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Author Topic: Housel Positioning-re:foundation  (Read 9193 times)
latebee
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« on: May 12, 2005, 11:41:35 PM »

This spring I did  an experiment with Housel positioning with foundation using package bees from the same supplier. It was done using two packages for a side by side comparison. I realise that with only two groups to compare this trial is not definitive nor conclusive. But I would  like to share my experiences with you. The hive that was Housel positioned released the queen from her cage in 3 days as compared to the other with random placing of foundation which took five days. The hive with Housel had drawn comb partially on five sheets compared to three on the random method. And to my surprise, the Housel hive had almost twice the amount of eggs in comb 14 days after installing them. Thanks Robo for posting the article which can be found at http://www.beekeeping.com/articles/us/housel_positioning.htm I hope this helps, and I will see if this experiment continues to tip the scales in favor of Housel positioning. And to think just two years ago I couldn't find an egg or a queen in any hive-but thanks to you experts here, it is all starting to click.
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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2005, 01:46:57 PM »

Glad you found it worth while....

Keep us posted of your findings.
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Miss Chick-a-BEE
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2005, 07:45:26 PM »

What a wonderful experiment! Definately keep us posted on it.

Beth
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latebee
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2005, 10:32:10 PM »

OK Beth and Robo,
                So far the hive that has its combs in the Housel positioning configuration is head and shoulders above my other three hives in both honey production and bee population. This could be attributed to a better queen or some other unknown factor,but for now I am going to continue positioning the combs this way. I did not get the time(strictly a matter of priorities) to try a long hive this year, but will give that a try in 06.
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2005, 12:22:20 AM »

Sorry, I did not understand what was the idea. At spring it is surely difficult  get bees draw combs if they do not get pollen and honey outside.

But my opinion is that if you should use insulated hives on winter and at spring colonies development will be much more better tha now in thin wood box.

When I started to warm upp hives with 15 W terrarum heater I got 3-fold development from hives. Heating worked best for big 2-4 deep hives.  I noticed that also when I took stryrofoam deeps into usage 17 years ago.

In small hive like you have your packages, bottle neck is volume of feeder bees.

If I have  4 frames bees at spring and I give pollen patty and warm upp with terrarium heater son I have whole deep full of brood. Tree fold faster than in natural way.

If I have smaller colony at spring I raise bees in big hive and I give frames of brood to small in order to get whole deep full of bees.

Just last weekend I take honey away from one hive. In April it has one frame bees. I gived emerging brood frames some and just now I took 200 lbs honey from hive. I have taken about  100 lbs earlier. The yield came from clovers, rasberries and mostly from fireweed.

We have a good summer: 6 weeks yield weather!

With this system I am able to raise what ever small colony to productive normal hive in two months.

During heavy honey flow hives draw upp 2-3 boxes per hive  foundations during 3 weeks. Before that they were not willing to draw even last summer frames upp.

Three summers  ago I had 4 coffee cup size colonies in April after diddicult winter. 60% my colonies had died. Then I was obliged to use something new and I tried my current system first time . From those 4 hives I got  180 lbs honey per hive in July. One 5 frame hive at spring was the best: 300 lbs honey. It had 9 boxes in the tower.  In two month from 5 frames to 85 frames tower!

- By the help or bigger colonies of course. I just even the measure of bees between colonies in order to get hive full of brood for main yield.
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Kris^
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2005, 07:48:50 AM »

The frames in my new hives this year were marked for Housel alignment.  The comb was drawn more evenly and the colonies built up quicker.  Even my weakest colony produced more honey so far than my one hive did all season last year.  Even if it wasn't for the honey and the build up, the clean comb makes it worth the small effort to mark the frames.  I draw an arrow on the top frame pointing to center.

-- Kris
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leominsterbeeman
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2005, 04:15:58 PM »

Let me see if I got this strait, becuase I am dumb and lose interest when I read long articles.  

Center frames should have "Y" cell visible in foundation.
All other frames should be inverted "Y"  i.e.  ^I^  ?  

Put it in simple terms for someone with ADHD.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2005, 05:02:51 PM »

>Center frames should have "Y" cell visible in foundation.

No.  *IF* you want to do a center frame, turn a sheet 90 degrees (sideways) and you'll have to cut two pieces to fit.  Then the bar on the "Y" will be to the side and both sides will be identical.

>All other frames should be inverted "Y" i.e. ^I^ ?

ALL frames should be "Y" or ^I^ unless you really want to do a center frame.

Since sometimes the bees build the primary comb with both "Y" and inverted "Y" instead of the typical sideways "Y", the theory is that you don't have to actually have a primary comb.
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Michael Bush
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2005, 05:39:58 PM »



This page illustrates my understanding of Housel Positioning:

http://cordovan-honeybee.com/housel/index.htm
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2005, 07:56:48 PM »

latebee!!

      Thanks!  I never understood until I read that.  It had never been explained that way to me before.  Again, thanks!  David
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manowar422
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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2005, 07:56:52 PM »

Michael Bush,
What has been your findings of Housel positioning when
your bees have built natural comb on your
"foundationless" type frames?

I'm particularly interested in your 11 frame (1-1/4" on center)
results, when it comes to Housel positioning too wink

I'm sure most everyone would like to know how the bees
do it when they are not started on man-made stuff.

Thanks!
David
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amymcg
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« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2005, 07:36:10 AM »

Joseph,

Finally someone made a diagram that makes sense to me.
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2005, 09:41:13 AM »

Yes, it was hard for me to visualize the effect with only the use of "Y" or ^I^.

I had to make this series of images to help me to get a good grip on it.

I am hoping I have not misinterpreted it. But I believe using ^I^ is supposed to represent an upside-down "Y".
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Joseph Clemens
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2005, 12:25:25 PM »

The only thing I disagree with is the primary (center) comb.  It would be two SIDEWAYS "Y"s.  Both the same direction.

Like this:
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/TypicalPrimaryComb.JPG

>What has been your findings of Housel positioning when
your bees have built natural comb on your
"foundationless" type frames?

I usually see a typical primary comb as in the pictur above in the center.  Occasionally, but rarely, I see a confused one where there are both up and down "Y"s on the same center comb:

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/ConfusedPrimaryCombCloseup.JPG

Otherwise I have NOT been able to discern a pattern of up and down "Y"s.  The angle of the "Y"s varies a lot.  Also it varies a lot from horizontal and vertical comb (look at how they comb runs in rows).

But I seem to have less cross combs when using foundation if I put them in housel positioning.

>I'm particularly interested in your 11 frame (1-1/4" on center)
results, when it comes to Housel positioning too  

No difference.

The pictures of primary comb and my observations are on my web site.

www.bushfarms.com
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Michael Bush
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2005, 01:28:17 PM »

Michael,
Thanks for pointing out the true alignment of the central comb. I've modified the diagram to reflect your guidance. I must have been stuck in neutral on that one -- I've even created a couple of these with the foundation inserted at the 90° angle myself.  rolleyes

However, when the horizontal "Y" is pointing to the left on one side, it is pointing the opposite direction on the other side. In other words, when I am looking at side A the "Y" is pointing to the left and side B is pointing to the right, but if I turn it around so I am looking at side B, then the "Y" will now be pointing to the left also.
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Joseph Clemens
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amymcg
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« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2005, 07:40:33 AM »

OK then, so let me get this straight. Let's say that I dont' want to make a frame with the foundations flipped around. . .

Does it matter as long as I have the frames facing the correct way?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2005, 10:17:22 AM »

>OK then, so let me get this straight. Let's say that I dont' want to make a frame with the foundations flipped around. . . Does it matter as long as I have the frames facing the correct way?

If you just flip the frame around you will make them face the opposite direction.  People doing Housel usually don't bother with the primary comb, they just face them all to the middle and have an "imaginary" center comb.

I'm not sure it makes any difference, but it does seem to make some difference when they don't want to draw the comb right or don't want to draw it at all.
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Michael Bush
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amymcg
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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2005, 12:21:04 PM »

Ok that answers my question.  Thanks Michael
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« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2005, 04:23:53 AM »

I do not use foundation but melt beeswax into the groove in the top bar and they build off that.  How can I see this by looking into drawn comb?  Is it the same except harder to see?
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
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« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2005, 07:13:58 AM »

you should be able to see it in the drawn comb. Look at the picture that Michael Bush posted.
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latebee
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« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2006, 06:45:15 PM »

Almost forgot about this post. It was an attempt to see if there were any great advantages(or disadvantages) to be had in Housel positioning of foundation. My conclusions and comparisons were based on two colonies-really not a very scientific approach. The colony that was Housel positioned grew faster and had many more bees than the regular one with randomly placed foundation. BY seasons end though, I would have to say that the honey production in the regular colony was somewhat higher.It had roughly 2 1/2 frames more of honey. During my last inspection this past fall(05) they appeared to be similar in strength with about the same amount of stores. I guess there will be  no breaking news from my little experiment.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2006, 08:07:25 PM »

I think you'll notice the most difference when using plastic foundation.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2007, 10:21:13 AM »

hihih, "this topic has not been posted in for at least 120 days."
ah, what ta hell, why should i open a new topic tongue

well, i've read this housel positioning stuff and decided to "tag along" to try it out. well today i re-arranged my 5 hives and was astonished by what i found!
mostly the frames were randomly put, but to my surprise some were very close..like 4 in a row were facing center with the Y inverted. and this, this is what surprisem me, the 4 that were allinged correctly were FULLY lain, and that is from the right wall of the hive, the last frame was fully lain shocked, while the 5 frame was inverted and that's where the nest ended, like someone cut out the brood. reall, 4 fully lain, and the rest of the hive empty, but with space for brood!

i'd suggest it to anyone, though i still wait to see the results in next two weeks or so, huh
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« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2007, 10:41:42 AM »

http://www.northdevonbees.org/member_pages/news_arch0506.htm

The third story down is on the housel method with pictures and references.

From what I have seen of feral colonies. The Y shapes are almost never straight up and down or side to side. They seem to arch and if they have repaired a piece of comb because a section broke off or was damaged you can tell where the seam line is.

I am not sure how much I am willing to buy into Housels observations.

Sincerley,
Brendhan
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2007, 05:16:30 PM »

>How can I see this by looking into drawn comb?  Is it the same except harder to see?

Here's a center or primary comb:
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/TypicalPrimaryComb.JPG

Here's a nontypical center or primary comb:
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/ConfusedPrimaryComb.JPG
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/ConfusedPrimaryCombCloseup.JPG

Other than the typical primary comb, I have seen no pattern otherwise and I've observed a lot of self drawn combs and tried to find a pattern.

On the other hand I've seen comb they wouldn't draw until I flipped it around the "right" way according the the housel theory.  But sometimes they will draw it even with it not the "right" way.  I will say this.  If they don't want t draw one right or they keep drawing parallel or fins on the foundation, try switching it and see what they do.
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Michael Bush
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My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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