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Author Topic: how long to draw foundationless frames?  (Read 6043 times)
joker1656
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« on: July 16, 2009, 09:39:46 AM »

I am attempting foundationless...rather I am having the bees attempt it.   Smiley  My supers, obviously, have nothing in them.  How long will it take for them to draw out the frames, and be ready for our soybean flow? 

Should I feed while they draw this out?  I have one hive, specifically, that has much honey stored in the second brood box.  Not enough for all of the other hives, but I thought I would spread this around.  It is a healthy hive.  I could use syrup for the hives that would miss out on the honey. 

First season period...thus never attempted foundationless.....

Thanks for your input
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Natalie
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2009, 01:10:28 PM »

It varies upon the colony itself and the weather. They need a good flow on to draw foundation or you need to be feeding them heavily.
All of my hives are foundationless and it varies from one hive to another.
I have had them take anywhere from 1-3 weeks to fill a box on foundationless frames.
My experience has been that the slowest box is the first one and then from there they usually go gangbusters for a while and then slow down until they need more comb again.
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Hethen57
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2009, 01:45:06 PM »

I didn't use foundationless in my 2 deep brood chambers, so my comments may not be worth much here, but I do have 2-3 times as much drawn comb as my neighbor who went foundationless with hives of the same bees, at the same time (and probably quit feeding too early). 

My suggestion is to feed as much syrup as they will take if you want them to draw wax comb, it gives them the resources and the reason to draw comb.  I quit feeding when the brood chambers were drawn.  It may leave you a little honey (syrup) bound, but you can pull them to bait supers or to feed and re-insert emptys to open up the brood chamber (at least you will have more drawn comb for the 2nd year buildup).  Now you are getting to the point where you should have close to two deeps drawn out, so they may need some help if they are not at that point.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2009, 08:47:30 PM »

The flow is what controls how fast they draw wax.  In a flow they will draw comb (on foundation or not).  In my experience they draw the foundationless faster.  But if there is no flow they will not draw anything.
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Michael Bush
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honeytaker
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2010, 10:35:55 PM »

would'nt feeding them sugar be considered a flow?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2010, 12:52:05 PM »

Feeding syrup can simulate a flow and cause some of the same responses, but if it comes in too fast they will backfill the brood nest and swarm.
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Michael Bush
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kbfarms
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2010, 08:23:05 PM »

I had a three pound package which I hived with a mixture of drawn comb, foundation and frameless.  It took five days for them to fully draw (except for a bee space at the bottom) a medium frame and have good starts on the other foundationless frames.  At the same time they were busy drawing out comb on foundation and cleaning the drawn comb.  I was pretty impressed by the speed in which they worked everything.  I had a 1/2 gal jar on the top for them which they emptied in about 8 days. 
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2010, 09:44:18 PM »

Putting an empty frame (with a starter of course) between two drawn frames in the middle of the brood nest will get that frame drawn out really fast.  And usually filled with brood too.  Of course they have to be in the mood first.  They are girls after all.   grin
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harvey
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2010, 11:01:34 PM »

My first foundationless hives this year.  One weekago today I put them in the deeps with foundationless frames.  I also put in two full frames of capped honey for them to start with.  Today one hive has two frames completely drawn to the bottom!!! and a few other frames with small chuncks of comb they are working on.  Last year my swarm that I put on Dadent plasticell took much longer to build out!  I have just finished pulling all the foundation out of all my frames and glued in starter strips.  Not sure that it was the best idea to do for the supers but I am going to let them show me.  I am not feeding anything to these new hives.  I think it will be slower but better for them.
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MrJeff
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2010, 11:50:43 PM »

This year I included foundationless frames. They have done very well drawing them all the way to the bottom of the frames quickly. I've been pretty impressed so far.
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kathyp
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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2010, 12:06:42 AM »

remember that swarms and packages are primed to draw comb.  if you expand the hive, they may  not draw out as quickly as they will only draw frames as they need them.  it takes both the right circumstance of the bees and a good flow for comb.

some of the frames in the box that i dumped my second swarm in last weekend, had no foundation or starter strips but they had been used.  in one week, the bees have completely drawn out all the empty frames to the point that i had a hard time telling the empty from those i'd given them that were drawn.  they drew these even though they are not really using them for storage or brood yet.  if i were to do  the same a month from now, they might not have drawn them out so quickly.
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deknow
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« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2010, 07:40:03 AM »

...you will like;ly want more than simply empty foundationless frames in the supers to have the comb drawn.  bees clustering on the combs in the broodnest will generally not want to also cluster from the top bars of a box above them...and will tend to try to draw comb up from the bottom bars.  put a frame of drawn comb in the super (even if it is a deep frame leaving some empty space below it...worst case, they draw some comb from the bottom of this frame)....at least until they have started to cluster from the top bars.

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