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So I've been listening to a Youtube video on the internet entitled, 'Michael Bush at the Organically Managed Beekeeping Conference 2016'. (Took place in AZ I believe.)

At any rate there's this one line where he says something along the lines of (forgive me if I don't quote it perfectly): 'all the large cell foundation died of varroah...and that it reached a tipping point when he went to large cells (as compared to smaller cells).

I wanted to bring this up.

So does this mean if you concentrate on only small cell foundation will you not have hardly any varroa problems?

And how much of the large cell problems surging from varroa, are actually also because the large cell foundation in frames tends to mean its also got plastic in there, rather than the cell size itself?
(I ask this also because many people in healthcare fields claim that plastic has a tendency to have more bacteria growth than other materials used in other fields like cooking and food (not bees).)

Thanks for your thoughts and for anyone helping beekeepers try to be educated, survive, and have a better life also!
No. That has been tried and studied and found not to matter what size the cell is. Cell size doesn’t matter. It’s the drone cells they like before other cells.
 
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Relatively speaking, how can small bees cover more small cells than large bees cover large cells? Add to that, Drones cells are not smaller in the small cell colony relative the bees, so wouldn't it take more small bees to cover the Drone brood?

Alex
Its theory. Its numbers. Theres no evidence yet exceptfor math. But the brood chamber cells jump by 18%. The sc bees are suppose to have a 19 day emerge cycle. That adds 3 days to the life of a bee. Which also increases the population leaving more bees to forage.
Right now it's all numbers though and through marking frames and patches of brood you can figure out how long small cell bees take to emerge. There are very very old studies making the 19 day claims and only 1 or 2 very credible modern people claiming the same. But until someone gets an extreme documented test done. And it wouldnt matter who as long as they have integrity and a thoughtful very well documented study. Then they might find something that would truly help the bees.
If not then it's not. The studies being done now are either too vague or looking to prove a different point. How small cell flares against varroa. And that's not the point of small cell.
 

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No. That has been tried and studied and found not to matter what size the cell is. Cell size doesn’t matter. It’s the drone cells they like before other cells.
Why tie small cell to varroa. We already know small cell has no effect on varroa. Small cell is for improving the numbers and strength in a hive.
 

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Small cell is for improving the numbers and strength in a hive.
The simple answer is it seems that hasn't proven to be...
If it indeed had a significant impact on hive strength or early season build-up, commercial operators would be rotating it into their operation.

Like foundationless, its main selling point is its alternative/aint big ag management.. and that sells well with many hobbiests, regardless of the facts and reality
 
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The simple answer is it seems that hasn't proven to be...
If it indeed had a significant impact on hive strength or early season build-up, commercial operators would be rotating it into their operation.

Like foundationless, its main selling point is its alternative/aint big ag management.. and that sells well with many hobbiests, regardless of the facts and reality
Commercial guys pretty much use plastic foundation. You cannot find one company that manufactures s.c. plastic foundation. They cell plastic comb but not foundation. Plastic comb runs close to $10 a frame.
 

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If it indeed had a significant impact on hive strength or early season build-up, commercial operators would be rotating it into their operation.
I would not use the commercial operators as a no-brainer, fool-proof litmus test that confirms everything.

While being very much interested in the financial margins and cost/benefit for everything, they also have the biggest inertia to overcome (unlike most little guys).

The commercial operators are like Titanic - takes a while to turn.
No matter how hard you want to avoid that iceberg - it takes a while to turn.
You really, really, really want to turn, end yet....

So what they do and don't do (at the moment) - not exactly what they want to do.

PS: this is just a general observation, not particularly about the SC.
 

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Struttinbuck
Do some searching for studies performed comparing SC to regular or Natural cell and you will find that some real data is available.
Brood time is not reduced to 19 days, that number comes from Apis Cerana, studies on the European honey bee regressed to small size only shortened the brood cycle by about 12 hours which did not have a significant impact on varroa.
Not all studies that do not support your opinions are biased due to "manufacturing influence".
Again look at the Honeybee health coalition information, they don't have a dog in the fight.
 

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Brood time is not reduced to 19 days
That's what I'm measuring. That's what Huber measured on natural comb. On the first day no time has elapsed and on the 20th day 19 days have elapsed. That's what Dzierzon measured on natural comb.

 

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I would not use the commercial operators as a no-brainer, fool-proof litmus test that confirms everything.
That I would agree with.

But -

While being very much interested in the financial margins and cost/benefit for everything, they also have the biggest inertia to overcome (unlike most little guys).

The commercial operators are like Titanic - takes a while to turn.
I can see how this statement would appear to make sense. However, commercial operators are similar to non commercial operators, in that there are a range of types, in both.

The belief that commercial operators are nothing but stuck in the mud, unthinking "box shifters", is common among hobbyists even over here where I am. However when hobbyists come out with me for a day, and I do take a lot of them out I enjoy the company, that perception usually changes 180 degrees.
 

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OK, I will concede - this is always about shades of gray.

I can see case where $100 investment into plastic foundation for some hobbyist is already large enough so that he/she will never change from using the plastic - $100 has been invested to just toss it away!
In your case, this could be $1000 invested in the plastic foundation.
But common idea is that the hobbyist does not depend on his/her bees for the bread and milk (but you do).

So anyway neither the hobbyists nor the commercials are the ultimate litmus test for most anything that going on.
 

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In your case, this could be $1000 invested in the plastic foundation.
but here, many commercials pull nucs for sale at the end of almonds and have to replace those frames, at one nuc a year per hive they could easily convert everything they own over to SC in 4 years at no additional costs (they are buying new frames anyway)
 
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That's what I'm measuring. That's what Huber measured on natural comb. On the first day no time has elapsed and on the 20th day 19 days have elapsed. That's what Dzierzon measured on natural comb.

Thats good to know. That kind of info can so easily be misinterpreted. Im already sold on small cell just from the numbers issue.
 

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what numbers issue?
That like a snowball effect. Having over a thousand more cells on each frame in a brood chamber in a beehive can benefit the beehive in many many ways. And I do not dare mention anything about Voldemort because everybody always reverts to a study that says S.C. is not effective against Voldemort.(For non Harry Potter fans its the V word) Lol.
 

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Having over a thousand more cells on each frame in a brood chamber in a beehive can benefit the beehive in many many ways
such as? I haven't seen any research to that effect

I have drifted towards double nucs (4 frames each) and singles for honey production.. cutting the cells in my brood chambers by 1/2 or more;)
 

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Just an FYI I had a devil of a time getting acceptance of those Mann lake 4.9 frames a decade ago. They also warp if stored flat. I’ve gotten rid of most of them now. If you use them wax them heavily and bee prepared to scrape off wonk comb built on top. Not with the hassle in my opinion
 

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Just an FYI I had a devil of a time getting acceptance of those Mann lake 4.9 frames a decade ago. They also warp if stored flat. I’ve gotten rid of most of them now. If you use them wax them heavily and bee prepared to scrape off wonk comb built on top. Not with the hassle in my opinion
That was my experience too. Many ridges of wild cells plugged with wax and drone cells. No more! Maybe different bees in different climates can make it work, but it didnt for me.
 
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