Why not try small cell?

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Fox Creek:
    No problem Arnie, I loved the experience. Bee keeping was both fun and interesting. I have learned so much. I do miss having the bees around. I also enjoyed this forum. Good luck to you too!

Fox Creek, my wife is having some neuropathy, as well.  I really feel for you, brother.  Best of luck. 


Here is a new report of a research done including the use of "small" and "big" cells.

I used small cell foundation myself for 2 years. Started to introduce empty frames in 2016. There is no difference in cell size between the two, it?s mostly 4.8 to 5.2 in worker broodnest area.
The wax foundations are often changed to various cell size by the bees but some bees colonies built perfect small cell broodnests on the foundations. Depends on the seasonal changes. Just like on natural comb. I cut 15% drone corners on every foundation.

Bees are AMM, carniolans and elgon mutts.
Same with all races.

The average natural cell size in my climate and with my swedish stock ( now mixed)  is 5.1.

I have 33mm space between frames. I like the density of bee numbers and broodframes in my square dadant box because brood stays in one box, even without a queen excluder.
Much easier to work with one broodbox, In spring, when my mite infested treatment free bees come out of winter in small cluster they still build up to be strong with first main flow, wild cherries.
That because of the density and warmth.

What they say in the article about central europe is not true. Sure, more reinfestations. But when I was on the tf conference in Austria in spring 2018 I realized that we have many tf beekeepers who work hidden because of our laws. And we have 240 feral colonies observed which were found, which are never treated.

Today my opinion is that having ferals around, wild living honeybee colonies with survivor genetics are the clue. They spread the survivor genes. this can be done by beekeepers too, flooding the area with survivor colonies`s drones and breeding only from survivors or colonies which hold mites at bay, which means monitoring.

Ben Framed:

--- Quote from: Vance G on October 20, 2012, 07:59:47 pm ---I bought the mann lake plastic 4.9 mm frames and put nucs on them that were very clean of mites.  I kept looking as they moved off the 5.4  and in the second year having been on the 4.9 mm frames, I found a whopping number of mites.  That is not a scientific study, it is my observation.  I treated with apiguard to knock it down.  This does not make me angry at 4.9 which I got cheaper than I could put together a wood frame with any foundation.  The bees after being habituated to them draw them as well as any foundation and I have tried several over the years.  It costs me nothing to have tried the small cell if I decide later there are no benefits culturally.  They are good servicable frames so I can't understand the vitriol.  Eat some prunes out there for God sakes!  It will change your outlook.

--- End quote ---

Hum; I have heard similar findings. If small cell was the answer then varroa would be a problem no more because, wouldn't the whole world be doing it by now?  🤷🏻‍♂️

Michael Bush:
>Hum; I have heard similar findings. If small cell was the answer then varroa would be a problem no more because, wouldn't the whole world be doing it by now?

The researchers keep doing small studies that are inconsistent with what small cell beekeepers are doing, counting mites and saying it doesn't work.  Most people assume that means it doesn't work.  The point of this thread is that it's not that hard to let the bees build what they want, or use small cell foundation.  What's the down side?  You get more cells per frame in the brood nest, which is more brood covered with less bees, a shorter gestation time which means 10% more bees in a build up.  What's the down side?  You were either going to buy foundation or you would like to save buying foundation...

And yes, I have paid no attention to Varroa for decades now.


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