small cell bees

Discussion in 'Beekeeping Biology' started by barry42001, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. barry42001

    barry42001 New Member

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    I posted earlier in another topic, about 4.9 mm bees, and of course there is no debate that bees naturally build cells of varying sizes from 4.8 -5.8mm Apparently there is some science to support the benefits of small cell brood cells. Just today I entered 4.9 mm bee in yahoo search-found many sites more then one were either posting results or conducting tests. The short of it is that apparently the pupation stage of the smaller bee is significantly shorter--by 2 days--egg to adult in 19 days. This according to the research they conducted disrupts the life cycle of the varroa mites apparently they havent mautred enough to have mated or lay their own eggs, and the bees have access to them. Seems that this coupled with the use of drone brood frames useful in really knocking down varroa mite populations. Again according to whats currently published on the net http://www.beesource.com/pov/osterlund/abjaug2001.htm
    http://homepages.dordt.edu/ccare/Research/honeybees.htm
    I was unable to return to the site stating the shortened life cycle, when I find it again I will post it.
    Again as I always say, these are not something written in stone--yet but make sense when corraberated.
    Barry
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    barry writes:
    Apparently there is some science to support the benefits of small cell brood cells.

    tecumseh:
    one link is 8 years old and doesn't work for me. the other link is nice yet has no date, nor data and then tosses in a variable (copper glucomate in the small cell experiement???)...... this site appears to be more educationally orientated than research driven.

    if one link fits the (my) profile??? then you are quite likely to find a lot of supposition parading about as fact. opinion parading as scientific theory and no one that has a clue as to why the null hypothesis might be of PRIME IMPORTANCE or what staistical method might reasonable provide some insight into the results. to just cut to the chase here.... unless I had some name attached to this 'research' that could be RESPECTED (which for me really comes down to... does the author have something in their resume which suggest that they have a clue as to how to perform a properly designed science experiement and do they have a grasp on some appropriate statistical method for telling what the results means)**. we have a lot of folks loosely using the word science (here, there and everywhere it seems) for the image it produces.... who in fact have not the foggiest clue as to what or how science works.

    the most current research (via my alma mater.. the University of Florida) is that there is no difference in investation rate between normal (whatever that may mean to ya') cell size and small cell size bees. from the get go you need to discriminate between what some folks toss out as wishful thinking and what is knowm (fact). the history of beekeeping suggest that there are plenty of snake oil folks to sell the overly optismistic snake oil.

    then barry writes:
    The short of it is that apparently the pupation stage of the smaller bee is significantly shorter--by 2 days--egg to adult in 19 days

    tecumseh:
    one aspect (small step in the process) of science is that from the get go some mechanism is suggested by the researcher as to HOW* something might work (if it indeed does??). from what I know of small cell (which really ain't much) the net results of a two day difference in development time (have to consult the books here but actually via your numbers the time difference would be more like 3 days) is likely at the EXTREME of what might be expected. I seem to recall total developement time difference (the word pupation usually suggest the pupae stage by itself) as about one day. just causally the total sealed time of the pupae/larvae stages is what would would reasonable appear to be most important here.

    *emphasis is placed on the word HOW to distinguish this from the question of why... a subtle but none the less important distinction.

    **ususally at some level ALL science is subject to some criticism since things are done along the way in the process to make the experiement simplier to do and understand and thereby whatever is revealed don't necessarily fully represent the complexities or the totality of how the world operates. most science folks think thru these shortcoming ahead of the game and prepare reasonable answer to these questions.
     

  3. Bcrazy

    Bcrazy New Member

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    As I understand the cycle of the breeding Varoa is not significantly reduced with 'small cells' as the majority of Varroa will try to find drone cells because the drone takes longer to hatch.
    I have known a beekeeper friend who rears his bees on 4.9 cell size and his findings are no different from other hives of normal cell size.

    Regards;
     
  4. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    My smallcell has no less of a problem with mites than my other hives. Not that I have a problem, just that smallcell shows no big difference. I have been hammered for years stepping on toes about overblown hype regarding smallcell beekeeping, including past claims that forcing bees on UNNATURAL smallcell was "natural", which it is NOT!

    I say to those who want to go down that path, go for it! You won't hurt your bees, just don't buy into the hype and false claims. You will be disappointed. Unless you buy into such claims of "leveling" out of mites....which happened to be the last attempts to discredit the research of people like J Berry, who has now shown twice that the many claims of smallcell are all but false.
     
  5. lil grain of rice

    lil grain of rice New Member

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    Regarding small cell as a varroa control...do the mites remain on the bee whose cell they grow in, or do they migrate from bee to bee? If they predominantly grow in drone cells and then migrate onto worker bees when the drone emerges, then I can see how small cell would have little impact on the problems the mites cause. However, if the mite population is more restricted to the drones, because the mites that might have emerged on workers are reduced by the shorter capped time, and the mites that are on the drones tend to stay on them, then wouldn't it make sense that there is some benefit? It's not whether you have mites, but what damage they are causing that is of concern. Drones with mites...meh? Also would the shorter capping time at least reduce the number of workers born with deformed wings, if nothing else?
     
  6. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Is there anyone else on here that has used the small cell wax foundation and has some additional experience to report?

    I am planning for my very first hives and am considering small cell foundation but want to read more actual experiences.
     
  7. sqkcrk

    sqkcrk New Member

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    All curealls should be met w/ skepticism. That's how smallcell started. People were skeptical about cell size of embosed foundation. Now there are all sorts of wheel reinventions going on.
     
  8. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Well, isn't man-made foundation a 'wheel reinvention' to begin with? ;)
    So why not experiment with various types and sizes?... and assuming that man made foundations need to be somewhat similar to the bees own natural cell construction.
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    There cannot be a man made to correspond to natural. The bees vary the sizes greatly throughout the hive, and man made is all one size. Anything from 5.0 to 5.5 mm seems to be the mid range. 5.6 large cell and 4.9 small cell, in my opinion, is outside the mean, so I stay with large cell because it is cheaper.
     
  10. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    So, has the distribution of various sized cells in a natural hive been studied or recorded? i mean, are larger sized cells concentrated in certain areas for certain function? That would be fascinating to know.
    Man tends to want to standardize things because of the ease of manufacture, of course. Yet we do already make larger drone-cell frames, right?
    For all we know, it might be really productive and good for the bees to put small cell frames in certain areas of the hive and standard size cell frames in other areas? just a thought, wondering if others have experimented.
     
  11. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I'll leave the experimenting to others. I use the tried and true and what keeps my wallet fattest.
     
  12. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I'm just wondering if there is anyone here who is experimenting with or using the small cell foundations?
     
  13. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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  14. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Hey thanks, some interesting reading an photos there. :)
     
  15. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Yes, He has quite a site there. Lots of answers to lots of questions.
     
  16. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Lots of answers to lots of questions, and lots of questions to lots of answers....isn't it always the case?
    Fascinating reading nonetheless. :)
     
  17. lil grain of rice

    lil grain of rice New Member

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    So nobody knows if the mites migrate from bee to bee?
     
  18. TwT

    TwT New Member

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    sure they do, thats how they spread from hive to hive, when mites kill a hive other hives rob it out and mites catch a ride to the new hive.

    I have bought and used SC foundation about 4-5 years ago, I bought 200 sheets just to try and see what happens, bee's drew it out pretty good for not being regressed bee's, I never seen any benefits using it, it just cost more per sheet, I haven't bought any since, some say its gods gift but all the studies from colleges and such say its a waist of time. they found no benefit using it, mite counts were a little higher on the small cell hives. but its up to you if you want to use it or not, all I can say is what I seen using it.. good luck
     
  19. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Drones, once old enough to fly, have no home. They go from hive to hive and are welcomed and fed. They also carry the mites from hive to hive, and leave a few here and there.
     
  20. TwT

    TwT New Member

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    exactly, for some reason I can't always remember to post all the way, iddee post above is the main way the spread I think.