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Author Topic: Best practise for fitting your foundation.  (Read 3257 times)
Pete
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« on: August 17, 2010, 12:24:19 AM »

I have just wired and embedded foundation on 24 full sized frames. Now i am reading that some people add a bead of melted wax in the top bar in the groove where the foundation goes.

Does anyone here do this, or just let the bees mount the foundation to the frame themselves and just rely on my tight wiring and embedding job?
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2010, 01:19:33 AM »

I don't know about others but i think if the wiring and embedding is done properly there should be enough strength in that to support it until the bees wax it in place... nothing we can do will ever better what they can do
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philinacoma
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« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2010, 03:51:34 AM »

I just embed the wax onto the wire and let the girls do their thing from there.
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Cullz
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« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2010, 06:56:58 AM »

I'm using mostly foundationless frames now.
I drip wax down the groove in the top bar to guide the bees where to start.
Previously used frames seem to get accepted faster and better.

Previously, I was just melting the wax into the wires and that was enough.
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2010, 10:36:16 AM »

How do you find foundationless in comparison to foundation culls? Pros & cons? I'm thinking about giving foundationless a shot and letting the bees decide what they want...
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slacker361
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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2010, 03:47:08 PM »

i forget where i heard this , but i was told or read that wax sticks better to the wood and not so well to wax, meaning the bees will make it stick better than we can
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Cullz
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2010, 10:47:24 PM »

Ozbuzz, I'm really just starting out.

I read about it on Michael Bush's website and on the Natural Beekeeping forum.

When the bees make it their own way, they might make a lot of drone cells, and they might make the workers cells smaller, and the cells sizes might vary across the comb. I trust they know what they're doing better than we do.

As well as not having to buy wax, I can phase out the old combs. Might be good for disease control.

I've had some cases of bees building from the edge of the frame, or building upwards from the bottom in supers, but mostly no problems.
One time I put in some frames with foundation and the bees chewed out all the foundation and used it somewhere else, and then made the combs.  Smiley
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Pete
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2010, 11:39:18 PM »

Are you able to extract and preserve the comb just as easily as foundation combs?

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OzBuzz
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2010, 12:17:50 AM »

I want to give it a shot! i like the idea of not having to wire or buy foundation but my main reason is that the bees can choose exactly what they want/need
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2010, 03:42:20 AM »

>Are you able to extract and preserve the comb just as easily as foundation combs?

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm#extract
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Michael Bush
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Pete
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2010, 09:49:55 PM »

Thanks for that, i think i would like to try. Any issues with having a super with foundation and then another without? Or best to keep the hive all the same?
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Cullz
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« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2010, 05:13:15 AM »

Pete, so far I haven't had the bees really take to the frames in a super like they do in the established hive. When I put an empty between full frames it gets drawn pretty quickly. They are building in the supers, but not so quickly.

Based on reading, I put one or two drawn frames from the established boxes into the super. The bees use it to climb to the top, but also having some brood or honey up there seems to make them feel a bit more at home.

Re: wiring;
I've been using both wired and wireless deep frames. Haven't been doing it long enough to know if the wireless ones will collapse in the heat, but I'll find out.
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Meadlover
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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2010, 10:32:14 PM »

I too have stated using foundationless frames with wooden starter strips and they have been doing great.

The advantages I see are:
not a great increase in surface area, therefore the bees won't need to defend it
no wax to attract wax moth
no need to buy foundation
no need to embed the foundation
if a hive if unexpectedly filled the super & I have no spare frames/supers, can just cut the honey out and put the frame back in onsite
can store the frames without fear of wax moth/melting etc
the bees build what they need, where they need it, when they need it

Disadvantages:
possibly less honey
possibly slower comb building
could get messy and out of control if left unchecked due to comb building on a tangent & the brace comb (a bread knife fixes this)

Without doing a medium scale trial run where 50/50 are foundation v foundationless I'm not sure which will give me more honey/stronger hive but for me it seems to be the better option. It is also cheaper & easier to setup, quicker to extract the honey, easier to deal with on a remote bee yard, and I think I will be able to manage more hives this way, and get more honey than if I was to do it the 'standard' way.

ML
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Pete
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« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2010, 12:47:41 AM »

Been making 60 odd frames lately and I made them all without foundation and wire. Got quite a few in hives and seeing the comb getting drawn without any issues. I noticed in weaker hives they dont draw the whole frame but maybe 2/3 the length.

I grabbed swarms and stuck them straight into hive with frames that only have the starter strip of foundation and they are all drawn and nice and neat etc. I have handled them and laid them on there side just as i would any frame and i cant feel any difference in strength...only the really newly drawn ones. I like the idea of it being simple and letting the bees do there thing, so if it does mean a few sacrifice for me, eg harder to extract i dont mind.

I just glue and nail the frames together and run a bead of blue down the foundation groove, cut the foundation sheets into strips and stick em in.

In the future i will work out a way to cut an edge on the top bar.

Thanks for the tip...the less gear and more simple the better IMO!

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philinacoma
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« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2010, 03:09:48 AM »

Sounds interesting. When things slow down again, I think I'll some a go. At the moment things are just way too hectic.
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Cullz
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« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2010, 08:22:02 AM »

I'm now making wooden starter strips out of thin plywood - filing the edge down a bit and then gluing into the top bar groove.
If they have wire I'm leaving it, but not wiring the new ones.
It's really pleasing to watch them being drawn out.
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westmar
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« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2010, 07:34:48 PM »

i learnt the hard way with the heat out her had big mess by not melting the foundation in.the foundation in the heat been soft let go of the wire and the weight of the bees on it.ma by differnet if they are drawing it out straight away.for the sake of running a bead of wax along the top saves heap trouble.
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Pete
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« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2010, 08:11:01 PM »

I have noticed they dont just draw comb onto the foundation but well and truely onto the top bar as well. For foundation starter strips i am not sure they add any strength only the guide on where to start the comb?

I hope i dont get any melted hives  huh
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Cullz
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« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2010, 09:37:55 PM »

Yeah, the starter strips are to get the bees to build comb straight along the frames. I made some cardboard ones painted with beeswax and the bees started building combs on them, then started chewing the cardboard out. They undercut a few combs.   Undecided
Shouldn't make it any weaker if they're wooden and properly attached. Might be stronger once the comb is fully built over them - not sure.
It takes a while but when the bees attach them all along the top and down the sides they get strong.
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kathyp
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« Reply #19 on: October 05, 2010, 09:47:03 PM »

i had lots of foundation that i'd gotten in a bulk buy.  i cut it in strips with a pizza cutter and glue it into the top of the frame with wax.  if you are doing an entire super foundationless, you really want to give them some kind of guide to help them get started straight.  if it's just the odd frame that you are adding, the starter strips are not such an issue.  i have put bare frames in hives and had them drawn out fine.

i also extract foundationless shallows without problem.  i had the occasional blowout, but not many.  those i just cut out for cut comb.  the bees will build them back next year.
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