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Author Topic: Foundation pros and cons  (Read 17129 times)

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Foundation pros and cons
« Reply #80 on: December 10, 2007, 11:53:34 PM »
>If I am understanding correctly (which could be a big If), the whole issue of cell size/ regression has to do with the brood area and not the honey supers - true?

If there is a distinction between your supers and your brood (like a queen excluder) then it's true.  If there is not, then what is a super?

>If true, than it seems like any size could be used for the honey supers - true?

If you use an excluder (and I don't).

>So for my honey supers - can I just buy ten empty frames, perhaps put a starter strip on each one, and then put all ten in the super and then expect the bees to draw out ten frames of comb and fill them?

Of course.

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Offline Scadsobees

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Re: Foundation pros and cons
« Reply #81 on: December 11, 2007, 10:08:50 AM »
It is amazing that after all this discussion I could still have a question - but ...

If I am understanding correctly (which could be a big If), the whole issue of cell size/ regression has to do with the brood area and not the honey supers - true?

If true, than it seems like any size could be used for the honey supers - true?

Also, if he has no comb, then we are only talking about what kind of foundation (foundationless, wax, plastic) and not cell size or the benefits of using comb.  And it appears that everyone has an opinion :)

So, I am actually in the same situation, just starting out, no drawn comb to use.

So for my honey supers - can I just buy ten empty frames, perhaps put a starter strip on each one, and then put all ten in the super and then expect the bees to draw out ten frames of comb and fill them?


In fact, you can buy honey foundation that has LARGER cells than DRONES, supposedly it discourages the queen from laying in the supers.  Haven't tried it.

I've used foundationless in supers, and they draw it large, especially if you use foundation in the brood supers.  In that case, you want to get the queen excluder on pretty early after they start drawing comb to keep the queen out.  In fact, the queen will crawl over 2 or three full capped supers (contrary to conventional wisdom) to lay in drone comb.

Rick
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Offline Finsky

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Re: Foundation pros and cons
« Reply #82 on: December 11, 2007, 10:32:21 AM »

In fact, you can buy honey foundation that has LARGER cells than DRONES, supposedly it discourages the queen from laying in the supers.  Haven't tried it.

I've used foundationless in supers, and they draw it large, especially if you use foundation in the brood supers.  In that case, you want to get the queen excluder on pretty early after they start drawing comb to keep the queen out.  In fact, the queen will crawl over 2 or three full capped supers (contrary to conventional wisdom) to lay in drone comb.

Rick


That comb play makes only  beekeeping complex. It does not bring any advantage to beekeeping.

Main points are:

1) raise much workers for main yield.

2) Good queen gives much workers and give to it enough space laying area.
It prevents swarming. Swarming is yield enemy Nro 1

3) Put hives on good pastures. Pastures give the yield.


To play with different kind of cells doest not give more workers or honey or better pastures. It is so called MUDA like Japanese say: waste of process.

Brian says that don't worry about yield, but he has lost the star and does not remember, where. Only under developed people hunt big honey yields.



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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Foundation pros and cons
« Reply #83 on: December 11, 2007, 10:36:29 AM »
>In fact, you can buy honey foundation that has LARGER cells than DRONES, supposedly it discourages the queen from laying in the supers.

Actually I don't know of any.  You can get 7/11 from Walter T. Kelley which is about 5.6mm which is BETWEEN worker and drone.  You can get 6.0 from Honey Super Cell which is also between, but really is just the small end of drone sized, and you can get drone foundation which is 6.6mm.  I don't know of any over that.  I have my doubts you could get the bees to build anything over 7.0mm but, in my observation, they would view that as drone.

Michael Bush
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My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline Finsky

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Re: Foundation pros and cons
« Reply #84 on: December 11, 2007, 10:40:29 AM »
and you can get drone foundation which is 6.6mm.  I don't know of any over that. 

In Siberia 6,6 mm is this year's standard for workers. ( near Russian bees homearea)

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Offline Scadsobees

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Re: Foundation pros and cons
« Reply #85 on: December 11, 2007, 02:47:23 PM »
>In fact, you can buy honey foundation that has LARGER cells than DRONES, supposedly it discourages the queen from laying in the supers.

Actually I don't know of any.  You can get 7/11 from Walter T. Kelley which is about 5.6mm which is BETWEEN worker and drone.  You can get 6.0 from Honey Super Cell which is also between, but really is just the small end of drone sized, and you can get drone foundation which is 6.6mm.  I don't know of any over that.  I have my doubts you could get the bees to build anything over 7.0mm but, in my observation, they would view that as drone.

Sorry, my bad, I remember the discourage part but was assuming it was larger, thanks for clarifying.

See heading "specialty foundations":
http://www.beeculture.com/storycms/index.cfm?cat=Story&recordID=437
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Offline Finsky

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Re: Foundation pros and cons
« Reply #86 on: December 12, 2007, 05:52:32 AM »


A good tip

When you put foundations in frames make 10 mm gap between lower bar and foundation.
When foundation enlarges in the heat of hive, it do not twist  comb to curve.

I use to order the foundations which have cutted to proper size.

*********************

If you have only langstroth foundations and you have not time to get medium size, cut from langstroth proper size and hit two low parts together with hammer. It is just size of medium. Bees correct the joint.

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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Foundation pros and cons
« Reply #87 on: December 12, 2007, 11:40:05 PM »

That comb play makes only beekeeping complex. It does not bring any advantage to beekeeping.

Comb is the basic infrastructure of the hive, without it there is no place to reproduce or store food stuffs.  It is so basic that the bees can be induced to build it most anytime except during winter cluster.  The advantage it has is that it gives the beekeeper an easy way to gather honey and bee bread.

Quote
Main points are:

1) raise much workers for main yield.

2) Good queen gives much workers and give to it enough space laying area.
It prevents swarming. Swarming is yield enemy Nro 1

3) Put hives on good pastures. Pastures give the yield.

Agreed, and the easiest way to prevent swarming is to keep the bees building comb.  It's not fool proof but bees busy building combs are less likely to swarm as they're always in the process of enlarging their home.  When they stop enlarging, it gets crowded and they change to swarming to eleviate overpopulation in the hometown.

Good pastures is always the best solution to good harvest but the hardest thing to determine or maintain is good pastures.  there are so many variables that an exceptionally productive sight one year can be a disaster the next.  Weather extremes, crop choice, and urbanization are only 3 of the variable factors.

Quote
To play with different kind of cells doest not give more workers or honey or better pastures. It is so called MUDA like Japanese say: waste of process.

The bees naturally build 3 basic types of comb: brood, drone, and storage.  True all 3 can and are used for storage but why fixate on comb size.  Let the bees build what they need, when they need it.

Quote
Brian says that don't worry about yield, but he has lost the star and does not remember, where. Only under developed people hunt big honey yields.
 

Once again, Finsky, you've chosen to misunderstand what I've been saying.  For many people maximum honey yields are very important and necessary.  Picking productive pastures is only 1 of the things that accomplishes that.  Other things are managing the bees for swarm prevention, large brood productio 9more bees make more honey), and less stressful management of the bees.

For larger brood production the hive should be allowed as much room as the queen needs, which is why I don't use queen excluders or advocate their use except under certain circumstances.

To ease the stress within the hive: slatted racks, SBBs, type of entrance, and directional orientation of the hive are some of the types of things that reduce bearding (which is stressful and more work), provides natural airconditioning, uses natural instincts of bees to the beekeepers advantage, and even how early/late bees work.


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