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Author Topic: Homemade foundation  (Read 9442 times)

Offline melliphile

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Homemade foundation
« on: August 26, 2010, 11:48:51 PM »
I read Dee Lusby's paper on homemade foundation. Has anyone here experimented with this? What if you made a foundation with no embossing on it so the bees could make whatever size they wanted? I imagine that they'd be compelled to draw straight comb without me having to keep the combs on the guides in my foundationless frames.
"Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow." -Plato

Offline deejaycee

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2010, 05:54:50 PM »
I haven't yet experimented with this, but it's something I've been wondering about recently.

Could you point me to a link to Dee's paper please?

Offline melliphile

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"Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow." -Plato

Offline deknow

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2010, 10:25:56 PM »
i have extensive video and stills of both dee and kirk webster making foundation (slightly different techniques).  i have a huge amount of video that i have to deal with, but this is on the list to get done.

deknow

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2010, 11:59:26 AM »
>I read Dee Lusby's paper on homemade foundation. Has anyone here experimented with this?

I have no press bu have made blank sheets.  I've since decided it's much easier to not use foundation.  The bees do great without it.

> What if you made a foundation with no embossing on it so the bees could make whatever size they wanted?

They will build it slower than no foundation, and they will not do it with much enthusiasm.

> I imagine that they'd be compelled to draw straight comb without me having to keep the combs on the guides in my foundationless frames.

A guide is all you need.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline melliphile

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2010, 08:33:10 AM »
I have guides (popsicle sticks) but some colonies aren't too good at following them. I've had to cull and rearrange quite a bit of comb. They seem to like to jump frames so that each frame gets connected to the one next to it.  I thought that the sheets would keep them on track better.
"Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow." -Plato

Offline deknow

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2010, 12:49:03 PM »
They seem to like to jump frames so that each frame gets connected to the one next to it. 

are you absolutely certain that the hives are level side to side?  i mean, have you checked it with a level?  the bees build "down" based on gravity.  comb can get crosswise, and it can get connected...but a comb that is attached to one frame at the top and another at the bottom is not very likely level.

deknow

Offline melliphile

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2010, 04:10:52 PM »
No, deknow, I haven't.  I will next time I see that hive, tho.
Thank you all for your input.
"Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow." -Plato

Offline Acebird

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2010, 02:33:15 PM »
Quote
I have no press bu have made blank sheets.  I've since decided it's much easier to not use foundation.  The bees do great without it.

Could it be said that the advantage for using foundation is it survives the extraction process better?  Are there any other advantages for foundation if the bees do great without it?
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2010, 10:21:21 PM »
>Could it be said that the advantage for using foundation is it survives the extraction process better? 

You can say it.  I won't make it true.

>Are there any other advantages for foundation if the bees do great without it?

There are several myths about advantages, the biggest are that you will get less drones iwth foundation and that a pound of wax takes between 8 and 16 pounds of honey... but I see no advantages.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2010, 10:31:06 AM »
Interesting views ...

When I made my extractor (not tested yet) I was told to turn the top bars out.  1, because of the angle of the cells and 2, because of strength of the comb (having support wires).  It doesn't make sense to me that so many people would be using foundation if there was no advantage.
Never thought I would do it!

Offline hardwood

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2010, 10:53:50 AM »
I'm just finishing my first year of going all foundationless and so far I've had few issues. I found (as stated by MB) that if the frames are fully drawn and you start the extractor (radial) on a very low speed and slowly increase the speed the comb holds up well. It's the frames that are not fully drawn that are the problem. In my experience the bees will leave a "bee space" between the bottom of the comb and the bottom bar of the frame until the extra comb is needed which can take some time. I extract these frames in a tangential hand crank extractor that has a screen to support the comb. Care must be taken when uncapping as undue lateral force to the comb can break it.

Scott
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Offline Acebird

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2010, 12:19:44 PM »
Quote
You can say it.  I won't make it true.

One response is not scientific proof but this implies it is true:

Quote
Care must be taken when uncapping as undue lateral force to the comb can break it.

From what I have seen of foundationless comb it is more delicate than comb drawn from a foundation especially with wire supports.
Never thought I would do it!

Offline hardwood

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2010, 12:31:51 PM »
I don't believe that foundationless is any weaker than using wax foundation. Once you start adding support (wires) it of course strengthens it. Wired foundation is not as strong as plastic...plastic in wood frames is not as strong as solid plastic frames. It all depends on how you wish to do it and how much $/labor you are willing to invest.

I decided to start using foundationless frames during a growth period to save money and labor and it has worked well for me so far. The older the comb and the more brood that has been raised in it the tougher it gets. By this time next year I expect most if not all of my frames to be fully drawn and quite rigid.

Of course, I'm in a growth stage again :)

Scott
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907

Offline Acebird

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2010, 12:43:25 PM »
Aren't you always in a growth stage?  Isn't it common practice to crush the comb every few years and let them build new to eliminate contaminated wax?  So the delicate stage doesn't last forever but initially there is a structural advantage to foundation.
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Offline deknow

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2010, 01:16:05 PM »
foundation predates wires.  the reason that wire was deemed necessary was not for extraction (combs from foundation were being extracted by commercial beekeepers before wiring was introduced), but to keep the foundation from sagging as it was drawn out.

no doubt wires make the comb a bit easier to handle and extract from, but by no means are the wires necessary for handling or extraction.  some wire their foundationless frames as well....we don't (and we use all deeps).

deknow

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2010, 09:17:09 PM »
>It doesn't make sense to me that so many people would be using foundation if there was no advantage.

People often do things as a group for which there is no advantage.  Good salesmanship is the key.  All of the bee culture books written during the last century and a half were written and published by the bee supply houses who were trying to sell foundation.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline rdy-b

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2010, 09:58:50 PM »
Interesting views ...

When I made my extractor (not tested yet) I was told to turn the top bars out.  1, because of the angle of the cells and 2, because of strength of the comb (having support wires).  It doesn't make sense to me that so many people would be using foundation if there was no advantage.
  I would be afraid to test it -could have SHOCKING results-- :lol:  8-) RDY-B

Offline rdy-b

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2010, 10:04:31 PM »
I don't believe that foundationless is any weaker than using wax foundation. Once you start adding support (wires) it of course strengthens it. Wired foundation is not as strong as plastic...plastic in wood frames is not as strong as solid plastic frames. It all depends on how you wish to do it and how much $/labor you are willing to invest.

I decided to start using foundationless frames during a growth period to save money and labor and it has worked well for me so far. The older the comb and the more brood that has been raised in it the tougher it gets. By this time next year I expect most if not all of my frames to be fully drawn and quite rigid.

Of course, I'm in a growth stage again :)

Scott
  may i ask if you plan on running these frames through a power uncapper-at any time or is it a broodnest only aproach-RDY-B

Offline hardwood

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Re: Homemade foundation
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2010, 10:23:12 PM »
rdy-b, I'm running both brood and honey frames this way and, as long as they're full drawn I haven't had problems with mechanical uncapping (chain in my case) but when it comes down to scratching the low spots you have to be careful not to push the comb out of the frame.

I'm not totally convinced if this would be the right way (for me anyway) to run a large honey yard as it does take a little getting used to but you can't beat the savings.

I'm picking up another 250 deeps at Dadant tomorrow and plan on going foundationless with those.

Scott
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907