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Author Topic: fondationless farmes  (Read 1430 times)
nella
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« on: April 07, 2009, 01:56:00 PM »

How far should a starter strip made of wood on the bottom of top bar protrude(minimum width) for the bees to start building their comb on?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2009, 08:54:55 PM »

1/4" is perfect.  1/2" is ok.  More is too much.
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Michael Bush
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Mairzy_doats
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« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2009, 08:59:56 PM »

Ugh, more is too much? Say you have a wax starter strip (from foundation) thats bordering on oh, somewhere around 2 1/2 inches... rolleyes Is that a really bad thing? Should I "clean it up" ?


~mary
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RayMarler
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« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2009, 10:25:26 PM »

Your 2 1/2 inches of foundation strip will bee fine. The smaller width is better because more of the comb will be the size of cells that the bees choose to draw. In your case, the top 2 1/2 inches of comb on the frame will not bee natural sized cell is all, they'll still draw it.
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Ken
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2009, 06:46:17 AM »

Maizy,I think you misunderstood. Nel was asking about a starter strip made of wood. Unless your using plastic foundation,you may see the bees tear some of it down and build what they want anyhow.
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Tyro
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2009, 07:30:04 AM »

And if the strips are plastic foundation?  My top bars have plastic foundation strips in the grooves that are about 1" long (maybe a little longer for some).  Should they be trimmed?
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JP
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2009, 09:01:33 AM »

I now use coroplast to make my starter strips. Robo gave me the idea a while back, but I had a bunch of foundation I wasn't using, so used that, hard to cut though.

Coroplast is corrugated plastic. Real estate signs are often made of this.

They are easy to cut with a razor knife and fit surprisingly well into a groove top.

I'm making mine as short as possible, maybe a 1/4".


...JP
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2009, 10:03:48 AM »

There is some misunderstanding going on.....

You can use strips of foundation for a starter, or you can just give them a guide so that they start out straight.

If you are using foundation of any kind(wax or plastic foundation), a larger strip is just fine....1 inch, 2 inch, 4 inch...  The bees will draw that out.  It is embossed with the cell structure and that will help the bees.

However, you can use a small guide of some other material, so if you are using a thin wood strip like the original poster or things like JP uses, it isn't embossed with the cell size so the bees will have trouble drawing it out if you make it too big.  Then it is just a guide and you want to keep it to a minimum as Michael posted.

Rick
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JP
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« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2009, 10:26:03 AM »

How far should a starter strip made of wood on the bottom of top bar protrude(minimum width) for the bees to start building their comb on?
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The wider the better, how wide are your strips?


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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and
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RayMarler
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2009, 12:11:01 PM »

Oh my, I did mess up huh? Must have laid my glasses down somewhere that day.
I didn't notice the original question was about using wood for the starter strip.
If not using some kind of foundation, be it plastic or wax, then you would not want the strip to be very wide at all. I'd say 1/2" at the most, 1/8" would be better.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2009, 05:59:39 PM »

>Say you have a wax starter strip (from foundation) thats bordering on oh, somewhere around 2 1/2 inches... rolleyes Is that a really bad thing?

Not always, but often the bees tend to hang from the 2 1/2" strip and start building on the bottom of it.  Then when it gets heavy since they haven't attached it at the top, it falls.

> Should I "clean it up"

I would.
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Michael Bush
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My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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