Buckbee drew the line at what he calls the travesty of a hive - the Langstroth, which consists of movable frames and foundation.
Nobody is disputing movable frames, not even Buckbee.
Have you ever seen a Ware hive or a top bar hive?
I believe they have been discussed on this forum.
They both use top bars, not frames, and they do not use foundation, but use starter strips or beads of wax as a starter.
Top bars are movable, but they are not moved around within the hive or to/from another hive.
They are moved for inspection, but are put back in the same order.
Ahh! Okay. I am new to the forum and haven't read all the current topics, much less old posts. Actually, yes, I have seen hives like that. And bee-gums that used top-bars. In Thailand I met a guy who kept Apis cerana
, and used those. He was selling beautiful round-edged honey-filled combs, still on the bars, letting buyers pick the comb they wanted like it at a fruit-stand.
Actually, I have done it in my own (perfectly standard ten-frame Langstroth) hives in order to produce comb-honey. Just as you say, by drawing a bead of wax along the center of the top bar of a standard frame and putting it in without bothering to assemble the rest of the frame. Or by viciously breaking the foundation out of an old frame and putting it in empty, actually. I use those plastic frames with the moulded-in plastic foundation for extraction and get jewel-pretty chunks of comb-honey from foundationless frames or top bars, cutting them to fit whatever clear plastic boxes I can get cheaply and setting them on cake-racks to let the honey from the edges drain off before packaging. This looks better and is cheaper and easier to do than using 'Hogg Half-frame' or those rounds that you can get for producing comb honey -- those things are pricy and bees seldom fill them all up properly for a perfect display. Plus my bees love to stick propolis all over the edges of them, and scraping it off is more work than cutting comb.
Interesting, about moving the frames about. I usually don't. I never really thought about why, I guess intuition said it would disorient and annoy the bees. Often they do not build on the outside frames and I will swap them into the two middle spaces, but I've never rearranged the whole thing in one go.
I also, from time to time, scrape old wax off from places where the cells are empty in the brood-chamber, or completely off an extracted frame. I've never scorched, lyed or disinfected, but I've also never had more than three or four hives at a time. I've been keeping bees for maybe fifteen years (if I try to avoid counting the gaps when I didn't have bees), but I am lazy about it and keep it simple -- I let them have as many drones as they care to make, I seldom try to prevent swarms and instead just let the supersedure take place and hope (usually fruitlessly) to catch the swarm. I tried, one year, to destroy drone-cells and unwanted queen-cells, but it seemed to make the bees unhappy and reduce production. I seldom open the hives at all, really, instead pressing my ear to the outside and tapping. If they sound happy to me, I leave them alone. If they sound angry (or object to my presence beside the hive) I look to see what's wrong. I feed them in the spring to build them up before the honey-flow. I have never had disease. I've had varolla mites, lost hives during hard winters, and had the county kill them by spraying for rag-weed, but that's it. I consider my lack of disease to be part good luck and part because I live in a remoteish area.
Daddys Girl -- I have observed two feral colonies. One was mostly exposed, on a peice of overhang on a rock face. It lived about two years from the time I noticed it when it was already as big a wax construction as it was when it died. It was probably a winter kill, though the site is so sheltered that the beautiful curving combs are still there, many years later. The other was inside a family crypt in a cemetary and also lived about two years, but I suspect the groundskeeper killed it. He would not allow me to take it away because he justifiably felt that would be disturbing a body. He was agreeable about leaving it alone (its entrance was a gap between the stone walls and the roof, sending the bee-traffic up well above people's heads so nobody noticed it) but he may have had to poison it for the next funeral. I never asked. It may have succumbed on its own, what with the airless and probably damp conditions.