This was not advertised as "small cell". It was sold as standard foundation. 5.0 is on the small side of normal, but the official small cell is 4.9 and less.
http://www.mannlakeltd.com/mm5/merchant ... e17#PF-100 (Don't shoot the messenger.)
I meant that I kept them as nucs. I use the nuc to produce comb, rather than allowing them to expand larger and produce bees or honey. I am still a hobbyist/sideliner, so I can afford to fuss with things more.
I would suspect there are folks who wore shoes that were too tight as kids, and have mis-shapen toes as a result.
It might be worth noting that cultures that eat more protein typically have larger bodies - and when small people like orientals eat a diet with higher protein, they grow larger also.
I will be the first to admit that my operation has a mix of Pierco, Mann Lake PF frames, foundationless/natural cell combs, and 5.4mm and Duragilt. I like the PF frames because there are more brood cells per frame, allowing potentially faster buildup in colder weather with a contracted cluster.
Vance G wrote:If nutrition is the cause for my bees getting smaller as the season progressed, I marvel.
I look at it that swarms or nucs are in comb drawing mode. That is something they do good and comes naturally to them, so I don't feel I am forcing them by taking steps to keep them locked in that mode.]
I don't feel that it is forcing bees any more than squeezing bees down to get them to draw comb honey.
How do we decide what is too small though? How do we decide what is the proper cell size for their type? After I have let the bees draw out their own brood combs in frames with no foundation, I commonly have 5.2 cells in the center of the frame, with slightly larger cells around the perimeter of the frame. When I introduce another batch of foundationless brood frames to that same hive, they draw about 5.0 cells in the center of the frame, with larger cells around the perimeter of the frame again.
Of course, I have heard that the farther from the equator, the larger the cells are naturally, so that may explain why I see 5.0 pretty regular, but not smaller. 4.9 might be a little smaller than my bees prefer here in Ohio, but they still seem to do ok on it.
The only difference I have seen in bee size is in freshly emerged, fuzzy baby bees. Sometimes the abdomen will appear smaller, but the head and thorax appear similar sized between small cell and large cells bees. (Judged by eyesight.) It appears the abdomen is a little smaller sometimes with small cell bees. By the time they are adult foragers, they appear similar sized to other bees.
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