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Author Topic: Thumbs up for foundationless!  (Read 4814 times)
Bill W.
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« on: July 13, 2008, 05:32:15 PM »

I started my beekeeping with a hive package and it came with plastic foundation, so as I've expanded I've continued to use it.  Some large cell and some small cell, but it all worked about the same.

Later I got some wax foundation as part of a used gear buy and it seemed to work about as well.

A couple weeks ago I started to run out of gear.  Between splits, swarms, and a couple cut-outs now, I'm at 13 hives, which is more than I ever planned to run.  Anyway, I had picked up a swarm and realized I was all out of foundation, so I figured this was a good time to try foundationless.  I picked up a large bag of popsicle sticks and glued them into the groove at the tops of some empty frames, installed them to either side of my remaining two plastic frames, dumped the bees in and hoped for the best.

Today I found they have nearly drawn all of the foundationless frames and just drawn some burr comb here and there on the plastic.  Not only did they draw the foundationless much faster, they obviously significantly prefer it to the plastic.

So, I'll experiment some more to make sure this holds true for other hives, but I can't image wasting more money on foundation in the future if the bees react like this.

Of course, this is a medium.  I haven't tried with a deep yet and it seems like that may be more fragile.
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2008, 05:51:07 PM »

I use deeps sams thing . Welcome to natural comb-keeping. Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2008, 11:02:55 PM »

Once you go foundationless you never go back.  Welcome to more natural beekeeping.
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2008, 07:54:59 AM »

  Can you explain to me how to go foundationless?  I do not want a comb mess and I am unsure how to start.  Waht do you do about the honey supers?


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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2008, 08:57:14 AM »

Honey supers and brood boxes work the same way.  You give them empty frames with some type of center guide.  Some people use popsicle sticks glued in the top groove.  I prefer to cut a bevel on my top bars using the table saw.  Anything that creates the center guide usually works.  You could break out the wedge, turn it sideways, and glue/nail it back in as well.  Just make sure it's secure.  That's what all of your comb in attached to.  That's why I prefer mine attached solidly to the bar itself.
http://www.myoldtools.com/Bees/frames/

I use the middle style now.
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2008, 08:58:11 AM »

The simplest way is to put an empty frame between 2 capped frames.  You will likely get a nice beautiful straight frame of drone comb.  If its filled with honey, then who cares?  The problem is the queen will crawl through the pits of hell to get up to empty drone comb.  She'll even go through boxes of capped honey!!  If you don't like brood in your supers then you will need excluders.

Other than that method, usually you will have a guide of some kind, whether that is just a thin strip or wax or wood, or a "V" peice of wood on the bottom of the top bar.

I have some and it seems to work well, the bees will draw the empty space better, but I still prefer plastic even with its downsides.

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So, I'll experiment some more to make sure this holds true for other hives, but I can't image wasting more money on foundation in the future if the bees react like this.
 That is why I like plastic...spend once, reuse many. Smiley

Rick
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« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2008, 09:08:22 PM »

  Does foundationless promote drone comb?  Will they build regular brood comb?


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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2008, 09:11:34 PM »

how do you process foundationless honey comb?
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Bill W.
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« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2008, 09:21:03 PM »

Crush and strain.  I don't have an extractor, so even with my plastic, I do scrape and strain.

I'm not really set up to keep a bunch of drawn comb around, so I prefer to scrape everything down for the winter and let them draw it again next year.  I'm sure that probably lowers my yields, but this is a hobby for me and I produced more honey than I knew what to do with at two hives.  With my current numbers, I'm going to have to make mead or something just to get rid of the stuff.  Wink
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« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2008, 09:45:29 PM »

Man I had a different conclusion to my attempt at foundation less frames. I put some in a few hives and the bees drew them out quickly but they are huge sized cells. And the queen is laying in them. I must have 5 or 6 full drone frames out of the 10 foundation less frames I put in. One hive built the comb down to the bottom but not on the one side. There they extend the neighboring frame over into the foundation less frames space so when I pull the foundation less frame I ripped a bunch of come apart and made a mess. I basically decided that the cost of foundation is not that bad compared to the mess and hassle of pulling drone frames that I dont want in there. Sad
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2008, 08:32:03 AM »

  Does foundationless promote drone comb?
Yes and No.   If you have all worker size foundation when you start with a foundationless frame thren yes they will build drone comb.   The bees like to manage drone population and when they are given the oppurtunity to build comb,  they will  build drone comb until they are satisfied they have enough.

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Will they build regular brood comb?
Yes, once they have enough drone comb.

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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2008, 08:36:41 AM »

I've also noticed that what they draw out as storage comb for honey is drone comb sized(less wax needed?).  Then the queen will get up there given half a chance.

The hives that I started out as swarms on empty frames drew that out nicely.  But I don't get that opportunity all that often.  Most of the time it is replacing combs, and then it doesn't work very well.

-r
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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2008, 08:38:59 AM »

Man I had a different conclusion to my attempt at foundation less frames. I put some in a few hives and the bees drew them out quickly but they are huge sized cells. And the queen is laying in them. I must have 5 or 6 full drone frames out of the 10 foundation less frames I put in. One hive built the comb down to the bottom but not on the one side. There they extend the neighboring frame over into the foundation less frames space so when I pull the foundation less frame I ripped a bunch of come apart and made a mess. I basically decided that the cost of foundation is not that bad compared to the mess and hassle of pulling drone frames that I dont want in there. Sad

Greg,  I believe your experience is more the norm.  Yes you can get good comb from foundationless,  but it is a lot trickier than some proponents of it would have you believe.  I think a lot of folks have similar experience as you (I know I do) but feel "they" are at fault so don't discuss it.   There are the good and bad with both, but you are likely to get more consistent results with foundation,  especially those without years of experience with foundationless.
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2008, 08:59:33 AM »

I'll say this again for those that don't listen.  I have been 100% foundationless for 5 years.  I made over 40 gallons of honey this year.  I haven't lost a hive in several years.  It works.  It takes a while to get your hives in balance, but the bees will manage it.  So they draw drone comb, so what.  It's great for extracting.  So the queen lays in it, so what.  They need drones.  Don't you ever need to get a supercedure queen mated?  How are they going to do that if everybody prevents drones.  It's called natural beekeeping.  It has worked for eons.  Just slide the drone comb to edges or move it up to the supers and let the bees work.
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2008, 10:37:39 AM »

Well, we're all used to dealing with a particular set of problems and the set of problems you know how to deal with generally seems preferable to the one you don't know how to deal with.

I may try foundationless in other hives and get poorer results, but I'm definitely ready to give it a try after my first experience.
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« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2008, 11:11:32 AM »

Is going foundationless as simple as installing a package of bees into a new hive with 10 starter-strip style frames? I like the idea of less expense and more natural comb. Plus there's the opportunity for smaller cells (though it's not clear to me if package bees are capable of building small cells--it seems not?). But that seems way too easy; just throw 'em in and let 'em build comb.
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« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2008, 11:33:35 AM »

Is going foundationless as simple as installing a package of bees into a new hive with 10 starter-strip style frames?
Best case yes.  But chances are you will run into snafus along the way.

Quote
I like the idea of less expense and more natural comb. Plus there's the opportunity for smaller cells (though it's not clear to me if package bees are capable of building small cells--it seems not?).
Large cell bees must be regressed which takes a few steps.  They will build smaller comb, but not 4.9 or "natural" sized comb the first shot.  You will probably get 5.1 or so.

Quote
But that seems way too easy; just throw 'em in and let 'em build comb.

Frame placement, guides, weather/flow, bee tendencies, etc all play a part in how the comb turns out.  Foundation was invented to give the bees a footprint to build upon to get consistent results.   Give then free range and results will vary.
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« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2008, 12:24:36 PM »

i had pretty mixed results with those that i let go foundationless.  swarm hives did pretty well.  cutouts did not.  added supers to last years hives were mixed in results.  i am sure that weather and nectar flow played a big part.  don't think i'll try fully foundationless next year.  i will probably mix foundation and strips.   this seemed to give the best results this year.  i don't really care about small cell, as there have been no good studies that prove it as a good control for mites.  genetics seem far more important.
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« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2008, 12:40:38 PM »

I just did that on May 17. I placed my new package of bees into a medium super with mostly all foundationless starter strip frames. I say mostly because I placed 2 frames in there that were drawn out already as a guide for them. This helps them to make straighter combs. It worked out great in the first super, but when I added the next super,I forgot to place any guides and they drew out the combs into the next frames over. I have been trying to fix this mess since then.

As long as they have even one frame in the middle as a guide, they seem to do very well.

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« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2008, 12:59:45 PM »

Oh, I'm listening just fine... grin

It can work, it just takes some different expectations and different management techniques, neither of which I'm comfortable with right now.  I have enough drones in my hives to mate all of the swarm queens in the county, thanks to the foundationless frames in my hives. 

If I move the drone comb to the outsides of the boxes and put an empty frame in the middle, then those drones hatch on the outside, they fill that with honey, and then draw the new frame in the middle as all drone comb!

Now the few swarms that I put on all foundationless they drew out very nice.  Although there were a few that fell out because they weren't wired...

I have plenty of supers with foundationless frames, all large comb.  I don't like to get a full frame of brood up in the supers.  Doesn't hurt all that much, but I don't like it.

I find it much easier to use foundation.  I like nice straight comb if possible, and some foundationless is straight, but more is wavy or irregular than the foundation comb.

Those are my experiences.  I'm glad it works for some, and it works somewhat for me, but it isn't my preference.

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« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2008, 01:49:04 PM »

You can get just as wavy a comb with foundation.  If it's plastic it can be much worse.  Along with maybe straighter comb, you contamination from the pesticides in the wax foundation.  There numerous reports that document that.  Bees will also chew down foundation to make room for drone if they need it.  They will also chew out drawn drone comb and rework it to worker size if they need it.  If you try running a hive all foundationless for a year, you will end up with a balanced hive, not all drone, and they will be healthier. The bees don't try to meet your expectations, but they will meet their own one way or another.  How many wild hives have you seen that are all drone?  By the way, starter strips (imprinted wax) are not foundationless in my book.  They still force the bees to start with an unnatural cell size. 
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« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2008, 02:20:04 PM »

as always, we exchange ideas and go with what works for us.  there are probably many things that go into how bees draw frames.  perhaps my cutouts were sloppy because the orientation of their hive was so dramatically changed.  perhaps the frames were not drawn out well in some hive because the flow here has been less than wonderful.  perhaps i have some lazy bees smiley.  my results with all foundationless were not what i wanted, so in the future i will either use foundation or use some foundation as a guide.

it is good to share ideas....with the understanding that we all need to find our own management style.
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« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2008, 04:07:24 PM »

Here's what I did.

When I did the cutouts I banded in the brood comb to the frames. I then placed frames with starter strips around those. There was some that messed it up. Some turned out good. Then I started taking the wedge from the frames off and melting wax onto them. I would then staple them onto the frame, turned so the edge hung down a bit. This would be whole boxes of these. Nothing else. And they have so far drawn them out great. They have taken care of their drone comb needs in the brood area with all the starter strips and empty space. 
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« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2008, 04:40:33 PM »

I love being foundationless.

I started beekeeping this year and have never used foundation so no transitioning for me Wink but from what I can see:

1) foundationless is way easier on a beekeeper. Its cake to just  throw popsicle sticks in the groove and assemble and throw the super together. No messing with foundation or cutting it to size

2) the bees figure it out real fast. I threw a 5 frame nuc into a deep with 5 foundationless frames and they filled them all in under two weeks. Its taken them about a month to almost fill the second deep with was all foundationless frames (I did pull one filled frame from the bottom deep to put in there so they had something to climb). I'm putting on a super tommorrow cause they need more to do Wink

3) there is research saying natural comb may help keep mites and moths and all that away. I figure why not try it, even if it helps just a little, its worth it.

4) its beautiful, natural comb is really, really beautiful. When compared to the 5 frames my bees came on, the natural comb just looks so much prettier. Smiley

5) I haven't had a honey harvest yet, but I would assume its easier to harvest comb honey when there is no foundation. I can just cut it out and replace empties and my girls will rebuild Wink

6) its getting away from mans modifications on beehives and letting bees do their thing the way God intended

so yeah I'm right there with ya, foundationless rocks!

something I was told when I started and don't see posted here though, is that you really want to make sure your hive is level if you go foundationless.

Ok I'm out Wink
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« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2008, 04:51:51 PM »

Started with plastic foundation last year.  Had trouble last year and this year too.  2 weeks ago, decided to go foundationless (or start at least).  I alternated frames of foundationless with undrawn foundation and drawn comb both (as guides, in addition to popcicle sticks on top).  Already have drawn out almost all of the frames.  And we're not in much of a flow here.  Seems as though I can't get them to draw on foundation (plastic anyhow) unless the population is exploding and we are at the height of a flow.

Best of luck,
Derrick
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« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2008, 09:36:07 PM »

I've also noticed that what they draw out as storage comb for honey is drone comb sized(less wax needed?).  Then the queen will get up there given half a chance.

The hives that I started out as swarms on empty frames drew that out nicely.  But I don't get that opportunity all that often.  Most of the time it is replacing combs, and then it doesn't work very well.

-r

Storage comb is actually larger than drone comb.  The way to work foundationless is to pull the odd sized frames to the outside (drone & storage) so they build worker brood comb in the center of the hive.  In a brood box the size of naturally drawn comb in my 8 frame hives will be S D W W W W D S for a 10 frame configuration just add 2 more worker frames.
You should notice that foundationless comb built in honey supers are usually larger than either the drone or worker cells. 
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« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2008, 11:02:44 PM »

You can get just as wavy a comb with foundation.  If it's plastic it can be much worse.  Along with maybe straighter comb, you contamination from the pesticides in the wax foundation.  There numerous reports that document that.  Bees will also chew down foundation to make room for drone if they need it.  They will also chew out drawn drone comb and rework it to worker size if they need it.  If you try running a hive all foundationless for a year, you will end up with a balanced hive, not all drone, and they will be healthier. The bees don't try to meet your expectations, but they will meet their own one way or another.  How many wild hives have you seen that are all drone?  By the way, starter strips (imprinted wax) are not foundationless in my book.  They still force the bees to start with an unnatural cell size. 

The starter strips I use are small cell size because I do want them to draw out smaller cells.
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« Reply #27 on: July 16, 2008, 12:53:15 AM »

I found a good use for my black plastic foundation.  I removed all of my plastic and used a band saw to cut it into 1/2 inch starter strips.  They press fit into the top groves of my wooden frames and require no glue or fasteners.  They only require a little tapping from a rubber mallet.  It doesn't get much easier than that.  With just 2 medium frames of the plastic I can make strips for 10 frames.  Now I'm just wondering what I'm going to do with the other 60 or so sheets of plastic.

The only real problem with foundation less I've seen is that when the flow peters out and they've only got a honey super half drawn out they need to be checked so they don't make wonky thick comb on the outer most drawn frame.  They don't do this every time.  Just occasionally.
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« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2008, 12:56:23 AM »

Why cut it up for all the hives you WILL have of course!! rolleyes  Jody
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« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2008, 10:29:37 AM »

As I continue to move towards foundationless, seems as though the bees will determine what size cells they need.
Most of my hives are in deeps with plastic foundation.  How do I convert to foundationless without disturbing current stores and brood.  Should I wait until they move up during the winter, and then replace the current frames when there aren't any stores or brood in the brood chamber (hives moved up/out of deeps when I inspected early spring/late winter this year.  I'd like to also convert to all mediums too, but not sure what plan of action I should take.

Thanks,
Derrick
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« Reply #30 on: July 16, 2008, 10:43:50 AM »

The starter strips I use are small cell size because I do want them to draw out smaller cells.

This is the biggest misconception there is with starter strips.  The strip have no effect on the size the bees build once they have passed the strip.  If this where the case, you would have no drone cells and those not using foundation for starter strips would have no cells.   Don't waste your money paying a premium for small cell foundation to use as starter strips.  Actually don't waste your money on buy foundation for starter strips.


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« Reply #31 on: July 16, 2008, 10:49:15 PM »

Yes Robo, you are correct about this. I have noticed that they draw out whatever they want. I can use any strip of wax or none at all, but I think it works better if they have a guide.
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« Reply #32 on: July 16, 2008, 10:54:43 PM »

ok. I'm new. I'm confused.  Want to go with 8 frame mediums in the spring.  Foundationless sounds good to me.  What are these frames people are talking about putting in to help guide the bees build straight comb. Are they frames of built out comb on foundation?  If so, won't they be laying in them, and then how do you remove them after the fact?
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« Reply #33 on: July 16, 2008, 10:55:53 PM »

As I continue to move towards foundationless, seems as though the bees will determine what size cells they need.
Most of my hives are in deeps with plastic foundation.  How do I convert to foundationless without disturbing current stores and brood.  Should I wait until they move up during the winter, and then replace the current frames when there aren't any stores or brood in the brood chamber (hives moved up/out of deeps when I inspected early spring/late winter this year.  I'd like to also convert to all mediums too, but not sure what plan of action I should take.

Thanks,
Derrick

I also started with plastic foundation and what I have been doing is adding in foundationless frames between frames of brood. I mostly did this in the Spring time when they were making brood like crazy and I was sure they had enough bees to fill in the space. Slowly, slowly the plastic is being replaced with natural wax combs. Even now I still place a few frames of foundationless here and there in the brood area, but it gets drawn out slower now, due to the flow being over.

On my new package which I started May 17, I placed them on all foundationless.

Good Luck
Annette
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« Reply #34 on: July 16, 2008, 11:09:40 PM »

Did you use popsicle sticks, or a wedge on the bottom of the top bar, or another method?  Does one use foundationless just in the brood box or also in the honey supers?  Seems to me foundation in honey supers would be no big deal, or do the chemicals in the waxed foundation get in the honey? 

Barb
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« Reply #35 on: July 16, 2008, 11:25:20 PM »

Did you use popsicle sticks, or a wedge on the bottom of the top bar, or another method?  Does one use foundationless just in the brood box or also in the honey supers?  Seems to me foundation in honey supers would be no big deal, or do the chemicals in the waxed foundation get in the honey? 

Barb



Barb

I use empty frames and melt in a strip of beeswax about 1 inch width in to the frames to use as starter strips. The bees use this strip as a guide to start drawing out the wax combs and it helps them to make the combs nice and straight. I am using foundationless now for every thing. Brood supers and honey supers. I am just letting the bees be bees and do whatever they want to draw out.
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« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2008, 10:03:14 AM »

Pesky,

I'm a new beek in South Central Wisconsin (Westfield).  I installed my first two packages this April.  I started with 5.4 wired wax foundation and no drawn comb.  After getting Conrads book on Organic Beekeeping and reading a bunch of stuff on Michael Bush's web site, I decided to try the 5.1 starter strips.  I went ahead and replaced about half of my original 5.4 foundation with the 5.1 starter stips in the first hive body and the bees did a great job of drawing it out.  In the second hive body the 5.1 starte strips (1 to 2 inches) is all I used and they have done a great job with that too.  I then tried to go completely foundationless in my honey supers only to have the bees draw comb pretty much where they wanted.  I have been exchanging emails with Michael Bush on a regular basis and he told me to use one sheet of foundation in the cetner of the super to get them started.  So in my second honey super I added a full sheet at frame #5 and put starters of aboubt 1' in the rest. 

I also had a swarm from one of my hives som I'm letting it requeen itself (organic, etc) and have added a frame of brood from my strong hive.  The weak one seems to have plenty of stores  and bees so far but that could change in the next week or two.  Never did find the swarm!

GJP
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« Reply #37 on: July 17, 2008, 04:52:13 PM »

I then tried to go completely foundationless in my honey supers only to have the bees draw comb pretty much where they wanted. 

Did you have any kind of guide at all?
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« Reply #38 on: July 18, 2008, 10:27:57 PM »

As I continue to move towards foundationless, seems as though the bees will determine what size cells they need.

Yes they do.

Quote
Most of my hives are in deeps with plastic foundation.  How do I convert to foundationless without disturbing current stores and brood.  Should I wait until they move up during the winter, and then replace the current frames when there aren't any stores or brood in the brood chamber (hives moved up/out of deeps when I inspected early spring/late winter this year. 

That's as good of way as any.

Quote
I'd like to also convert to all mediums too, but not sure what plan of action I should take.

Thanks,
Derrick

Several ways to do this.  One is to reverse the box order on the hive and pull the deeps when empty, cut them down and replace.  The frames can also be cut down with the comb in place if desired.  Another is to wait until spring and remove the empty deeps, put any partial full of bees or stores atop the mediums and then move them up as you super, taking them off as harvest.  Then cut them down over winter.
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« Reply #39 on: July 19, 2008, 03:50:33 PM »

I used the wedges from my frames as a guide but the bees built most ot the comb from the bottom up.  That's why the suggestion to add on frame of foundation in slot 5 or six to give them a clue, I guess.  In my second honey super with the one full frame and starter strips, the bees are drawing out just fine (checked on them about an hour ago!).  I plan to crush and strain the first super in the next week or so. 

GJP
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« Reply #40 on: July 19, 2008, 06:38:52 PM »

>Is going foundationless as simple as installing a package of bees into a new hive with 10 starter-strip style frames?

Yes.

> I like the idea of less expense and more natural comb. Plus there's the opportunity for smaller cells (though it's not clear to me if package bees are capable of building small cells--it seems not?).

I've had many packages draw as small as 4.7mm on the first try.  Others won't and draw only as small as 5.0mm on the first try.

> But that seems way too easy; just throw 'em in and let 'em build comb.

Exactly.

>Frame placement, guides, weather/flow, bee tendencies, etc all play a part in how the comb turns out.

As do bees and how much they like your foundation (if you use it).

> Foundation was invented to give the bees a footprint to build upon to get consistent results.

It was designed to get consistent worker cells and no drones.

> Give then free range and results will vary.

Give them foundation and results will vary just as much.

>You can get just as wavy a comb with foundation.  If it's plastic it can be much worse.

Exactly.

>1) foundationless is way easier on a beekeeper. Its cake to just  throw popsicle sticks in the groove and assemble and throw the super together. No messing with foundation or cutting it to size

Lazy beekeeping at it's best.

>3) there is research saying natural comb may help keep mites and moths and all that away. I figure why not try it, even if it helps just a little, its worth it.

I doubt the moths will care, but my experience is it works on the Varroa.

>4) its beautiful, natural comb is really, really beautiful. When compared to the 5 frames my bees came on, the natural comb just looks so much prettier.

It is amazing isn't it.  And it's not contaminated.

>5) I haven't had a honey harvest yet, but I would assume its easier to harvest comb honey when there is no foundation. I can just cut it out and replace empties and my girls will rebuild

Works great for comb honey or for crush and strain.  Works fine for extracting if the wax isn't brand new.

>6) its getting away from mans modifications on beehives and letting bees do their thing the way God intended

Exactly.

>ok. I'm new. I'm confused.  Want to go with 8 frame mediums in the spring.  Foundationless sounds good to me.  What are these frames people are talking about putting in to help guide the bees build straight comb.

The bees need some kind of guide.  Many things work pretty well.  The traditional method was a beveled top bar (since Langstroth's time).  Starter strips got popular when they quit making the beveled top bars (which used to be standard equipment).  Popscicle sticks or paint sticks make a nice wooden starter strip.

> Are they frames of built out comb on foundation?  If so, won't they be laying in them, and then how do you remove them after the fact?

I don't understand the question.   They are frames with nothing in them but a guide at the top.

>Does one use foundationless just in the brood box or also in the honey supers?

I use them everywhere.

>  Seems to me foundation in honey supers would be no big deal, or do the chemicals in the waxed foundation get in the honey?

Chemicals get into everything, but most of what you find contaminating the foundation is lipophillic (loves fat) so it stays in the wax rather than moving into the honey.
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« Reply #41 on: August 20, 2008, 08:25:28 PM »

OK,

Not sure about what this popsicle method is. Can anyone show an actual pic or direct me to link about it??? I am at the stage here where I am trying to determine if I want to go foundatio or foundationless. I am an organic gardener and am inclined to keep plastics out of my hives so I am really interested in this popsicle idea.
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« Reply #42 on: August 20, 2008, 10:58:50 PM »

OK,

Not sure about what this popsicle method is. Can anyone show an actual pic or direct me to link about it??? I am at the stage here where I am trying to determine if I want to go foundatio or foundationless. I am an organic gardener and am inclined to keep plastics out of my hives so I am really interested in this popsicle idea.

No pics from me, heck I can't even get a camera to work right, keeps breaking everytime I point it in my direction.

Take 3 popsicle sticks lay them longwise end to end into the groove in the top bar and glue.  It works best if you run a line of glue along the groove and then slip the popsicle sticks.  Let it stand upside down for a few minutes until the glue gets tacky and you're done.
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« Reply #43 on: August 21, 2008, 08:45:24 AM »

Anything will work.  I just cut a bevel on mine, like the center frame.


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« Reply #44 on: August 21, 2008, 03:24:20 PM »

I harvested my first super about a week and a half ago and it was also my first attempt at foundationless.  I used the wood wedge as a guide but didn't give them a full frame or piece of foundation in the center so they did mess it up but I used crush and strain and it worked out fine.  I let the girls clean it up afterwards and the frames/super are in the shed waiting for next year.  They are doing a much better job drawing the second super with one frame of foundation in the 5 or 6 slot.  I'll probably move that super to my weak hive in a couple of weeks rather than harvest it to help out the new queen.

Greg
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