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Author Topic: Newbie Questions on Supers, Foundation and Basic Tools Choices  (Read 1136 times)
Chrisd4421
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« on: November 08, 2009, 05:35:14 PM »

Hi all,
   I am planning on starting my first hive in the spring and the choices and possibilities are endless.  I do have some questions on some if it and I wanted some expertise and opinions.

  • I want to eventually go foundationless but from what I read it would be beneficial to start with foundation and slowly, as I remove some drawn out comb, replace with a foundationless frame.  Is there a quicker way to get to foundationless while limiting cross-combing?  Maybe frames 1, 3, 5, 7, 9  and 10 with foundation and all others without to start?
  • Why would I go with medium supers for honey?  Is the only concern weight?  I would much rather go with the larger hive bodies and supers but from the endless threads I have read it seems everyone is going the medium route.
  • What is a good suit for me and my kids?  They are 3.5 and 5.5?
  • Is a hive tool pretty much like a hammer?  (meaning: everyone has their own personal choice and no one else would understand your reasoning?
  • I am putting this in the back corner of my yard.  My kids and dogs would be playing within 25 feet of the hives.  I plan on planting some plants in front of the hive to force their flights higher out of the hive.  Any particular distance recommended?

Thanks all, I sure this is only a start to my endless questions as I get closer.  On a great note, there is a local bk who sells packages so I can pick up my bees in the spring rather than have them shipped!!

Thanks
Chris
« Last Edit: November 08, 2009, 05:49:36 PM by Chrisd4421 » Logged
kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2009, 05:50:08 PM »

1.  you can go foundationless right from the start.  it is helpful to put one sheet of foundation in to give them a guideline.  also put a guide on each frame.   some people use the wedge turned sideways, Popsicle sticks, or thin strips of foundation attached with some melted wax.  all will work.  there is to guarantee that anything, including using foundation throughout, will keep bees from drawing messy comb.  your best bet is to check often and correct  the mis-drawn comb as you find it.

2. there are advantages to using all one size.  frames are interchangeable, weight is more manageable, inventory is more manageable.

3.  i'll leave for those with kids.

4.  yes

5.  your plan should be fine.  the dog might check it out once, but after that, he/she will probably not want to mess with it.  make sure you provide a constant water source so that your bees are not tempted to the dog water, kids pool, etc.
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Sparky
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2009, 08:31:13 PM »

Welcome Chris. You will find that the Forum is a very good learning tool with much good advice from experienced beekeeps such as Kathy has given you. Remember KISS because you do not want to make it complicated. The girls Can bee that way all by themselves.  grin
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2009, 06:43:39 AM »

>    * I want to eventually go foundationless but from what I read it would be beneficial to start with foundation and slowly, as I remove some drawn out comb, replace with a foundationless frame.  Is there a quicker way to get to foundationless while limiting cross-combing?  Maybe frames 1, 3, 5, 7, 9  and 10 with foundation and all others without to start?

Just start all foundationless.  If you don't want foundation there is no reason to use it.  They mess up and cross comb foundation as much as foundationless. The only difference is they repeat their errors with foundationless.  But often they make none.  If they do, then put a straight comb on the outside edge of where they are building and put the crooked one over one and/or straighten it.  I wouldn't start with foundation.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoursimplesteps.htm

>    * Why would I go with medium supers for honey?  Is the only concern weight?

Why wouldn't you go with mediums for everything?

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#uniformframesize

90 pounds for a full deep. 

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm#lighterboxes

>  I would much rather go with the larger hive bodies and supers but from the endless threads I have read it seems everyone is going the medium route.

A back is a terrible thing to waste.

>    * What is a good suit for me and my kids?  They are 3.5 and 5.5?

www.beeworks.com can make you whatever you need.

>    * Is a hive tool pretty much like a hammer?  (meaning: everyone has their own personal choice and no one else would understand your reasoning?

Here's the best IMO.  http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Italian-Hive-Tool/productinfo/591/

It's got a lifter that is small enough to get between frames, has more leverage because it's longer and it's thin and light weight.

>   * I am putting this in the back corner of my yard.  My kids and dogs would be playing within 25 feet of the hives.  I plan on planting some plants in front of the hive to force their flights higher out of the hive.  Any particular distance recommended?

Every hive is different.  I've had them five feet from my back door and never had a problem.  I've had them 100 yards from my house and been attacked, but that was only one problem and they were requeened.

My advice:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnewbees.htm

and some more:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beeslazy.htm
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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
Chrisd4421
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2009, 11:50:55 AM »

Thank you kathyp, Sparky and Michael!!!!

Michael,
   The web links are amazing...thank you, they helped me trembndously and I am now going to go with a uniform set of boxes for ease later on.

Is there a drawback to going with cypress or cedar as compared to pine?

thanks again!!
Chris
« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 12:22:50 PM by Chrisd4421 » Logged
Sparky
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2009, 06:49:14 PM »

COST. If you only biuld a hive here and there it is a good choice and the additional cost is not so bad. Many at one time can add up quickly.
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beee farmer
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2009, 11:12:51 PM »

Asking MIke BUsh wht he thinks about foundationless is like asking a democrat what he thinks about public helath care   LMAO
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beee farmer
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« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2009, 11:14:15 PM »

not that I dasagree with him or the Democrats  grin
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2009, 09:09:12 AM »

>Is there a drawback to going with cypress or cedar as compared to pine?

Like he said.  Cost.  It won't really work any better and it costs more.  Pine works fine.
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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
Scadsobees
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« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2009, 12:31:24 PM »

Just a note, other than perhaps one sheet of foundation in the middle of a foundationless box, you don't want to intersperse foundation and empty frames.  That will cause more trouble than either methods by itself.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2009, 01:45:55 PM »

>Just a note, other than perhaps one sheet of foundation in the middle of a foundationless box, you don't want to intersperse foundation and empty frames.  That will cause more trouble than either methods by itself.

There are two situations.  One is the brood nest where they will seldom build comb  any thicker than the standard one inch and the other is the supers where they will build comb anywhere from 1/4" thick to 2 1/2" thick.  The problem with interspersing them in the supers is they may build fat combs that won't fit.  There is no real reason to intersperse them in the brood nest.  One frame of drawn comb (borrowed from the box below) is helpful for a ladder, but there is no gain in using foundation at all.  The first empty box works fine without any.
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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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