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Author Topic: Filling Foundationless Frames  (Read 4148 times)
jclark96
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« on: May 01, 2009, 03:36:28 PM »

Do the bees fillout parts of all of the frames, or do they fill one frame all the way down first? My package was installed 13 APR and is doing well. I have installed packages before, but on foundation. They are working on 6-7 frames. However none of them are attached at the bottom? Should I be more patient?
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tillie
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2009, 03:45:10 PM »

Often the bees in my hives don't attach the wax to the bottom - or only attach it in one or two places.  Occasionally as in a hive I checked today, they'll draw it all the way down and attach to the bottom but only in the center 3/4 of the frame - leaving the corners open.  It's never been a problem for me, but I do crush and strain harvesting.

Usually they start by making three sort of ovals - one near the center and one at either end.  Over time they connect these into one large comb as they continue to make wax.  I love opening the hive and finding them festooning from the wax glands on their midsections.

Linda T with a swelling sting on the pad of her thumb in Atlanta
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annette
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2009, 04:38:42 PM »

Yes I have had the same experience as Tillie with the foundationless frames.  I also do just crush and strain for my honey extraction so no problem.

By the way when they are festooning like that I always feel like I have interrupted something very intimate that they are doing.  I don't know why I feel that way, they just look so very vulnerable and they are sort of stuck together so delicately.  I just love it when I see that, but I always want to close them up and give them privacy.  Hee Hee

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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2009, 08:11:48 PM »

thats the main reason I dont do foundationless, I do starter strips at times but only for cut comb, other than that I am wood and foundation all the way
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Natalie
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2009, 08:23:05 PM »

Annette, thats funny that you say that because I feel the exact same way.
I feel like when I open the hive and see them doing that I have stumbled upon some secret thing they do and I am disturbing their privacy.
I actually closed up one of my hives today because I moved a frame and saw them festooning on a couple of frames and didn't want to disturb them anymore.
I only wanted to check their progress anyway to decide whether they needed another super so I just took a quick peek between the frames and closed it up.

Now the guys are gonna read this and think we are crazy, oh its those women beekeepers acting like...women. Wink
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Ross
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2009, 09:34:33 PM »

They will eventually attach it some.  I extract foundationless every year.  Once it hardens and is attached on 3 sides, its not a problem.
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jclark96
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2009, 09:46:05 PM »

Thanks for the input, I'll just wait a while and let them do their thing.
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annette
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2009, 09:53:17 PM »

Annette, thats funny that you say that because I feel the exact same way.
I feel like when I open the hive and see them doing that I have stumbled upon some secret thing they do and I am disturbing their privacy.
I actually closed up one of my hives today because I moved a frame and saw them festooning on a couple of frames and didn't want to disturb them anymore.
I only wanted to check their progress anyway to decide whether they needed another super so I just took a quick peek between the frames and closed it up.

Now the guys are gonna read this and think we are crazy, oh its those women beekeepers acting like...women. Wink

Nah, we are just more in touch with the delicate side of the bees. Don't want to destroy all that delicate building they are doing.
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Doby45
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2009, 10:01:27 AM »

Don't want to destroy all that delicate building they are doing.

And yet you use the "crush and strain" method.  Ironic, oh I think so. LOL
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tillie
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2009, 10:17:29 AM »

I think it's different to crush and strain when the comb's purpose has been fulfilled - it's capped and full of honey vs. disrupting the hive in the process of building comb whether for honey or for brood.

Linda T in Atlanta, always a champion of the best tasting harvest method: crush and strain
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annette
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« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2009, 03:20:49 PM »

Yep thats my answer also.  They are building up to use the combs for a purpose, but when that purpose is done, then I can take it from them.
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Shawn
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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2009, 03:48:02 PM »

Well, I installed my package on Tuesday (all foundationless) and went out today, Saturday, to release the queen and fill up the feeder. I went to seperate the frames to get the queen out and found the bees were all hanging off of the top making what looked like ladders. I did not see any bees towards the bottom of the hive. I saw they haad about a 6 inch piece of comb across one of the frames and about 3 to 4 inches down. They had built onto another frame but not as nice. They built it to the other frame of comb so I seperated it, making it easier for the next time to take apart, and pushed them back together. I was surpirsed they had built any comb because the temps have been in the 50s and nights in the 30s. Very cloudy and not looking at getting any sun until Tuesday or so. Ill take the rain any day but wish the bees had some sun so they can get out.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2009, 11:12:03 PM »

The festooning is how they build combs naturally, you won't see it in hives with foundation.  Also all the bees are festooned or clustered in a foundationless hive because they can, again something you won't see in a hive with foundation.  Once the combs are built the hives will look just like any hive with or without foundation.
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Shawn
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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2009, 07:44:38 PM »

Well very disappointing news. Checked on them today and they had all teh frames combed together. I decided to use some of the frames Robo built for cut outs. I took out their comb the best I could but it was a mess. I tried and tried but nothing was working. I took out most of the foundationless frames, all except for 2, and replaced them with regular frames. I need them to get built up for a good winter so I threw in the towel. I really wanted to do foundationless but cant seem to get them to build it right. Matter of fact I could not even find the queen. I saw some larvae that fell out when I was pulling frames but no queen with a blue mark. 
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Natalie
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« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2009, 08:14:31 PM »

Thats a bummer, I am surprised it happened like that so quickly. I have gone out to check on them maybe once a week to peek in and see if they need more room and if it looks like they are attaching the frames a little I slide the hive tool in between and seperate them and thats the end of it.
How did the attach every frame together? Cross comb or just stuck together? You couldn't maybe slice them apart and use them?
Sorry to hear that it didn't work out for you.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2009, 08:14:50 PM »

At first it's like the comb is growing from the cluster.  While the combs are parallel the edges of the comb form a hemisphere.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2009, 09:32:36 PM »

I have frames of starter strip that I tried as brood frames 3 years ago that still is not attached at the bottom and only half connected at the sides, looked at three of them today, foundation for me period!!!!!
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« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2009, 09:55:13 PM »

And when you use the foundation, they chew that space out anyway...
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Michael Bush
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Shawn
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« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2009, 10:01:09 PM »

They were building it nice. When I took out the four frames that were all connected it looked like comb you would see from a cut out, piece behind peace but attached to the same frame. Maybe its my fault, maybe I needed more of a starter strip. The comb was the nicest thing I have ever saw. Very white and transparent. I might have not seen the eggs because of how white the comb was.

Michael, are you saying after they get it all done they would cut the pieces away from each other?
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TwT
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« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2009, 10:06:46 PM »

And when you use the foundation, they chew that space out anyway...


thats a load of bull , they might leave corners out at times (very seldom) but not chew out the whole bottom or sides, if I misunderstood this quote please explain?
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Amateurs built the ark,
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