem to have it anymore. Pierco is as close to 5.1mm for foundation as there seems to be, but the deep frames are 5.25mm, the medium frames are 5.35 and the sheets are 5.2mm. PermaComb is FULLY DRAWN 5.1mm equivelant (if you adjust for the cell wall thickness).
 

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Brewcat,
Queen Includer- a queen excluder put between bottom board and brood chamber to keep queen in until she proves she'll lay in smaller cells.

This will be most important for those hives which you give the fully drawn SC to from your SC-comb producing hive.

What is it you asked about melting down? LC comb? That's what I did. But don't melt down your intermediate combs until you have all your hives regressed, you can give it to other hives to get them "over the hump". (Use care about spreading yuckies from hive to hive.)

Waya
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok, newbie follow-up questions. Took the hive apart down to the SBB just now. The top deep was incredible, like 8 frames FULL of honey, plus lower frames had it on the outsides right in the cluster area. Tons of bees, no eggs or brood yet but saw the queen. They seem to have been fasting all winter, though they're taking the pollen w/ supplement I put on. Also saw sone dead bees butt-out in cells... from a cold snap when couldn;t break cluster maybe?

So, with all those stores upstairs, how to proceed with regression? I suppose I could crush-and-strain, but how about this: undersuper (in the middle) with the SC foundation and scratch open some frames in the top to get them starting? Then they'd move up into the intermediate comb when it's drawn, pull the LC-comb deep from underneath, and later top super for honey?

Please also see my new thread in Pests, T-mite panic, and help if you can! Thanks to all.
 
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