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Author Topic: New package and small cell  (Read 1111 times)
josbees
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« on: January 28, 2009, 10:00:23 AM »

I'll be getting a new package or a NUC this spring to replace a failed colony.  I would like to start from the beginning with small cell foundation.  Is this possible?  If I go with the package, could I just dump the girls in the deep with the small cell and let them figure it out? 

I think I would prefer to go with the NUC, but then the change to small cell would have to be much more gradual, I'm guessing.
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oldenglish
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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2009, 10:39:01 AM »

Why not go foundationless and let the bees decide what they need, leave it to them and they will build "right sized" cell.
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josbees
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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2009, 11:05:04 AM »

So I'd just pour them in to deep with empty frames in it? 
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Big John
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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2009, 12:20:14 PM »

I would use a starter strip on the frames and a sheet of small foundation in the middle so the girls would draw everything out straight.
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poka-bee
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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2009, 02:40:44 PM »

I did that exact thing last year with my package.  I put em in w/small cell foundation.  Didn't start w/foundationless till they had 2 boxes drawn (8frm med)  Then I stapled the wedge on the frame like a starter strip & started adding em in between frames already drawn.  It took a few frames to get the new cells to match the small ones but they had it down.  They did make humongous ones for the honey storage during the blackberry flow though.  I thought they had regressed from regressing till I paid attention (duh!) noticing the brood was in the small & nectar in the big.  J
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josbees
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2009, 03:52:04 PM »

Sorry to have to ask, but can you explain what a "wedge" is?  I've no idea how to go about starting foundationless....

Thanks!
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2009, 05:39:04 PM »

Sorry to have to ask, but can you explain what a "wedge" is?  I've no idea how to go about starting foundationless....

Thanks!

Some frames have a removable "wedge" strip on one side of the top bar.  The idea behind it is to remove it while installing the foundation into the wired frame and then tacking back in place so it pinches the top edge of the foundation.  What Poka-bee is talking about is turning that wedge on edge and tacking it back into the frame at a 90d angle.  Or, if you have solid top bars (just a grove down the center) you can glue some popsicle sticks in the grove the length of the frame, takes 3 1/2 sticks.
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poka-bee
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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2009, 05:49:10 PM »

Rick, I'm sorry, I should have been more clear. Brian explained it very well.  I am lazy & already had the wedge frames & didn't want to go get popsicle sticks or anything else!  They did quite well with them so will order that type again.  I just got 20 8frm boxes a week or so ago so will be ready! WooHoo, spring hurry up!
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Ken
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« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2009, 05:55:36 PM »

Here is a pic of a wdge frame:
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josbees
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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2009, 06:06:02 PM »

Thanks all.  It's great how the threads here always elad me into new trains of thought.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2009, 07:38:18 PM »

Empty frames will not work.  Frames with some kind of comb guide will.  The wedge turned sideways is probably the simplest comb guide.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm

Narrower spacing can help with getting smaller cells as well:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesframewidth.htm
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Michael Bush
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