With the artificial combs it is very easy to accomodate large cell bees (LC) to small cells (SC).
So far, there have been plastic combs from the USA, the HSC, the Rovergarden from Italy and the MannLake from the USA.
Now the Rovergarden company got bankrupt and the MannLake are somewhat too large, namely 4.97mm.
Thus, the idea emerged of producing artificial combs in 4.9 mm cell size and to offer them together with the matrices.
I got suggestions from Matias from Alicante, who used the 4.97mm MannLake combs and these were surprisingly well built by his large-cell bees.
This is described here.
Then came the idea to build them in real 4.9 mm.
Artificial comb still without wax coating:
(click to enlarge)
I think that the solid structure of the 2mm high cell walls forces the bees somewhat to keep this cell size, because they cannot plain them down.
(click to enlarge)
The advantages of the artificial honeycombs against the HSC:
– on the one hand the cell density is correct, because we really have 49mm per 10 cells. In the case of the HSC, this is different due to the thick cell walls. In that case the individual cells are 4.9mm, but through the thick cell walls we reach 55mm per 10 cells with the HSC combs.
And greater cell density means higher incubation temperature, which means a considerably shorter incubation time, which is a decisive advantage over the mites.
Thus you can leave these artificial combs with real 4.9mm also longer in the hive, if necessary.
– another advantage is that the artificial combs have the Ys and the 3 rhombs at the cell bottom. This is not the case with the HSC. Thus, the natural comb arrangement can also be used.
This is how the artificial comb of 4,9mm looks like:
10 cells measure between 48.8 and 49mm.
Cell wall height: 2mm
Cell wall thickness: 0.5mm
Size of artificial comb: 40,7cm x 19,3cm x 0,45cm
3 rhombs on the bottom of the cells, like in natural bee cells
coated with wax and some Lemongrass oil for better acceptance