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Author Topic: Question: Natural comb in supers?  (Read 2907 times)
JoelinGA
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« on: June 12, 2008, 11:05:24 AM »


 I've already got both my hives setup with deeps using beeswax foundation. Too late to change that now (I have plans to make the switch to mediums and go with natural comb next year!).

 But I have yet to put my supers on, is it still possible to go foundationless with my supers, I'm planning on going the crush and strain route with getting the honey. Wasn't sure if it would confuse the bees any since the rest of the hive they have been using foundation.

 Also does it matter where you leave the one frame with foundation to help the bees build from the top down?

 Thanks!

 Joel
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2008, 02:36:16 AM »


 I've already got both my hives setup with deeps using beeswax foundation. Too late to change that now (I have plans to make the switch to mediums and go with natural comb next year!).

Not too late, beside a deep box can come in handy once in a while,  I have a couple deep nucs that I use for holding 1 gallon cans when feeding.

 {quote]But I have yet to put my supers on, is it still possible to go foundationless with my supers, I'm planning on going the crush and strain route with getting the honey. Wasn't sure if it would confuse the bees any since the rest of the hive they have been using foundation.[/quote]

Drawing comb without foundation is more natural to the bees than using foundation is.  For your frames just use a wax strip 5 cells wide as a starter strip or insert popsicle sticks into the grooves of the top bar to form a guide.  Actually foundation is more confusing to the bees than starter strips or guides.

 
Quote
Also does it matter where you leave the one frame with foundation to help the bees build from the top down?

 Thanks!

 Joel

You can use a sheet of foundation but it;s not necessary if a starter strip or guide is used. Bees do not build foundation from the top down, they draw foundation hither, thither, and yawn, or if you prefer, helter skelter.  They do draw starter strips and guides from the top down because they can festoon along the top bar, something they can't do with foundation.
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eri
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2008, 11:17:12 AM »

It is not my intention to hijack this thread, but I have the same questions as joelin, and I've been thinking about exactly what to do for days. I'm a little afraid of going foundationless, but then again, I'm a little afraid of any method since I know none, and I figure some ignorance = some bliss as I feel my way through this.

I have a 10-frame medium to use as a super, not planning to harvest it. I bought traditional wax foundation but have not yet installed it. I am thinking about removing the wedges from frames and nailing them to the bottom of the top bar of the frame, turned 90 degrees. I also thought about putting an inverted triangle of foundation in one to three of the middle frames, tacking the small end to the bottom wedge. I was thinking the top of the foundation should go all the way across the bar, but Brian suggests 5 cells wide, and, I assume, a straight strip (how deep?), not triangular. I also think I'm probably overthinking this (in fact, I have a headache from all the reading and re-reading I've done in the past few days), but does the triangle thing have any merit as a guide? Currently I have 2 deeps, so I can't pull a frame of drawn comb to put in the medium super. And I'm not clear whether some foundation is better than no foundation. Help!



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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2008, 06:45:09 PM »

In deep brood boxes I just use starter strips (waxed in) or wax coated popcicle sticks ( nailed in )takes about 2 3/4 per frame . BUT in honey supers I use 2 full foundation frames to help guide theyr comb building so it looks like ss/ss/ss ss/ fs /ss/fs ss/ss/ss when center frame is 3/4 build move to outside of  the full sheet and put starter strip in between the 2 full sheets .When pulling capped honey I arange drawn comb alternating with starter strips
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2008, 10:34:55 PM »

Quote
I was thinking the top of the foundation should go all the way across the bar, but Brian suggests 5 cells wide, and, I assume, a straight strip (how deep?), not triangular.

5 cells in depth, the wax strip runs the length of the frame.  Cut your foundation into strips (longwise) 5 cells wide.  You should get 9-10 strips per sheet of deep foundation.
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eri
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2008, 09:51:15 AM »

5 cells in depth, the wax strip runs the length of the frame.  Cut your foundation into strips (longwise) 5 cells wide.  You should get 9-10 strips per sheet of deep foundation.

Doh! I'm directionally challenged -- hope those vibes don't transfer to my bees! Thanks for the clarification.
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And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.
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Ken
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2008, 07:20:56 AM »

Bees know how to build their own foundation.Give them a chance. Heres a frame placed in a hive with nothing on it.It was placed between two drawn frames.I have had bees drawing good wax without placing between drawn frames.
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justgojumpit
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« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2008, 06:10:07 PM »

That's a beautiful frame.  I love the color and tenderness of newly made wax.  Truly a work of art!

justgojumpit
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Irwin
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2008, 07:07:08 AM »

Hey Ken I don't see any wire is that going to be for cut comb honey.
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