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Poll
Question: I've tried foundationless frames and:
I'm glad I did - 39 (79.6%)
I regret I did - 10 (20.4%)
Total Voters: 47


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Author Topic: Satisfaction poll: foundationless frames  (Read 8177 times)
Michael Bush
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« on: October 12, 2008, 11:41:26 AM »

There has been much discussion on such subjects.  I'm trying to get a feel for how people who have tried it feel about it.  I'm not asking if it's the greatest thing ever or if you decided not to do it.  Just whether or not you're glad you tried it, or you regret trying it.  Although you can feel free to discuss those other details.  Consider it a simple "customer" satisfaction survey.
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2008, 05:56:23 PM »

I'm glad I tried it, but I think I will be using starter strips in the future. Almost invariably, the combs were not built straight. Of course, it may have helped to place them between frames of drawn comb, but since I didn't have any, that would have proved very difficult. ::smirk::
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2008, 08:09:02 PM »

I haven't done a lot ,but they have drawn these as straight as foundation frames on average.
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2008, 01:26:57 AM »

I consider the starter strips as foundationless frames. I just have perhaps 1" starter strip.  Anyway it is working for me.
The bees have done a wonderful job of drawing out the comb nice and straight.
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JP
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« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008, 01:30:32 AM »

Am glad I do it, allows bees to regress and draw what they want to.


...JP
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2008, 06:36:48 AM »

I would consider anything other than full sheets of foundation, foundationless.  The bees are building their own comb.  Starter strips are just one variation of comb guides.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2008, 01:06:18 PM »

I've tried it all, and glad I did, it is educational and fun.  But it is just one option I use among many.  It isn't ever going to be a primary option for me, but I'll probably always have a few boxes and frames of foundationless frames/comb around.  Mostly for honey supers.

Rick
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2008, 04:27:34 PM »

Michael, you forgot an option on your poll: those considering it. grin  I'm giving it a try in the spring.
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« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2008, 08:57:21 PM »

Will foundationless come apart in an extractor?
your friend,
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2008, 10:13:30 PM »

Will foundationless come apart in an extractor?
your friend,
john

Only if the wax is still green (new & soft).  Once it's a month or more old there shouldn't be any problems....as long as your extractor doesn't walk.
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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2008, 10:41:11 PM »

I love using the starter strip frames.  I do usually have one frame full or mostly full of foundation (I have shallow foundation in medium frames)

The bees build it happily.  I haven't found it to be a problem for them except when there is a problem in the hive in some other way such as a failing or bad queen.  Usually the cross built comb means I didn't put in a sheet of foundation in the center somewhere to help guide them or they have some other problem of which the cross comb is only one (rather blatant) symptom.

I don't think I'll ever buy foundation again except with the plan of cutting it up for starter strips.  I must say that popsicle sticks don't work for me - I must not understand how to install them as comb guides.

Linda T in Atlanta
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« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2008, 11:41:29 AM »

I choose "I regret I did" because for me it was a disaster in the honey supers. This was my second year of trying it and I will go back to wireless foundation next year for my honey crop, I'm not fond of the crush and strain method.  Smiley

I did have good results using starter strips in the brood chambers and will continue to use it there. I cut out every other frame of old black wax in the bottom deep after and let them rebuild it. Since the bottom deeps have been mostly empty in the spring I reversed them which if kept up should find me replacing all the brood nest frames every four years. So far I have not had a problem with crooked or fat frames, just nicely built natural wax.
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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2008, 08:25:25 AM »

I tried it this year with the fat craft sticks. Other than one or two frames, they came out great.  I glue the sticks into the frame.  I've tried it previously with starter strips.  Sometimes during the summer the starter strips will warp and sometimes even fall out of the frame.  I've had more garbage comb built with starter strips too.  I am planning on converting the remainder of my brood boxes to the foundationless frames until I can get enough cash together to go to the small cell permacomb.  I still plan on using small cell foundation in the supers.
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« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2008, 08:51:54 AM »

Quote
I'm not asking if it's the greatest thing ever or if you decided not to do it.  Just whether or not you're glad you tried it, or you regret trying it.

I didn't vote because I don't see the point of this survey.  The way it is stated is really irrelevant to foundationless frames, but more of are you glad you try things for yourself.   I've tried many of things that where complete failures and would never do them again, but did I regret doing them?  Absolutely not.  Even when things are failures,  you learn and it adds to your experience.

This is perhaps a good example of how misleading surveys can be.   WOW, 99% of people are glad they tried _________ (fill in the blank).  Is that any indication they where happy with the results?
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JP
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« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2008, 09:15:38 AM »

Quote
I'm not asking if it's the greatest thing ever or if you decided not to do it.  Just whether or not you're glad you tried it, or you regret trying it.

I didn't vote because I don't see the point of this survey.  The way it is stated is really irrelevant to foundationless frames, but more of are you glad you try things for yourself.   I've tried many of things that where complete failures and would never do them again, but did I regret doing them?  Absolutely not.  Even when things are failures,  you learn and it adds to your experience.

This is perhaps a good example of how misleading surveys can be.   WOW, 99% of people are glad they tried _________ (fill in the blank).  Is that any indication they where happy with the results?

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.


...JP
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« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2008, 12:46:33 PM »

I am really pleased with foundationless in most cases and empty frames with popsicle stick guides are now my default choice.

However, I have a couple hives of "special" bees that just will not draw straight comb on foundationless frames.  They will draw about four inches straight and then curve off to alternate sides, every time.  So, I keep giving them plastic, which they still screw up, but not as badly as foundationless.

I like it for aesthetic reasons, as well as practical:

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BenC
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« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2008, 12:51:19 PM »

Quote
I'm not asking if it's the greatest thing ever or if you decided not to do it.  Just whether or not you're glad you tried it, or you regret trying it.

I didn't vote because I don't see the point of this survey.  The way it is stated is really irrelevant to foundationless frames, but more of are you glad you try things for yourself.   I've tried many of things that where complete failures and would never do them again, but did I regret doing them?  Absolutely not.  Even when things are failures,  you learn and it adds to your experience.

This is perhaps a good example of how misleading surveys can be.   WOW, 99% of people are glad they tried _________ (fill in the blank).  Is that any indication they where happy with the results?


I didn't vote for the same reason.  If this is to be a customer satisfaction survey, what was the product/service and who was the seller?  Please rephrase the question.  
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2008, 08:35:28 PM »

There is no "product" just a method that I like.  But I have heard some criticism for suggesting "non standard" practices.  I was curious how many people were actually unhappy about choosing to use them.  Seems like all the people who voted that they regretted it, were using them in the brood nest or using starter strips, which I would consider foundationless.  Just checking to see if the people trying it were having the same success as I am.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2008, 11:29:15 PM »

Please define "success" and how you can attribute such success to a foundationless system.  I can say that I do not discriminate based upon whether a practice is standard or non-standard- to do so would be foolish, prohibitive of growth.  I am always experimenting with one thing or another, and choose to implement into my regular management techniques that work for me (or more appropriately, things that work for bees under my management).  I encourage others to do the same.  On the issue of foundationless frames, certainly they can serve a purpose but at the same time I don't use them exclusively.  The primary reason I find for going "foundationless" is to cut upfront costs.  When I cut a sheet of foundation diagonally and use the resulting two pieces as starter strips in frames I have effectively cut the cost of foundation in half, while at the same time ensuring that at least half of the frame will be drawn out in the cell size that I would like.  Unfortunately, as I mentioned it only helps with upfront costs.  There are times when the bees will draw bad comb which must be culled- excessive drone or storage comb.  That's an opportunity cost as their efforts could have been better focused on other tasks.  I feel that those who have tried experimentation and have not achieved the results they had hoped for simply need to accept the fact that sometimes things don't work out and chalk it up to another learning experience, not necessarily a loss.  Am I glad I have tried it (foundationless)?  Yes.  Will I continue to experiment with it?  Yes.  Is it the "be-all end-all?  No.  Am I satisfied?  I don't know how to answer that.  You wrote "consider it a customer satisfaction survey" so I must respond...  If you are asking whether or not you should continue to attempt to inspire methods of innovative thinking among beekeepers, I would have to say Please Do, I enjoy reading your posts.  If you are asking whether you should continue to promote awareness of the possibility of a foundation-free hive- please do, it inspires the "non-standard" experimentation that may result in innovation.  I'm still not going to vote in your poll, so take this post for whatever you make of it.

Ben
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« Reply #19 on: October 16, 2008, 05:47:32 AM »

its not really a big deal, this is the way it use to be done, its nothing new, it might be to new beekeepers and good for people to try just in case they end up with less foundation than they need and can use strips for that reason, other than that I dont care to use them in brood chamber unless I have to or I will use them if no cut-comb-foundation for cut-comb honey. people in these rooms have said the bee's draw out strips or foundation less frames faster than frames with foundation, I tried this a few times last few years and have yet to see this, I have seen when mixed up in a hive (strips and foundation) the bee's will pass over the strips to draw the full foundation, I seen this a few times. guest I just see foundation as the best thing for me.   
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