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A reader writes:
Hi Kirk,

I am a small Idaho, (tag along), commercial bee keeper. I currently have 27 hives in Calif. helping the almond crop...

The first year I started with 12 boxes that I bought from another commercial bee keeper, split the strongest hives and fed well all season and ended up with 21 hives.

This last year after splitting I cut back on the feed all summer to save sugar cost, did not check them enough and found that I had starved out what were strong hives. Hard lesson!...

I just recently found your web site and really like your approach to bee keeping. Do you think that it is possible to start converting my boxes to small cell frames with the nucs this spring?

When I split [hives], I place 3 frames of brood and 2 with honey in each box. If all of the frames are of the large cell, do you think that the bees will draw out and convert over time to the smaller natural cells, by moving their brood and honey to the new natural frames that they will draw out?

Also there is the question of will the larger bees over power and rob the smaller natural bees?

I know that's a lot of 'ifs'.

Any insight that you can offer would be appreciated.

I would like to convert all of my hives over time, to the natural bees.


Kirt M.

Kirk responds:

Bees in the almond orchards starve because there isn't enough in those Almond Blossoms to feed them. Feeding bees granulated sugar is used most times as an Emergency Feeding. Most commercial guys feed corn syrup because it is cheaper.

If you want to regress your bees, it is best to go to Michael Bush's web site and read it.

You can also join Organicbeekeepers on Yahoo.

Dee and Ed Lusby run 1000 hives, all small cell.

All chemical-free, treatment-free Natural Cell is naturally small. Natural Bees are Naturally small compared to Large Cell Bees. If you want to Have good Energy you have to Do What is Best for the Bees. If you are interested in Money, then work the bees to death and buy some new ones from Australia. If Nature treated me and you like Greedy Beekeepers treat their Bees, we wouldn't be here would we?