Me and my big mouth!

I spent all of yesterday afternoon with 8 other beekeepers at a meeting of DARG, the Devon Apicultural Research Group, mostly examining our collective navel. In an attempt to get them back into DOING something rather than just talking/listening I have been making suggestions and, as a result, have been volunteered into re-writing their booklet on Varroa which is about 20 years out of date, as well as getting on with the cell size measuring project.  I think I’m being picked on because I’m the youngest!

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About chrissladesbeeblog

I have been keeping bees since 1978 and currently have about a dozen hives. I am a member of the BBKA where for many years I represented Dorset at the Annual Delegates' Meeting. I am the co-author (with Dave MacFawn of of S. Carolina) of "Getting the Best from Your Bees" and am working on a book of my own poems : "Bee People".
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2 Responses to Me and my big mouth!

  1. Kamil Dursun says:

    Greetings,
    I am a hobby beekeeper from Norway. It is interesting to hear about results of your investigation varroa vs. cell size. In Norway the official opinion is that there is no correlation but I am not sure. Pls. keep on posting on this subject.
    All the best
    Kamil

    • Kamil,
      The Varroa leaflet is about 20 years old and was written before it arrived here. Thus it is out of date and needs revision. This has nothing to do with the study of natural cell size. I know that Dee Lusby in Arizona believes that her use of 4.9mm cell size foundation helps reduce varroa, but nobody else (except her ardent followers) believes that.

      The cell size study is to see what sizes the bees will produce if left to themselves. In my experience there is a range of sizes on each comb and in different parts of the hive when bees don’t have foundation to guide them. Generally it is larger in the front and rear of the hive and smaller in the middle; similarly it is greater on the periphery of each comb and smaller in the middle. My unscientific observation is that the hives with more natural, foundationless, comb have a more obvious range of sizes of workers and that such colonies seem to be doing better than those reared on foundation.

      I am hoping that the DARG project will multiply the number of observations to the point that we may have science rather than anecdote.

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