Smaller bees and smaller hives ... why ...

In our apiary we are using smaller bees and smaller hives.  

Prior 1893, the honeybee cells were  about 4.9 millimeter in diameter  mimicking what bees would build in the wild . “Man” in its grand wisdom thought that having bigger bees would produce more honey and the cells were artificially enlarged to 5.4mm and larger bees were bred.  

At 4.9mm the cells are too small to accommodate parasite mites. Being smaller it also takes less time to the bees to cap the cell, a full 12 hours less.  Those 2 simple facts made so much logic that we decided to work with those smaller bees.  

With small cell bees you will virtually eliminate your Tracheal and Varroa mite problems. The trachea tube of the 4.9 bees are smaller and therefore prohibit  the mites from entering into the trachea’s of the bees.  Another example is with the Varroa mite. 4.9 bees have a shorter capping time of the cells by 12 hours and shorter post capping time by 12 hours. This interruption of the life cycle means less Varroa getting into the cells and reproducing in them and less Varroa mites will be reaching maturity.  

We are using smaller medium hive boxes with only 8 frames instead of the usual 10 frames. They are easier to lift and handle.

  All the hives use just one size medium box, we don’t have bigger brooder box, the queen will naturally lay eggs in the first 3 boxes eliminating the use of a queen excluder.  

There is air movement in the hollow trees at all times. The use of screen bottom boards will duplicate the air flow and a large number of parasites and trash will fall out the bottom just as in the hollow trees.

smaller bees