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Author Topic: Natilie, KathyP, Iddee  (Read 1028 times)
harvey
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« on: August 09, 2009, 10:46:20 PM »

Hello All,  Sorry for picking y'all out like this but I have learned a lot from your posts and y'all seem to have a good sense of what your are doing.  A lot more do to but I couldn't remember there names right off!   

  Anyway.  Next year I want another hive.  I am trying to decide between natural and small cell.  I am leaning toward natural.  I will purchase my equipment this winter and be ready for spring.  I am going to order an Italian package and queen also.  May end up with three hives as I may get to split my one and only I have now. 
Question:  If you use foundationless frames,  This will be for natural cell right?  Also, when I get the package of bees, do I just dump them in the hive like I did the swarm I caught?  With out foundation seems i would just be dumping them into an empty box?  Will they stay?  or do I need to have some honey and comb already in there?   

  And Natalie you said you were up on splits?  Right now my hive is really full of bees,  most all of ten frames in each of the two deeps!  I can't believe how many bees came from a small swarm.  They were gentle till about two weeks ago too.  Kinda mad at me right now though.  Can I do a split from plasticell into a hive with out foundation?   

Thanks all.   And for all those I didn't list was not cause I don't respect your knowledge,  Just don't' remember all the names  off the top of my noggin..
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2009, 10:57:49 PM »

In Michigan, I would NOT split this time of year. You will need two deeps minimum, and maybe more. You might want to add a box to that hive and feed, feed, feed. A three deep hive in the spring would be an easy split.

I use wood frames, wax large cell foundation, cross wired. I put no plastic in my hives other than AJ's beetle eaters, for SHB.
I never leave open space in a hive intentionally.
Others do differently, but I'm too old to change now.
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lotsobees
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2009, 10:59:24 PM »

  I am trying to decide between natural and small cell.  I am leaning toward natural. 

Bush Farms has great info on small cell. Just google "Bush Bees" and have fun. Smiley
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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2009, 11:03:30 PM »

I won't attempt to answer all your questions but I'll take a stab at clarifying a couple.  First a package is essentially an artificial swarm so you can treat them the same.  Second the decision as to whether to go smallcell or foundationless(notice I didn't say natural as that can be a hot button topic for some) is entirely up to you.  Foundationless would be my vote but everyone has there own preference.  If you dump a package that was raised on large cell foundation their first foundationless frames will not be drawn at size that will ultimately be the natural size for your bees to draw once they stabilize.  The actual cell size will vary with region and which subspecis of bee you keep so I can't give you a number and guarantee it'll be right.  What I'm doing is putting packages on HSC(honey super cell) which is fully drawn plastic smallcell frames.  This regresses the bees to a smaller size in one season.  After a few brood cycles when I add a second hive body I add foundationless frames and let them do it their way from then on.  They may end up building larger or smaller on their own but it gets them regressed to something closer to the size that they will ultimately end up in less time than any of the other methods I've read about.

As far as dumping a swarm/package into a box of foundationless frames, it's no different than one with foundation.  Foundation by itself doesn't really impress bees.  A frame of drawn comb will definitely be appreciated and increase the odds that they won't abscond.  You can also put a queen excluder under the hive body for a couple of days to prevent the queen from leaving.  They will most likely be unwilling to leave without her and should settle in and start to build comb.

Just my .02
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2009, 11:54:40 PM »

i'll probably just say what everyone else said.

no splits now!!

skip the small cell and skip the plastic.

if you want to do "natural cell" which in my lexicon just means letting them draw their own, use one drawn frame.  if you don't have a drawn frame, use a frame with foundation.  wired is good, but you can do it without too if it is installed well.  they will anchor it quickly.  you need to put a guide in there or you'll get messed up comb.  if you give one drawn frames, the queen can get busy.  once she starts laying, it's unlikely they will leave.  and feed!

for your foundationless frames, you need a starter strip or guide.  some use something like Popsicle sticks.  i use strips of foundation.  i just cut them with a pizza cutter and wax them into the frame.

you can do your own research on small cell.  i find no convincing reason to use it and it is expensive.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2009, 11:25:03 AM »

Harvey,
You can overwinter in one deep, it does take a little more work.  But it is somewhat late for splits this year, although it could be done with a purchased queen and lots of sugar.

As far as hiving a package on foundationless....you'll have feed on the hive, plus the queen is in a cage.  I'd probably assure that the queen stayed in the cage a little longer, just to make sure that they don't abscond without comb to anchor them.  But they are ready to build a hive and will start drawing comb quite quickly.

I use plastic, wax, foundationless, even some duragilt (older stuff) whatever is cheap and available.  My nicest combs are on plastic foundation, though.

Rick
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Rick
harvey
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2009, 03:40:27 PM »

I hadn't intended on splitting in the spring if all goes well, along with ordering package,  That way one hive will become three.  I have been considering small cell or natural as I do not want to treat the hives.  I would like to go chemical free and I have heard that the do better with natural or small cell in regards to mites.  So far I have been fortunate with this swarm as I have a booming population and have not treated it yet?  I am hoping and hoping I am not blind or stupid but hoping to not have to treat this hive which is on dadent plasticell.
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kathyp
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2009, 04:23:19 PM »

Quote
I would like to go chemical free and I have heard that the do better with natural or small cell in regards to mites

the bit of research that has been done, does not support small cell as a good way to avoid mites.  genetics is probably the answer, but that means breeding your own queens, or going after (real) feral swams and hives.  that does not mean that you can not raise package bees without chemical treatment, but your odds are probably lower unless you can get bees that are proven to be resistant. 

you have some time to think about all of this and to study different methods and treatments.  it is certainly a cost saver not to treat bees for anything...right up to the point where you are losing your investment  smiley

get educated and make decision according to what you learn and your loss tolerance. 
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
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