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Author Topic: Where to locate supers without drawn comb  (Read 2298 times)
The Bix
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« on: February 07, 2011, 07:37:43 PM »

I'm entering my third year of beekeeping and my goal this year is to maximize the honey yield and NOT increase the number of colonies.  I have several supers with undrawn comb.  Where would you position the supers with undrawn comb?
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Countryboy
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2011, 09:26:19 PM »

In the barn or storage shed.

If you are trying to maximize honey production, making the bees draw out comb will slow them down.  You want all drawn comb in the supers.

But if you want to get them drawn out too, AND YOU HAVE A STRONG FLOW, you can put 3 or 4 frames of drawn comb and the rest foundation in a super.

Or once the bees are working in a super pretty good, put a super of foundation directly over top of the broodnest, and under the honey super the bees are working in.
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WPG
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2011, 09:35:16 PM »

Do you mean undrawn foundation?

What size boxes?
8's
10's
deeps
mediums?

How many per hive now?
1
2
3?

Top entrance, bottom entrance or both?

Usually honey supers go on top.

Some swarm control methods have you put the first one on the bottom below the brood, so there is plenty of expansion room.
 The new bees will be ready to produce wax and make space for the queen to lay.

More later.
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Finski
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2011, 12:55:41 AM »

.
When the flow is good, I often put extra foundation box under the brood box that bees have really room where put the nectar. They draw all foundatiosn there.

Normally foundation box place is between brood and drawn honey box.

If you mix foundations and drawn combs, bees draw more the ready cells and foundations less. The result is very bad.

Bees are ready to draw combs when they start to make burr between boxes.
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Countryboy
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2011, 08:14:22 PM »

If you mix foundations and drawn combs, bees draw more the ready cells and foundations less. The result is very bad.

In a weak flow here, you will see bees draw out drawn comb fatter and ignore foundations.  In a heavy flow, the bees draw out foundation pretty good too.
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fish_stix
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2011, 08:27:42 PM »

Keep it simple. Put the honey super on top just before your main flow and "seed" it with a frame or two of honey if you have it. If not, no worry. They'll still draw it out just like they've been doing for several million years now.
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The Bix
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2011, 08:54:36 PM »

Do you mean undrawn foundation?

What size boxes?
8's
10's
deeps
mediums?

How many per hive now?
1
2
3?

Top entrance, bottom entrance or both?

Usually honey supers go on top.

Some swarm control methods have you put the first one on the bottom below the brood, so there is plenty of expansion room.
 The new bees will be ready to produce wax and make space for the queen to lay.

More later.

I've been out of town and out of commission for a few days...

Yes, undrawn foundation, that would be the correct term.  I am using 10 frame equipment and need to have comb drawn on the 10 frame mediums.  Using bottom entrances, however, I did make a few Imirie shims that I plan to use.  I have two supers available for each hive, but can use them where ever they are needed.
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iddee
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2011, 09:04:25 PM »

You can place one foundation super either under or over the drawn super, but above the brood chamber. As stated above, do NOT mix drawn and undrawn in the same box. Also, only give them one undrawn box at a time. When it is 7 to 9 frames drawn, add another.

PS. Always use ten frames to get it drawn. Only use 9 frames in a ten frame box if they are fully drawn.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

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Countryboy
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2011, 10:53:34 PM »

As stated above, do NOT mix drawn and undrawn in the same box.

Beekeeping is local.  I have found that during a strong flow, it is perfectly fine to mix comb with foundations, and I know beekeepers running hundreds of hives in other areas with a strong flow who mix comb and foundation with no problems.  It seems to become a problem if you have a weak flow - the bees will draw out the comb farther, and often ignore the foundation in those situations.
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edward
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2011, 11:15:16 PM »

It takes 8 kilos/ounce of honey/sugar to make 1 kilo/ounce of wax  Wink

If you continually harvest your honey and put back your extracted frames your total harvest will increase.


mvh edward Tongue
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sterling
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« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2011, 11:46:37 AM »

The suggestions are almost always use drawn comb. What if you have hives that are two deep hive bodies and you don't have any other drawn comb just empty supers and frames with foundation. You have no other choice but to use what you have. What is the best way to get the bees to draw on foundation?
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D Coates
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« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2011, 12:08:21 PM »

When the flow is strong and they are about 50% to 70% finished filling one super (centerframe is almost completely capped) I'll put an undrawn super on top.  The next week I'll come back and they are invariably starting to draw out the undrawn super.  I then switch the positions of the undrawn super with the drawn super (now normally +90% capped).  They're happy to have more room and once they start they may finish quickly.  Be careful have an additional super (or deep) available in case they finish out the undrawn super.  It really hurts to watch them swarm and take 1/2 their honey with them if they get crowded.
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iddee
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« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2011, 02:00:47 PM »

Countryboy, my reply to any beek with years of experience and hundreds of hives will always be different than it is to a new beek with his first one or two hives.

For them, I will always say don't mix drawn and foundation, even as they see me mix them in my hives. Knowing the season, flow, and the bees you have allow many acts that would be disastrous without that knowledge.
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"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me . . . Anything can happen, child. Anything can be"

*Shel Silverstein*
Countryboy
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2011, 10:03:17 PM »

Good point.

Do as I say, and not as I do.  Or as I tell new beekeepers, if you are going to do things like I do, do EVERYTHING the way I do it - otherwise, just stick with the basic rules until you know how to get away with bending rules....or else try it and learn the hard way.   Smiley
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