Researching cell size?
EIP focus group suggests a few ideas on future research areas.
Perhaps cell size could bee developed as a future feature in the BeeScanning app?
3.2 Ideas for Operational Groups
With the aim of inspiring innovative actions, seven main ideas for EIP-AGRI Operational Groups were elaborated by the FG. The proposals cover a wide range of types of projects, from testing solutions or management practices at hive level to ways of cooperation or knowledge exchange.
Theme: Varroa control
IDEA 1: TESTING THE EFFECTS OF CUTTING THE DRONE BROOD AND REDUCING THE CELL SIZE FOR VARROA CONTROL
The objective is to keep the Varroa level as low as possible during the whole season, by properly managing drone brood and choosing the most suitable comb cell size. The most common size nowadays is 5.4 mm, but it is not clear whether this is suitable to fight against Varroa. Moving to a more natural size of cells (allowing the bees to show us the exact size) might be the way forward to fight Varroa. Bees will build a different size of cells in the different climatic zones as well according to their own body size, as adaptation to the microclimate they live in. The same applies to the type and the size of the hive.
The project would require involvement from researchers, advisers and beekeepers. The outcomes – mainly for the beekeepers – would be:
Recommendation of the best comb cell size in each area
Recommendation of the best hive type (or size)
Recommendations on frequency and efficiency of drone brood removal
Low Varroa infestation levels throughout the year, increased survivability of colonies.
The activities of the project would include:
- Testing different cell sizes of combs in 2-3 different ecotypes or conditions
- Testing different sizes of hives in different ecotypes or conditions
- Testing and combining the above with drone brood removal, at different frequencies
- MonitoringVarroalevelsandcolonyproductivitytogether,andunderallthesedifferentconditions,duringthe year
- Formulating the recommendations based on all these trials.
This project could be implemented in different countries to test the differences.