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Author Topic: Foundation question?  (Read 639 times)
New Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 27

Location: Corralitos, Ca( near Santa Cruz)

« on: December 28, 2009, 06:21:10 PM »

I've been reading a bunch of old posts about foundations.  I will be starting 2 new hives.  2 deeps per hive and mediums for honey.  I have a local apiary to supply me bees (nucs) and a few people at our bee club said his bees are wonderful.

I would like to run as natural as I can.  I like to go foundationless.
To start with:
Can I start the hives with every other frame foundationless, (I will have the frames from the nuc to start)?  Can I use small cell foundation strips (5.1)or is that too much too soon?
If not small cell foundation, what starter should I use just? Medium brood and cut strips of that?

For the first few years to start I want to do crush and strain( if I have enough honey).  Should I use thin surplus or medium brood wax foundation starter for the honey suppers?  If the bees aren't laying it seems a waste to put small cell in the honey supers, is that true?
Field Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 514

Location: Midcoast Maine

« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2009, 07:04:36 PM »

I wouldn't put the foundationless every other frame.  Actually this applies to every frame placement I think.  The bees will just continue to draw out the comb they already have and ignore the new frames whether they have foundation or not and make a mess of things.  It'll probably work better if the new frames are all together instead of alternating them.

For starter strips; Use whatever you have.  The cell size of the starter strip(if you are using foundation for it) doesn't matter as the bees only copy it's size while they are directly on top of it.  Afterwards they'll just make what they want.  If you have wedge type frames you can just nail the wedge on so that it makes a ridge for them to start with.

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Michael Bush
Universal Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 13961

Location: Nehawka, NE

« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2010, 01:05:50 PM »

I would go completely foundationless.  Move a drawn comb up for a ladder when you add another box and replace it with foundationless.  Mixing will not really add anything and will cause a more complex situation.

Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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