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Author Topic: mixing foundationless with foundation?  (Read 2890 times)

Offline tlynn

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mixing foundationless with foundation?
« on: April 07, 2009, 01:38:09 AM »
I ordered new brood boxes from Mann Lake and the foundation was back ordered.  Maybe it's my bees telling me now's a good time to try foundationless!  I need to add a 3rd brood box to a boomer hive like now and don't want to wait for more to be shipped from elsewhere.  Can I add a box with starter strips or popsicle sticks to a hive that is already using foundation (duraglit in 1 box and plasticell in the other- normal cell size)?  I have some super size plasticell I can slice down but seems popsicle sticks would be a lot easier.  Do the bees have a major preference?  Thanks to Mr. Bush for foundationless methods in his site.  Oh, and would it help guide them to put sticks in the slots on the bottom of the frame too?

Thanks!

Tracy

Offline annette

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2009, 01:49:25 AM »
I have different things in my hive, some plastic foundation that I have not transitioned out yet mixed in the starter strips. It doesnt matter at all.
When you place the starter strip super on top though be sure to have at least one frame of drawn out comb in the super right in the middle as a sort of reference point for them to start drawing out the comb straight. You do not need to use starter strips in the bottom frame. I don't think the bees care what you use as a starter strip. I use wax, but the main thing it is centered in the groove.

Good Luck
Annette

Offline tlynn

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2009, 08:49:38 AM »
I have different things in my hive, some plastic foundation that I have not transitioned out yet mixed in the starter strips. It doesnt matter at all.
When you place the starter strip super on top though be sure to have at least one frame of drawn out comb in the super right in the middle as a sort of reference point for them to start drawing out the comb straight. You do not need to use starter strips in the bottom frame. I don't think the bees care what you use as a starter strip. I use wax, but the main thing it is centered in the groove.

Good Luck
Annette


Annette, when you say you use wax, do you mean wax foundation for the starter strip?

Offline Pond Creek Farm

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2009, 10:02:46 AM »
I use wax strips that I cut from foundation.  I cut them about 2-3" wide and then fit them into the groove in the top bar.  I heat up some wax and use a wax tube I bought from either Dadant or Walter Kelley (I cannot remember which) and use that to more or less weld the strip into the groove.  The strip goes all the way across the top bar.  My bees last season drew out a medium of natural cell with deeps of plastic beneath them.  The first thing they did was draw drone comb right in the middle and then honey to the outsides. 
Brian

Offline jdpro5010

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2009, 10:55:02 AM »
I am going to just use the wedge bar from the frame in my hives that I am trying foundationless with.  I have not done any yet but MB and others say it will work.  So if you have wedge top bars just turn the wedge on edge and nail it in the center.

Offline annette

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2009, 07:36:59 PM »
I have different things in my hive, some plastic foundation that I have not transitioned out yet mixed in the starter strips. It doesnt matter at all.
When you place the starter strip super on top though be sure to have at least one frame of drawn out comb in the super right in the middle as a sort of reference point for them to start drawing out the comb straight. You do not need to use starter strips in the bottom frame. I don't think the bees care what you use as a starter strip. I use wax, but the main thing it is centered in the groove.

Good Luck
Annette


Annette, when you say you use wax, do you mean wax foundation for the starter strip?

Yes as is mentioned by Pond Creek Farm, I also use the same system as he does. Check out this website by one of our members on how this is all done.

http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/2007/04/how-to-use-wax-tube-fastener_26.html

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2009, 09:48:30 PM »
Yes you can mix it up.  Just don't alternate drawn comb and foundationless in the supers.  Put the foundationless together and the drawn comb together.  Otherwise they tend to build the drawn out really fat and ignore the foundationless making the frames impossible to remove.
Michael Bush
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2009, 11:25:02 PM »
I just had to cut out the comb from 4 frames like that.  Yielded 4 1/2 pints of really nice amber this spring's honey.  It was a little discouraging as the hive was building up very nicely but a beekeeper's gotta do what a beekeeper's gotta do.  I split the hive while I was at it and should be able to coax another split out of my 2 overwintered hives again in May.
Life is a school.  What have you learned?   :brian:      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!

Offline Cindi

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2009, 11:32:30 PM »
I just had to cut out the comb from 4 frames like that.  Yielded 4 1/2 pints of really nice amber this spring's honey.  It was a little discouraging as the hive was building up very nicely but a beekeeper's gotta do what a beekeeper's gotta do.  I split the hive while I was at it and should be able to coax another split out of my 2 overwintered hives again in May.

Brian, huh?  Are you saying that you already have honey this spring from your bees?  That is most unbelievable.  You pullin' our leg?  Beautiful day in the great life, health.  Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2009, 01:07:46 AM »
I just had to cut out the comb from 4 frames like that.  Yielded 4 1/2 pints of really nice amber this spring's honey.  It was a little discouraging as the hive was building up very nicely but a beekeeper's gotta do what a beekeeper's gotta do.  I split the hive while I was at it and should be able to coax another split out of my 2 overwintered hives again in May.

Brian, huh?  Are you saying that you already have honey this spring from your bees?  That is most unbelievable.  You pullin' our leg?  Beautiful day in the great life, health.  Cindi

As Jack Parr used to say, when he was host of the Tonight Show....I kid you not.
Life is a school.  What have you learned?   :brian:      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!

Offline tlynn

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2009, 02:26:07 AM »
I am going to just use the wedge bar from the frame in my hives that I am trying foundationless with.  I have not done any yet but MB and others say it will work.  So if you have wedge top bars just turn the wedge on edge and nail it in the center.

I have wedge top bars too.  This definitely seems to be the easiest method.  Anybody think it's worthwhile to brush on a coat of wax on the strip?

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2009, 09:38:36 PM »
>Anybody think it's worthwhile to brush on a coat of wax on the strip?

I don't.  I think the bees attached it better if you don't.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
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Offline Cindi

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2009, 11:00:55 PM »
Brian, you must be in a little tropical microclimate for the bees to be foraging so early, and making honey, you be that lucky soul, smiling.  Yay!!!  Have that beautiful, most wonderful of days, health.  Cindi
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service

Offline tlynn

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2009, 11:36:50 PM »
>Anybody think it's worthwhile to brush on a coat of wax on the strip?

I don't.  I think the bees attached it better if you don't.


OK, no wax it is.  I'm putting them in tomorrow and will report back on progress in a week.  Thanks all.

Offline hankdog1

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2009, 12:26:54 AM »
I'm pondering installing a couple of my packages foundationless.  Anybody know exactly what i need to do?  Do i need to put wire in the frames?  Just curious to see how everybody is doing it.
Take me to the land of milk and honey!!!

Offline annette

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2009, 12:31:44 AM »
I just use the foundationless frames with wax starter strips. I place at least one frame of already drawn out comb in the center of the super as a guide for the bees so they will draw out the combs nice and straight. So far I have done this twice and it worked both times. Tomorrow I am going to do it again, so lets hope it works a third time.  I have heard that sometimes you get a bunch of bees that just make crazy comb.

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2009, 01:43:06 AM »
Brian, you must be in a little tropical microclimate for the bees to be foraging so early, and making honey, you be that lucky soul, smiling.  Yay!!!  Have that beautiful, most wonderful of days, health.  Cindi

Tropical microclimate = yesterday's high (the highest of the year to date) was a balmy 67 F and I got sunburned on the back of my hands and neck and my ears got burned as well.  It is surprising what Russian bees can accomplish, forage wise, when the temps are in the mid 40's and above.  I think I've logged my 1st ever 40 degree honey flow (Hazelnuts, Alder, Maple, Birch, and Dandelions).

Who would think of splitting a hive in Mid April with mid 40's to 50's temps with plans on doing a second split in another month, here in the PNW (aka The Rain Forest)?
Life is a school.  What have you learned?   :brian:      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!

Offline tlynn

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2009, 11:53:59 AM »
Brian, you must be in a little tropical microclimate for the bees to be foraging so early, and making honey, you be that lucky soul, smiling.  Yay!!!  Have that beautiful, most wonderful of days, health.  Cindi

Tropical microclimate = yesterday's high (the highest of the year to date) was a balmy 67 F and I got sunburned on the back of my hands and neck and my ears got burned as well.  It is surprising what Russian bees can accomplish, forage wise, when the temps are in the mid 40's and above.  I think I've logged my 1st ever 40 degree honey flow (Hazelnuts, Alder, Maple, Birch, and Dandelions).

Who would think of splitting a hive in Mid April with mid 40's to 50's temps with plans on doing a second split in another month, here in the PNW (aka The Rain Forest)?

I was in Seattle/Redmond/Monroe a couple summers ago, I think June, and it was in the 50s and rained just about every single hour. The morning I left it was sunny and 70.  I had a window seat and after we took off you could see the Cascades, then the Olympics, the shimmering Pacific.  I thought, man this place is SO beautiful!...glad I'm going back to FLA!  :-D



Offline tlynn

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2009, 03:33:02 PM »
I installed the new foundationless box on the bottom, so it now has the two other brood boxes above.  I forgot to put a drawn frame in the middle of the new box.  I guess I was getting a little preoccupied with how hot they were getting.  Remember Pigpen in the Charlie Brown cartoons?  All the flies circling around his head?  That's what probably 20 bees were doing around my veil.  These bees usually never ping.  And I hadn't yet figured out how not to crush bees when taking the whole hive apart like that.  They were just covering everything and at that point smoke wasn't moving them down...it was just making them spill out of the frames and get airborne.  So my question is, given this picture, is it important enough to go tearing back into them to put the middle frame in or just leave them alone?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 05:42:35 PM by tlynn »

Offline tlynn

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Re: mixing foundationless with foundation?
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2009, 05:43:30 PM »
Oh and one more thing...the hives tilt slightly forward and are level from side to side.  Could this be a problem with foundationless?