Controversial comment by Jennifer Berry

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I have talked to ms. berry after the state bee meeting when she said small cell was bunk. I had offered her chemical free wax to use in here study. to say organic beekeepers would have harsh chemical in there bees wax is bunk======gotta watch who's toes you step on when your receiving millions in grants.

well I am off my soap box now====sorry :mrgreen: :roll: :-D

 F/B  do you also raise your own queens, avoid saving weak hives, and are you careful with your genetics?  i have not met anyone who has bought into small cell without also ending treatments and watching genetics. 

no offense, but when you say follow the money, that doesn't just apply to chemical companies.......

None of the smallcell studies that have been performed even attempt to replicate what beekeepers that see success are actually doing.  As researchers, it is their job to figure out what studies to perform.

If I told you I had a balanced breakfast including a glass of orange juice, some bacon, a bowl of cereal, and a glass of milk, would you do a study feeding people orange juice and frosted flakes for breakfast in order to determine if my breakfast was balanced?  This is essentially what has been done in all of the studies I'm aware of.

Her position is not uncommon...Randy Oliver was quoted calling our conference "a cult meeting"...although his untreated HSC hives "refuse to die", he attributes this to offgassing of the HSC  :roll:

Erik Osterlund gave a talk on the small cell studies at our conference last year (at some point I'll try to get this up online), and I have a few comments from Erik and Michael Bush on the subject posted at our website:

In any case, we certainly believe that small cell has helped us...we didn't have bees alive in the spring until we regressed.  Does it actually help?  What is the mechanism(s)?, Under what circumstances?  I don't know, but the data reported by the researchers thus far does not support their definitive claims.  I look forward to reading Tom Seeley's study.

Kathy, I've pointed out before, Michael Bush had success with small cell and commercial stock before he started breeding from survivor stock.

Don, we were told by another researcher that bees once regressed would not build 4.9 comb if given open (foundationless) frames.  We were to see her the next day, and asked if she would like us to bring in some 4.9 foundationless comb in a frame...she said "no".



What makes me sad is that taking an absolute stand on anything limits openness to the possibilities that there isn't just one answer to a question.  I watched the room of potential new beekeepers hanging onto her every word and that makes me sad.  I like Jennifer - have been at meetings where we all had a great time sitting together - but I don't think any of us should take absolute stands.

It's like the old adage - ask 10 beekeepers a question and you'll get at least 10 different answers - and that's what makes the field rich and interesting. 

Until we have a definitive answer about the varroa mite and its destructive abilities, then we should all stay open to possibilities and be willing to try variations on new things.

Linda T in Atlanta

Tillie, i agree.  that's one of the things that has ticked me off about the religion of small cell.  i don't think there's anything wrong with small cell if that's what you want to do, but to many insist that it is the answer.  it's also more expensive and cost is often an issue with new beekeepers.  the management of varoa depends on many things, but if genetics are not stressed, all the other things we  might do are pretty useless.  there are a whole lot of us keeping treatment free bees successfully because we have taken the time to get and nurture that survivor stock.  we are not doing it on small cell. 

the popularity of small cell has declined as more and more of us realize it's the bees, not the foundation.


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