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Author Topic: A Fruitless Fall - Cell sizing  (Read 2832 times)
luvin honey
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« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2009, 03:09:12 PM »

Another excellent idea, Podius, and a reminder that we don't have to be ALL one way or all the other. A nice mix may work the best at times.

As for me, I would have saved myself a lot of trouble if when I installed my packages I wasn't too overwhelmed to remember to put all the topbars back in place, and straight.
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
Natalie
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« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2009, 02:48:56 PM »

I started out all of my hives on foundationless frames. I never used a sheet of foundation.
I put them in the hive with empty bars and let them go at it.
My frames were made with an angled topbar and then I bought solid bottom bars and end bars from Dadant and assembled them.
If I had bees from a nuc I would put those frames in the hive but remove them after the brood hatched so that all the frames were foundationless.
I have never had an issue doing this.
You may get an odd comb one in a while, its only happened to me once and I pulled it out and cut the comb off and put the empty bar back in and it was fine because I caught it early enough before they copied it.
Its extremely easy to do, I know you feel intimadated but its really really easy, you never have to buy foundation or have to mess with installing it and all that.
Your bees can build any size cell they want and all the comb honey you can eat!
People pay alot of money for comb honey.
 As Michael said you can also extract these frames so there is another bonus.
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annette
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« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2009, 10:09:41 PM »

I started out with plastic frames for the bees and after getting onto this forum and reading about other ways to do beekeeping, I became interested in the idea of being as natural as possible.

Michael Bush was a great help to me and I listened to all his advise on foundationless frames, etc. I started to introduce foundationless frames into the hives and the hives all did very well in drawing out whatever size cell they wanted to make and all the wax combs were perfectly straight. Now I have finally gotten rid of all the plastic in the hive. The bees have always done a wonderful job of keeping the combs straight, no problems at all.

I do crush and strain only, so I have no need to think about other ways to extract. The bees can draw out a frame of wax very quickly during the major honey flow so I don't believe there is any lose of them gathering honey

Take the chance and do it right the first time, you will not regret it.

You can get all the help you need right here.
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kathyp
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« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2009, 10:54:18 PM »

annette i think that foundationless is the easiest and most practical of all options.  saves money, bees build what they want, you get nice wax when you want it  smiley  heck of a deal!
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deknow
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« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2009, 10:22:39 AM »

Its not like there is a Foundationless Beekeeping for Dummies book. 

no, there is not, but i do have it on good authority that in the spring, such a book will be available from the competing series (aparantly dummies aren't smart enough to go foundationless, but complete idiots are)  Smiley

a few thoughts:

1.  extracting works fine when comb is aged (recently drawn comb full of honey is fragile), and well attached.  i don't think i know anyone that extracts foundationless with a radial extractor, a tangential works better (less rotational speed, better support of comb).

2.  i would never add more than 3 foundationless combs into a full box at once.  removing every other drawn frame puts a lot of stress on the bees.  bees have to cluster to build comb, raise brood, and ripen honey.  by doing this, you make them cluster separately for each of 5 frames that need drawing, you make them cluster separately over each frame of brood, and each frame of honey.  this short circuits the economy of scale that the bees use to manage their affairs.

3.  there are some good reasons to use foundation.  if there is a flow on (or you are feeding...see below), the bees will draw and fill foundationless comb at the same time, leaving little or no room for the queen to lay.  foundation on the edges of the brood nest, however, allows the queen to lay in partially drawn cells (that are too shallow to put nectar in), so that the broodnest (and number of workers) can increase rapidly.

4.  whereas feeding lots of syrup works well to draw foundation, feeding when drawing foundationless will tend to get the bees making honey storage comb, which is no good for raising workers.

5.  we prefer popsicle stick guides to starter strips.  starter strips can be warped and pulled from the weight/heat of the bees, and with a glued in wooden guide, an entire box can melted in the sun and the frames ready to get redrawn.

deknow
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2009, 05:23:30 PM »

>1.  extracting works fine when comb is aged (recently drawn comb full of honey is fragile), and well attached.  i don't think i know anyone that extracts foundationless with a radial extractor, a tangential works better (less rotational speed, better support of comb).

I do it in a radial.  It's all I have.  Otherwise I agree with all of the above.

>2.  i would never add more than 3 foundationless combs into a full box at once.  removing every other drawn frame puts a lot of stress on the bees.  bees have to cluster to build comb, raise brood, and ripen honey.  by doing this, you make them cluster separately for each of 5 frames that need drawing, you make them cluster separately over each frame of brood, and each frame of honey.  this short circuits the economy of scale that the bees use to manage their affairs.

Certainly in an established brood nest and probably not more than one in one less than strong.

>4.  whereas feeding lots of syrup works well to draw foundation, feeding when drawing foundationless will tend to get the bees making honey storage comb, which is no good for raising workers.

I don't feed much so I have no observation on this matter.

>5.  we prefer popsicle stick guides to starter strips.  starter strips can be warped and pulled from the weight/heat of the bees, and with a glued in wooden guide, an entire box can melted in the sun and the frames ready to get redrawn.

I agree.  Wood, whether it's popscicle sticks or a triangle or a turned wedge are better than wax.  A hot day and all your wax strips can fall out.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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