Author Topic: small cell bees  (Read 3713 times)

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Offline skydiver

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small cell bees
« on: January 21, 2014, 09:58:22 PM »
Is anybody playing with small cell bees. I bought some last spring hoping to help lessen mite problems no opinion yet. Just wondering if anyone is playing with them? (using small cell foundation). your thoughts or experience with this?
skydivers do not want to jump to a conclusion!

Offline pistolpete

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2014, 10:23:32 PM »
Scientifically controlled studies have shown that small cell foundation has no influence on mite reproduction.  There may be other benefits, but mite control is not one of them. 
I'm a third year bee keeper with 3 hives.  My advice: worth price charged.

Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2014, 11:03:30 PM »
Those Scientifically controlled studies have a LOT of flaws in their "scientific" applications...   I am NOT claiming they are wrong, just that the way they were conducted (the ones I have read and seen) were pitiful excuses for scientific proof..

  There are also compelling claims with evidence that small cell helps kick in the bees resistance..  bees that were reverted BEGAN exhibiting hygienic behavior by uncapping and removing infected Larvae..   Some of the more renowned beekeepers have claimed this works for them...   Using bees with Hygienic background seems to increase the trait on small cell as opposed to large cell.....   
   :-\    CLAIMS..  on both sides.  I have watched vids of a research that Michael Bush posted on another website that seemed to PROVE beyond any doubt it works...  then scrutiny by the non believers began pointing out flaws...  pretty much the same thing the believers did with the scientific studies done that proved it didnt work...
  So I'm straddling the fence, and its painful..
   I use natural cell combs, and if its helpful for Varoa control GREAT, just an added benefit of being able to cut out queen cells, cut out old comb, Cell punch, etc etc etc...
   The argument is getting old to me. I would think someone would WANT to cover all the bases and produce definitive results.. But as stated in another thread.. what works and can be PROVEN to work in one location seems to fail in another location.....      :'(
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Offline DMLinton

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2014, 11:55:45 PM »
I raised the idea of small cell foundation with a local beekeeper.  His response was pretty short and simple.  You get small cell whether you want it or not because cell size decreases with each round of brood.  If you start out with small cell, it just gets smaller quicker.

Just thought I would throw this in.  I don't have an opinion on small cell.  May be sitting on the fence like Lazy.
Regards, Dennis
No bees yet - first ones are on order for May ... June? 2014.

Offline Marbees

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2014, 12:26:57 AM »
Opening a can of worms?  :)
Since introduction of varroa mites (1987 in USA and 1989 in Canada) our beekeeping reality changed completely.
In order to overcome a new problem, people were trying all kinds of different things all over the continent.
Some of them looked like good ideas, even as a solution, at the time, but all of those were short lived, some were good for certain locations, but there was no an universal solution :'(
Then Al Gore pushed for the internet, and very soon screen bottom boards, small cell foundation, small bees, increased ventilation, and some other things started clogging information super highway :) (trying to be humorous here)
Eventually some of the  "gurus" admitted scientists were right quashing their solutions as "universal"
In my very limited experience, just going into my 5th spring as a beekeeper, I came to believe, the only thing that is going to help us, and our bees is improved genetics. Selecting for hygienic, low swarming, productive and tame bees. Is it hard? You betcha. But bees can do it, if we help a bit.
Just for the record, in my books, scientific doesn't necessary means an academic.
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Offline Slowmodem

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2014, 01:14:47 AM »
...the only thing that is going to help us, and our bees is improved genetics. Selecting for hygienic, low swarming, productive and tame bees. Is it hard? You betcha. But bees can do it, if we help a bit.
Just for the record, in my books, scientific doesn't necessary means an academic.

Isn't that the thought process that got us Africanized bees?
Greg Whitehead
Ten Mile, TN
Beekeeping at 26.4 kbs

Offline Perry

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2014, 06:54:45 AM »
There are just too many variables in beekeeping to single out one cause and effect on almost anything. This is why finding a "cure" for CCD was virtually impossible.
I would have to say that the only sure fire way to find out if it works for you, is to try it.

Offline skydiver

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2014, 07:06:25 AM »
http://www.resistantbees.com/index.html
  This site and others is what made me want to give them (small cell) a try. I personally feel that the problem with the bee is a multi  level problem and that no one change is going to fix it . My hope is that if just one tenth of the problem is fixed with this change I'll be just that much closer. The more I think I know the more I learn I have a lot more to learn. I do believe that if I let nature thin out the weak, the stronger the gene pool will become. That is why I graft my own queens from my survivor stock and work with other beekeepers in my area trying to improve the overall gene pool for our climate.  Not trying to open a can of worms trying to put a few back in the can.
skydivers do not want to jump to a conclusion!

Offline Perry

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2014, 07:11:28 AM »
It's a good thread Skydiver.
"The more I think I know the more I learn I have a lot more to learn"  Describes me to a tee.  :D
That's one of the nice things about this forum, we can bring topics like this up here, and not have it degenerate into a spitting match. Opinions are welcome and respected.

Offline tecumseh

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2014, 07:13:32 AM »
small cell... well imho absolutely nonsense and likely pushed as an angle to validate the keeping of africanized honey bee < which I would suggest is where the idea really got it start.

a Marsbee snip..
In my very limited experience, just going into my 5th spring as a beekeeper, I came to believe, the only thing that is going to help us, and our bees is improved genetics.

tecumseh...
everyone should note that in terms of SELECTION for genetic predisposed traits if you did go to all the trouble to read any animal reproduction or genetic text you would likely never run into the term REVERTED (you might seem a somewhat similar word in the statistic of genetics.... reversion to the mean... but that is a totally different concept).

as far as my own view goes.... no it does not take an academic person to do scientific type experiments and ALL EXPERIMENT can be criticized at some level (there are different levels here of criticism and any and all don't necessarily toss out the results of an experiment).  however without a basic understanding of science and statistic the flaws in any experiment is likely to increase at an exponential rate.


Offline Riverrat

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2014, 07:14:52 AM »
IMHO I put the small cell theory in with screen bottom boards.  Neither have hard scientific facts that prove there intended use. I believe if you use them and you are convincd they work then by all means use them in your operation. ;)
Some how there should be a law against this

Offline skydiver

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2014, 08:05:22 AM »
It is my understanding based upon  Ed and Dee Lusbys  research that man 100 plus years ago stretched wax foundation to in large cell size 5.4mm and that this has become the norm. Just trying to get closer to the way mother nature wanted it to be.
skydivers do not want to jump to a conclusion!

Offline GLOCK

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2014, 08:31:00 AM »
I have most my hives with 4.9 in the brood boxes and 5.3 in the honey supers I see no difference when it comes to VARROA  plus I have some hives that are mixed with 5.3 -5.1-4.9 the bees seem to not like drawing out the 4.9 some times . but when there's a flow they draw out every thing well.
Say hello to the bad guy.
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Offline Marbees

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2014, 08:49:51 AM »
Not trying to open a can of worms trying to put a few back in the can.
:D :D
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2014, 09:18:09 AM »
heheh    Have I mentioned lately that I love this forum?
   I went to a couple others last night JUST to read...  and after about fifteen minutes I had given up.. I was kinda ticked off by the time I was did a force shutdown and quit reading..  so Once again.. Thank You Iddee!!  And Thank you to the good ladies and Gents who post here!

   I have talked in chats and over EMail to some of the prominent beekeepers who claim that they are treatment free for Varoa.  Including Dee Lusby.  Your right that there are more factors involved than just using small cell. Genetics DOES play a big part in it. Some claim a greater part than others. All claim they lost bees before they got where they are, Most lost a LOT of bees.  I can't afford to lose a LOT of bees, and most of us cant.

   So I have accepted the challenge as a part of keeping bees.  34 years ago I helped my mentor with his bees, and there was no Varoa problem. By 1982 I had gone into the service and did not return to aiding my mentor until around 2003.  I messed up bigtime, because I didnt ask enough questions. So I had a pretty big gap in my knowledge after he passed away. I did, and DO read everything I can find on the subject. Then I set about TRYING what makes sense to me, weather there are arguments against that reasoning or not. I have messed up and lost bees, and learned in the process. I would like to be able to say;
   Do THIS, and THIS and THIS and you never need to treat again .. 
   The closest I can come, is saying..  Order VSH queens, Order Wayne's Bees. Install them, DONT treat, and cross your fingers and toes. Depending on your area, the environment, the mites, the bees and your methods..  There is a chance it will work for you.  Ask me again in three years I'll tell you if it worked for me.
   With the group we have going here, I have no doubt we can eventually work out what works best overall for everyone, as opposed to what works where the weather is always warm, or where the divining rod shows two underground waterways converging.
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Offline lazy shooter

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2014, 10:34:21 AM »
I realize that if one uses foundationless frames the bees will draw out small cell.  My question is can one mix foundation and foundationless frames in the same super?  In other words, could you have cut comb honey and extracted honey from the same super, and if so, would it all be copacetic with the bees?

Offline Crofter

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2014, 10:39:19 AM »
A bit off topic of small cell bees but still along the lines of finding a way to co exist with mites.

First I would say I dont think that "nature" can be depended upon to satisfy mans current private wishes. Nature takes no sides in the ongoing struggle and if you go back in geological time it can be shown that 95% of species that ever existed have since perished and others took their niche. It is not a given that the imported European honey bee in this country will eventually come to a balanced living arrangement with the also imported mite that had a balance with different species bee, the Asian apis ceranae.

If we left nature to its own devices the coping mechanism might select for habits similar to the asian bee that swarms often and only makes a few pounds of honey.

There is cross purpose in our selection criteria as a lot of breeding pressure comes from the almond pollinators which demands different things from the bees than what Perry and I would want for our 6 month wintering bees. There is not likely going to be one perfect bee and it is possible that we may not be able to economically put together a bee that can keep one step ahead of the varroa mite/virus partnership. There always will be parallell genetic selection ongoing in that camp too.

I think we have to be careful with our direction of genetic change. The present focus is on the Varroa Mite and its entourage of 20 or so viruses, but, if in the name of conquering immediate problem we cull out genetic diversity that has survival value for past and unknowable conquests, then would we be doing long term damage for immediate convenience.

Just for a wild thought about different approaches, how about looking for a way to innoculate mites against the viruses. I think the bees could quite handily live with the mites direct damage if it were not for the effects of the virus loads they carry.
Frank

Offline riverbee

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2014, 11:28:47 AM »
"I realize that if one uses foundationless frames the bees will draw out small cell.  My question is can one mix foundation and foundationless frames in the same super?  In other words, could you have cut comb honey and extracted honey from the same super, and if so, would it all be copacetic with the bees?"

lazy, i use empty blank frames in my honey supers (mediums) for cut comb honey.  the bees draw these frames out in drone size cells, not smaller.  i place these in between frames of drawn foundation. as to the topic of the thread, like perry said, a good topic of discussion.  there is no right way or wrong way in beekeeping, if it works for you, like MM said, by all means, try it out or do it.  this is how we learn what works and what doesn't irregardless of academics or scientific study.  these are beneficial, but many times against all odds, i will try something to find or believe that it works for me, or doesn't.

we are all looking for a 'silver bullet'.  right now for me, the 'silver bullet' for mites are and have been russian bees.

sky, let me know how you get the worms back in the can........ :D

i keep wild things in a box..........™
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Offline GLOCK

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2014, 04:26:19 PM »
I have only been at this for 4 seasons and my first year{2 packages} I lost all hives by JAN. treatment free.  Second year treatment free  {3 local nucs} lost 0 . third year bought 3 local nucs made splits hived swarms{my own}up to 19 lost  14 total all year and this year I got my numbers up to 25 and I started treating with OAV buy AUG. and I have lost none. So my plan is to get the mites down to low levels let the hives get strong and work with what I have for now and treat as needed and see how thing pan out the next couple years I know I don't like seeing my bees die hive after hive that's for sure PMS is a pain .  And I'm not starting over every year. I have bees.
Say hello to the bad guy.
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Offline Marbees

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Re: small cell bees
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2014, 04:27:12 PM »
Just for a wild thought about different approaches, how about looking for a way to innoculate mites against the viruses. I think the bees could quite handily live with the mites direct damage if it were not for the effects of the virus loads they carry.

It's a really wild thought Crofter :) And I really like it  ;D
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