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Author Topic: Foundationless Frames and Package Introduction  (Read 900 times)

Offline DCHoneybees

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Foundationless Frames and Package Introduction
« on: February 22, 2011, 01:20:26 PM »
Thanks to Michael Bush and others counsel from this forum I plan to go foundationless with all my hives this season (Starter strip of wax foundation and a vertical strip for a comb guide) in deep boxes.  Can new packages be introduced directly into this box given this small initial amount of surface for the bees to cling, or is it more prudent to include in the mix a few frames with foundation?

Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: Foundationless Frames and Package Introduction
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2011, 01:38:43 PM »
You lost me on the starter strip and a vertical strip, but to answer your question, I introduced a package on 9 frames on foundationless with a wooden starter strip and one frame of foundation and it worked quite well. My reasoning (wrong or right) was the foundation gave the bees a starting point and a place to mount the queen cage albeit they really didnt need one. Packages will work like gangbusters provided they are well fed and it will surprise you on how fast they can fill in the empty frames.

Offline cam

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Re: Foundationless Frames and Package Introduction
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2011, 02:13:29 PM »
I put 6 packages into hives with foundationless frames. If you hang the queen cage up at the top of the frames the bees will build comb there without any other assistance. However, you need to feed them both syrup and pollen patties for best results.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Foundationless Frames and Package Introduction
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2011, 10:26:56 PM »
Comb guides are horizontal... not sure what you mean by "vertical strip?

http://bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm

I would NOT hang the cage anywhere.  I would direct release her.  The cage will lead to messed up comb which will lead to more messed up comb.

http://bushfarms.com/beespackages.htm#donthangqueencage

If there is no pollen by the time you install your packages you're installing them too early.  They should need no pollen patties.  Substitute will make short lived bees.  They will need syrup until they have some capped stores.

http://bushfarms.com/beesfeeding.htm#what

Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline DCHoneybees

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Re: Foundationless Frames and Package Introduction
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2011, 11:08:22 PM »
If I direct release the queen I presume then, Michael, that the bees will still cling to the top bars (and starter strip) and build down?

Offline Countryboy

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Re: Foundationless Frames and Package Introduction
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2011, 11:14:51 PM »
If you plan to start bees on foundationless frames, make sure you have a way to feed them if the weather is too cold for them to get to the feeder.  This is one reason I like starting packages on at least one frame of drawn comb - preferably honey, but I can spray syrup into a frame of drawn comb.

Feed, feed, feed.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Foundationless Frames and Package Introduction
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2011, 09:04:34 PM »
>If I direct release the queen I presume then, Michael, that the bees will still cling to the top bars (and starter strip) and build down

Of course.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

 

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