The following is quoted from an abstract of a paper with the above title. The link below gives access to the

complete paper:

‘…It can be concluded that the dimensions of the comb cells and worker body size changed with the age of the comb. The obtained results recommend beekeepers to replace combs aged more than 3 years with a new comb to allow large workers to gather more nectar and pollen, rear a larger brood, and store more honey.’

It’s an interesting thing to do to measure the size of drone and worker cells on ‘wild’ comb (ie that drawn by the bees in the hive other than on foundation), and compare these with the size of cells on commercially produced wax foundation. In my experience there is a significant difference. This is most easily done by measuring the distance across (say) 10 cells. A number of beekeepers do not use foundation so that the bees are free to produce cells of the size, and in the part of the hive, that they prefer. For this reason these beekeepers usually install a couple of horizontal wires across the frame to give the wax mechanical strength for extraction purposes. In the past, foundation with extra large cells has been made to produce larger than normal bees as it was felt that they could carry larger loads, thus giving greater harvests. Some problems emerged from this practice, and I don’t think that it has been continued.

Link to article Here

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