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Author Topic: A Question for Michael Bush (and others)  (Read 1554 times)
TheMasonicHive
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« on: May 17, 2010, 05:48:57 PM »

Hello everyone.


I plan on expanding by one hive every year, and for 2011 I was going to make my next hive an "experiment" hive.  I want to try all the things that Michael Bush had suggested (i.e. foundationless, all mediums, and top entrances) but I have a few questions.

Top Entrances

1)  How do you smoke a top entrance hive without having someplace to smoke at the bottom?

2)  How do you reduce the entrance on the top?  Just use a regular entrance reducer?  Do you reduce at all?

3)  How do I feed bees seeing as my hive top feeder approach would be useless with a top entrance hive

Foundationless

1)  I've seen some writings regarding making sure the hive is absolutely level (or as close as you can get it with foundationless).  Is this true?

2)  Do you use wiring?  (I can tell you right now, I see a HUGE benefit in not having to wire or embed wax foundation, its too time consuming)

Thank you!  Sorry for asking so many questions in a single thread.

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Christopher Peace
Oakland County, MI

"It teaches us that, as we come into the world rational and intelligent beings, so we should ever be industrious ones; never sitting down contented while our fellow-creatures around us are in want, when it is in our power to relieve them without inconvenience to ourselves." - Freemasonry on the Beehive
harvey
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2010, 05:56:40 PM »

Hi!  I can't yet speak on the top entrances although I will leave the top pushed back just a little for ventilation and I have also driled 3/4 inch holes in the hive bodies that the bee's use for entrance and ventilation.  They still use the bottom entrance the most.  I don't use smoke much, havn't at all this year yet and only a couple times last year.   As far as the foundation less goes.  When the bees draw there comb they do it by gravity,  It will hang straight down, so if your hive is not level the comb will hang one way or the other.  I haven't wired my frames but understand this is the first year I have tried foundationless too.  You can but I don't believe you need to.  After a while the bees will attach the comb on all four sides probably leaving the corners open.  In the deeps if you are not going to be playing with them all the time I don't see a benifit for the wire.  I have seen pictures of monster natural comb that had no support yet was quite strong.  Look at the size of the combs in some of these cut outs people are putting on here!  I also believe the mediums for honey will be strong enough to extract as long as you start slow and are not trying to extract brand new comb.
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TheMasonicHive
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2010, 06:59:27 AM »

Harvey,

Thanks for you response.  I'd imagine that since you aren't extracting from the deeps the wire would be extremely important because you don't want anything to happen in that brood chamber.

haha, I live right down the road from you in Oxford!  I'd love to see what foundationless actually looks like up close!
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Christopher Peace
Oakland County, MI

"It teaches us that, as we come into the world rational and intelligent beings, so we should ever be industrious ones; never sitting down contented while our fellow-creatures around us are in want, when it is in our power to relieve them without inconvenience to ourselves." - Freemasonry on the Beehive
podius
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2010, 08:21:03 AM »

I cut out a little groove for my top entrance in my 3/4" solid top, then when I need a full entrance I prop the top up with very slim shims.

I use all mediums and when I cut my deeps down, I used the leftover box for a ventilated top. I leave them open in the summer and stuff them full of sheep wool in the winter. This allows me to use a top feeder if I ever wanted too.

Foundationless would work better if you had a guide comb in the middle, and the queen will have a place to start laying.

You only need to level the hive one way.
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John VT
Spooner, WI(Northwest WI-up in the nose)
equipment---All medium 10 frame boxes, top entrance's, no foundation frames and mann lake pf 120's (7 hives)
Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010, 08:25:11 AM »

>1)  How do you smoke a top entrance hive without having someplace to smoke at the bottom?

Well, mine all have someplace to smoke at the bottom. The solid ones have a screened area about 2" wide where  I pour syrup in when using it as a feeder and the rest are SBB and I can blow smoke in the bottom... but actually, I never do.  I just put a puff in the top entrance...


>2)  How do you reduce the entrance on the top?  Just use a regular entrance reducer?  Do you reduce at all?

I use one small nail and a short piece of screen molding and put the nail in the middle to make a pivot.  Then you can pivot it closed or open.


>3)  How do I feed bees seeing as my hive top feeder approach would be useless with a top entrance hive

A top feeder works fine.  You put a shingle shim under each side and break one to about an inch or so shy of filling the gap in the front .

>1)  I've seen some writings regarding making sure the hive is absolutely level (or as close as you can get it with foundationless).  Is this true?

The combs will be level.  If the frames are not they will not be in frame at the bottom...

>2)  Do you use wiring?  (I can tell you right now, I see a HUGE benefit in not having to wire or embed wax foundation, its too time consuming)

I do not.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2010, 09:13:30 AM »

Foundationless...Go for it. After reading MB's website I was determined to do at least one hive (I got 3 packages) on foundationless and it worked great. The bees made there own comb faster than what the other package did on foundation.  A beek from up the road a ways said that it couldnt be done and that all I would have is a huge mess. I sent them the pictures of a frame (foundationless medium) completely drawn and a frame with foundation that was partially drawn and they didnt have much to say. I just placed another four packages on foundationless Sunday.
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TheMasonicHive
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2010, 09:30:38 AM »

Ya know I'm thinking about it and I always seem to forget something.

I keep thinking in terms of deeps hence the idea of wiring, but if I'm running all mediums I don't need the wire.

I couldn't be happier with this epiphany haha.
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Christopher Peace
Oakland County, MI

"It teaches us that, as we come into the world rational and intelligent beings, so we should ever be industrious ones; never sitting down contented while our fellow-creatures around us are in want, when it is in our power to relieve them without inconvenience to ourselves." - Freemasonry on the Beehive
kathyp
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2010, 09:33:30 AM »

if you ever get the urge to pop a deep on something, you don't need to wire it either.   grin
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2010, 12:35:58 PM »

Well, you probably want to wire your deeps if you plan on, or expect eventually to, run them through an extractor. For just brood comb, who needs it? The bees will strengthen the comb as and where needed to keep it from failing.
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I'm Paraplegic Racehorse.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2010, 02:25:11 AM »

Wire has never had anything to do with extracting.  It was invented to keep foundation from buckling until it was drawn.  Wire will help support new heavy comb while they are drawing it.  But once it is drawn and the wax has hardened a bit, it extracts fine with or without wire.
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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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