Presentation on theme: "for Disease and Pest Control"— Presentation transcript:
1for Disease and Pest Control Small Cell Hive Managementfor Disease and Pest ControlCopyright 2007 by Michael Bush
2Presentations onlineBefore you take copious notes, all these presentations are online here:
3For info about Natural Cell Size groups.yahoo.com/group/Organicbeekeepers
4Synopsis of reasons for small cell beekeeping Standard foundation is 5.4 mm cell size.Turn of the Century foundation was 5.08 mmSmall Cell foundation is 4.9 mm cell size.In my experience natural cell size for worker brood is between 4.4 mm and 5.1 mm
6Current cell sizes Cell sizes of natural comb and common foundation Natural worker comb 4.4 mm to 5.1mmLusby 4.8 to 4.9 mm average 4.83 mmDadant 4.9mm Small Cell 4.9 mmHoney Super Cell 4.9 mmWax dipped PermaComb 4.95 mmMann Lake PF100 & PF mm19th century foundation 5.0 to 5.08 mmDadant 5.1mm Small Cell 5.1 mmPermaComb 5.1 mmPierco foundation 5.2 mmPierco deep frames 5.25 mmPierco medium frames 5.35 mmRiteCell 5.4 mmStandard worker foundation 5.4 to 5.5mm7/ mmHSC Medium Frames 6.0 mmDrone 6.4 to 6.6 mm
7Pre and post capping times Huber’s observations on capping and emergence on Natural Comb.Keep in mind that on the 1st day no time has elapsed and on the 20th 19 days have elapsed. If you have doubts about this add up the elapsed time he refers to. It adds up to 18 ½ days."The worm of workers passes three days in the egg, five in the vermicular state, and then the bees close up its cell with a wax covering. The worm now begins spinning its cocoon, in which operation thirty-six hours are consumed. In three days, it changes to a nymph, and passes six days in this form. It is only on the twentieth day of its existence, counting from the moment the egg is laid, that it attains the fly state."François Huber 4 September 1791.
8Pre and post capping times My observations on Carniolan and Italian bees on 4.95 mm cell size in the observation hive:Capped 8 days after layedEmerged 19 days after layed
9Pre and Post capping times and Varroa 8 hours shorter capping time halves the number of Varroa infesting a brood cell.8 hours shorter post capping time halves the number of offspring of a Varroa in the brood cell.
10How to get small cells Use 4.9 mm foundation Use 4.9 mm starter strips Use Mann Lake PF100 or PF120 framesUse Honey Super Cell fully drawn 4.9mm combUse PermaComb and wax dip itUse foundationless framesUse narrow frames (32mm)
11Things that Affect Cell Size Worker intention for the comb at the time it was drawn: Drone brood Worker brood Honey storageThe size of the bees drawing the combThe spacing of the top bars
14Baudoux on Comb thickness Cell Size Comb width mm mm mm mm mm mm mm mm mm mm mm mm mm mm ABC XYZ of Bee Culture 1945 edition Pg 126
15Huber on Comb spacing"The leaf or book hive consists of twelve vertical frames… and their breadth fifteen lines (one line= 1/12 of an inch. 15 lines = 1 ¼“ = 32mm). It is necessary that this last measure should be accurate." François Huber 1806
17RegressionLarge bees, from large cells, sometimes cannot build natural sized cells. They build something in between. Most will build 5.1 mm worker brood cells.The next brood cycle will build cells in the 4.9mm range.The only complication with converting back to Natural or Small cell is this need for regression.
18Instant RegressionEither wax dipped PermaComb or the Honey Super Cell will provide small cell comb and the need to regress is eliminated. The bees will use the smaller comb, even though they wouldn’t have drawn it that small in the first generation, and the generation that emerges from that comb will draw small cell comb.
19Quick RegressionI’m having very good luck getting commercial large cell packages to draw the PF120’s from Mann Lake out to 4.95mm cells on the first try.
20Other ways to get quicker regression Some people do shakedowns. That means shaking all the bees off of all the combs and essentially making them into a package of bees. This is then installed on 4.9mm foundation. Sometimes they abscond, so it’s common to put an excluder on the bottom board so the queen can’t leave.
21Gradual RegressionIf you simply feed 4.9mm foundation into the hive and remove the large cell combs every chance you get you’ll eventually get regressed. If you have some program of comb rotation simply rotate the small cell in and the old combs out.Every time you find a large cell comb empty, remove it. Every time you find one full of stores and the colony can spare it, harvest it.Move capped large cell brood above an excluder to let the brood emerge without the queen laying in it again.
22How do swap out combsWhatever you are swapping (4.9mm, foundationless, etc.) you are trying to swap out either comb that is empty or not being used for brood at a time when they are drawing comb. In other words, early in the spring when a lot of combs are already empty, or a little later when there is a good enough flow that losing a comb of honey or pollen wouldn't be a setback.If you have several boxes all the same sized comb brood can also be moved above an excluder until it emerges and then swapped for 4.9, foundationless etc.
23What combs to remove?You're trying to replace larger cells (5.2mm or so) with the chance for them to get smaller combs. So measure the core of the combs and keep trying to leave the smaller (4.9mm or smaller) and remove the largest ones
24How small?You may find in your geographical location with your genetic stock that 5.0mm is about as small as they will go. I think 4.9mm is a good goal, but in the end what they are willing to build should be sufficient.The size at the core of the brood nest is what I would be concerned about. In my experience, not every cell in the hive has to be 4.9mm or below to handle mites.
25What to do while regressing Monitor mite levelsSugar shakeNatural mite dropUncap some drone brood
26What if my mite levels are up? Ways to control mites while regressing without contaminating the combsDrone removalSugar shakeOxalic acid
27When the mites stabilize Once the core of the brood nest is 4.9mm or below, the mite levels have always stabilized for me. If yours do, you can now focus on beekeeping instead of mites.
29Other IssuesFeedSugar is a different pH from honey and missing many micronutrients as wellPollen substitute is inferior to real pollenNutrition severely impacts the colony’s ability to cope with any stressors including mites and diseases
30Unbiased assessment of my hives State Health CertificatesFrom 2004 to 2007
40More information concerning natural cell size and Varroa, observation hives, top entrances, lighter equipment, horizontal hives, queen rearing, general beekeeping, and many other topics.Information on on natural cell size is in the “Pests” category under the item “Natural Cell Size.Many classic queen rearing books.Huber’s New Observations on the Natural History of Bees