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Author Topic: foundationless question  (Read 5844 times)
wisconsin_cur
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« on: July 08, 2009, 05:00:38 AM »

This my first year keeping bees.  I did not hear about either foundationless bee keeping or of using all mediums until after I had purchased equipment and installed the bees. 

I have no extra drawn out comb. 

I do have a bunch of pierco frames. 

I want to try foundationless as well.

I am ready to add mediums on top of two hives.

From what I have read I should not mix plastic with wood when drawing out comb, so I am thinking about waiting until after they draw out a couple of pierco frames of then switching out some wood foundationless frames that I have put together so that each foundationsless is between two drawn out pierco's.  That way I will have some of each drawn out.

Am I missing anything?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2009, 07:39:17 PM »

>This my first year keeping bees.  I did not hear about either foundationless bee keeping or of using all mediums until after I had purchased equipment and installed the bees.

Unfortunate, this.

>I have no extra drawn out comb.

Typical for starting out and typical for a swarm in the wild.

>I do have a bunch of pierco frames.

Too bad.

>I want to try foundationless as well.

So do it.

>I am ready to add mediums on top of two hives.

Go for it.

>From what I have read I should not mix plastic with wood when drawing out comb, so I am thinking about waiting until after they draw out a couple of pierco frames of then switching out some wood foundationless frames that I have put together so that each foundationsless is between two drawn out pierco's.  That way I will have some of each drawn out.

I would take a sabre saw and cut the center of the Pierco out.  Make a big oval and leave at least one row of cells all the way around.

If you mix them they will draw their own foundationless the first and the quickest.  You're doing them no favors.
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wisconsin_cur
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2009, 04:36:04 AM »


I would take a sabre saw and cut the center of the Pierco out.  Make a big oval and leave at least one row of cells all the way around.

If you mix them they will draw their own foundationless the first and the quickest.  You're doing them no favors.


As obvious as the advice sounds afterwards, I had not thought of this.... thanks...

but I may not tell the wife for a while...  "you spent how much and then did what?" shocked

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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2009, 01:21:57 PM »

Switched out to medium foundationless frames on top of the drawn out deeps this morning.

Ended up using an utility knife instead of a saw to cut the pierco due to lack of availability of a vice to hold the frames while cutting.

I will try to remember to add pictures in a couple of weeks when I check again!
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2009, 10:39:16 PM »

Good luck with that, I think you will like it. I went with all foundationless frames in medium langs and topbar hives when I started out and I love it.
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2009, 07:38:37 PM »

One of the two hives has made a start on the frames.  Everything is coming out nice and straight so far.  I got to watch them festoon am glad for it.  

The other hive has yet to move up into the first box of foundationless.  Both hives have a lot of burr comb full of honey between the two boxes.

Forgot the camera  Sad
------------
edit: forgot to mention I do not think it is related but the one being drawn out at this time is the pierco that I cut out the middle.  It is impossible to tell where the plastic ends and the wax begins.  They are also the hive whose queen should have hatched earlier this week so they have had some extra house bees to focus on the job.

Would our cold nights be keeping the house bees more busy keeping brood warm than building new comb? 
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« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2009, 10:03:47 AM »

One hive is building from the top of the frame down and the other fromt he bottom up.  Next time I am out there I guess I will but the boxes drawing out frames on the bottom to see if the brood nest moves down into the (smaller cell) foundationless frames.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2009, 12:08:10 AM »

It continues to amaze me how each hive has its own way of going about life! Very interesting that one is building from the bottom Smiley
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Natalie
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2009, 09:24:03 AM »

Someone asked this question at the beekeeping conference I was just at this weekend, about why his bees would be building from the bottom up and now I cannot rememeber exactly what the experts told him to do to fix it.
He is a member here but has only posted a couple of times. His name is newbee mike and you could pm about it if you want to see what they said, I don't remember exactly and don't want to comment on it without being sure.

We were told that they also slow down on building new comb this time of year and try to prep for winter on what they have drawn out, get their stores in.
If there is a really good flow on they may build a little more.
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podius
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2009, 10:29:15 AM »

I have one hive that builds from the bottom up and builds comb crossways.
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John VT
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2009, 10:43:36 AM »

Someone asked this question at the beekeeping conference I was just at this weekend, about why his bees would be building from the bottom up and now I cannot rememeber exactly what the experts told him to do to fix it.

The options where:
1) to move the center two drawn frames up to act as a ladder for the cluster to move up.  This only works in the brood chamber, not honey supers.  
2) bottom super.
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Vibe
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2009, 12:53:41 PM »

The options where to move the center two drawn frames up to act as a ladder for the cluster to move up.  This only works in the brood chamber, not honey supers.  Or bottom super.
Now you tell me. Cheesy
That's how I got my hives to start building above the queen excluder. I let them draw out a shallow frame I'd hung in the deep brood box, in position 1 or 10, and moved it up into the center of the super after they had started filling it (but before they had built much hanging from the bottom of it). I refilled the deep slot with a standard deep frame and they just started drawing out on the shallow frames next to the filled one. But I was (am) a newby and using the "fly by the seat of the pants" method.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2009, 08:28:04 PM »

If they are building from the bottom up, I would move that box to the bottom.
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Michael Bush
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Paraplegic Racehorse
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« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2009, 09:14:25 PM »

Whether they are building bottom-up or top-down doesn't matter, really. All you, as the beekeeper, should really be concerned about is whether the comb is straight. It's awfully hard to work with a heavily cross-combed hive.  tongue

If you want the queen to lay in this box so you can eventually rid yourself of the deep, remove the queen excluder. But, keep it to be cut up into useful sized sections for assorted bits of "specialized" equipment you may or may not want/need in the future.
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deknow
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« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2009, 12:02:22 PM »

Someone asked this question at the beekeeping conference I was just at this weekend, about why his bees would be building from the bottom up and now I cannot rememeber exactly what the experts told him to do to fix it.

the issue here is clustering.  wax production requires heat, which requires a cluster.  if the bees are in 1 box, and a foundationless box is added above, the cluster will tend to extend up from the established comb (so that they can keep working and caring for the brood).  If there are enough bees and it is warm enough, they might also cluster at the top of the new box, but i wouldn't bet on it.  the comb that gets built up from the bottom bars will flop over under their own weight before they reach the top bars.

the "fix" is to either put the box on the bottom, or (what we do), is to put 3 or so drawn frames in the middle of the upper box, and put the 3 foundationless frames near the sides of the bottom box.  the bees like to be able to climb between combs.  if there are enough bees, you can move brood frames, which the bees will definitely try to cluster around (if there aren't enough bees or the weather is too cold, you will likely lose some brood doing this).  once the bees are using this central area of comb, the cluster will start to draw comb adjacent to them.

the point is, the bees need to be able to build comb in a cluster, and an empty box on top means that they will have to cluster in more than one place...moving frames up makes it easer for them to do this, and also motivates them to do so.

deknow
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Sparky
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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2009, 09:53:26 PM »

Good advice deknow. I had a super that was on a hive well before they swarmed and well after the new queen started to lay. I did not have the luxury of moving some frames up to promote building because of the lower being deeps. After the population of the new queen started to increase they still never touched the foundations of the super other than some chewing of holes. The cluster got heavy and congested at the screened bottom board so I added a third deep under the other two full boxes. The congestion went away but don't think they have done much with lower box. Do you think if I put a couple brood frames in lower box and foundation frames up it would encourage them to build the rest ?
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« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2009, 06:09:06 PM »

sparky,

you've got to think outside the box (so to speak).

there is nothing to keep you from moving some deeps up into the super...no matter what the depth.  worse case, they draw some comb on the bottom of the deep frames (that are hanging from your shallow or medium super).

deknow
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kathyp
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« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2009, 06:22:05 PM »

sparky, this is the time of year that brood production starts to go down and bees backfill with honey for winter.  it is unlikely they will do much more drawing of foundation this year unless you have a really heavy fall flow.  in the case of a heavy fall flow, you'd probably do better to put a honey super on the top than try to get them to draw out another deep super.  if they draw the honey super, even if they don't fill it, you'll have it ready for next year.

in another month or as your weather changes, you'll want to look at the bottom box.  if they have not made significant progress on drawing and filling, you'll need to remove it.  take any frames that have brood and honey and add them to your other deeps.  if you have extra frames of honey, you can freeze them and save them to feed back later.

crowded going into winter is better than to much space.
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« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2009, 08:44:34 PM »

Thanks for the advice Kathy. I have a bunch to learn about manipulating the hive so to get the results I would like to see. Them GIRLS can be so complicated. LOL! The weather is starting to get pretty cool at night. I do not think their is going to be any major flow the rest of this year. I believe I will give the lower box a couple more weeks to see if they build it out or not and like you said, remove the extra space if not. The upper two are heavy. My big decision will be if I need to do something to block some of the air going into the SBB for the winter.
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« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2010, 12:39:39 PM »

Someone asked this question at the beekeeping conference I was just at this weekend, about why his bees would be building from the bottom up and now I cannot rememeber exactly what the experts told him to do to fix it.
He is a member here but has only posted a couple of times. His name is newbee mike and you could pm about it if you want to see what they said, I don't remember exactly and don't want to comment on it without being sure.

We were told that they also slow down on building new comb this time of year and try to prep for winter on what they have drawn out, get their stores in.
If there is a really good flow on they may build a little more.

Aussie bees! grin
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