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Discussion Starter #1
Interesting article by Keith DeLaplane in the April issue of ABJ regarding the use of small cell foundation and its effects on varroa mites. Here is a scientific study by an extremely knowledgeable leader in our industry stating "small cell foundation was shown to be ineffective in reducing mite populations"... He further states that he is unaware of any publicly accessible peer reviewed papers that directly support small cell efforts to reduce mite populations. Several years ago I purchased several hundred plastic small frames of foundations mainly because of the cost factor. In my case it was not a wise investment. The PF-100 and PF120's are problematic in my operation because of the ladder comb issue. Anyways, I am not trying to start WWIII regarding this debate, but it was an interesting (scientific) analysis. I have since sold almost all of my small cell plastic combs.
 

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I am not trying to start WWIII regarding this debate
That war has been fought on Beesource numerous times. Debate about the UGA, UFL and Cornell studies have been done and redone. I think....if it starts again....it'll actually be WWX.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
"There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false"

If we are to buy into this research finding, then it, by its own determination would then be false. Perhaps the DeLaplane study is not "most"?
 

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What is ladder comb?
Some call it ''burr''.
It's the comb the bees make that connects
one box to the next from the top of one frame to the bottom of the top box frame
Without excluder the Quenn uses it often to go back and forth
 

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>If we are to buy into this research finding, then it, by its own determination would then be false. Perhaps the DeLaplane study is not "most"?

Yes, it is a bit of a dilemma to have a peer reviewed scientific study that shows that peer reviewed scientific studies are usually wrong... The study shows the causes and how to predict the likelihood. Some of those things like the length of the study and the scope of the study are very applicable to bee research. I would say anything involving bees that is less 100 hives for less than five years is probably not very accurate.

>The PF-100 and PF120's are problematic in my operation because of the ladder comb issue. .

This problem is the same with all plastic frames, Pierco etc. have the same problem. I don't find it to be a problem if you expect it... you just pry all the frames below, down before lifting the box.
 

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Just so we're clear there were several separate peer reviewed studies that all came to the same conclusion. The presumption is that all three are wrong?
 

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This is why scientists repeat studies over and over and over. If one research paper at one location in one year had come to this conclusion then certainly it has lower credibility than one that has been repeated multiple times with the same or similar results. Once you start seeing multiple studies by multiple authors using rigourous methodology, you start taking notice.

You have to judge each study on its own merit, how it was conducted, were controls used, were as many variables as possible controlled, etc. Science isn't perfect and we must be careful to scrutinize the information that comes out but we must also be careful that we do not outright dismiss findings because the disagre with our own personal biases and beliefs.
 

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>Yes, it is a bit of a dilemma to have a peer reviewed scientific study that shows that peer reviewed scientific studies are usually wrong... The study shows the causes and how to predict the likelihood. Some of those things like the length of the study and the scope of the study are very applicable to bee research. I would say anything involving bees that is less 100 hives for less than five years is probably not very accurate.

Though this is a peer reviewed paper it is also an "essay" and thus somewhat of an opinion piece rather than an actual experiment. If you read some of the comments not everyone in the field agrees with his conclusions.
 

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hmmm. sounds like they can't prove small cell helps...but they can't prove it hurts either. So it seems to me that it leaves the door wide open for beeks to use whichever method seems to work in their operation. But of course if you take that conclusion from it, then what is left to fight over?

Sometimes it does seem like the only reason the topic keeps showing up on here is just because folks enjoy fighting over it. ;)

JMO

Rusty
 

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Bah, if you're worried about cell size, just go foundationless and let the bees build whatever size they want.
Exactly my position. Natural cell has worked out better for me than trying to force the bees into what I may think is the best size cell. But each to his own.
 

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>Just so we're clear there were several separate peer reviewed studies that all came to the same conclusion. The presumption is that all three are wrong?

All short term. All small scale. There are quite a few positive studies on small cell, but you will simply discount them as you have every time they have been brought up before.
 

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Studies,studies,studies???? Smells like someone's making $$$$$$ I like the "Lauri method" 128 hives alive out of
133. Small cell? Large cell? Don't know. Dang she's a good beek.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
MB > "I don't find it to be a problem if you expect it... "

Having kept bees for almost 30 years I pretty much know how to pry boxes...and your right I do expect to see lots of comb built between the plastic frames. Make no mistake its an issue and a problem at least in my bee management. Its a huge mess and involves lots of extra work cleaning it up unless you want to just set everything back together and squish 100's of bees in the process. I have some pictures I'd be glad to share in case others are not aware of what will happen placing plastic frames on a strong hive. As I understand it you purchased thousands of them so I do understand position.
 

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I took a look at Keith Delaplane's ABJ article. He says 'I am unaware of any publicly-accessible peer-reviewed papers that support it.'....referring to small cell for varroa control.
All short term. All small scale..........but you will simply discount them as you have every time they have been brought up before.
If you had a single, long term, large scale, peer reviewed study that supported your contention....my opinion wouldn't get in the way of your posting it....
 

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I run plastic, there is bridge comb like with wood frames I run. I only scrape either wood or plastic infrequently, I own a smoker and know how to make volumes of cool smoke. I don't crush hundreds putting hive back together. Dozens almost certainly are killed every inspection. It is unavoidable. It is not a big deal. I do not feel that plastic is intrinsically evil. All my milk comes in it and I feel fine.
 
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