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Author Topic: Which Foundation do you Prefer?  (Read 2319 times)
thomashton
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« on: June 27, 2005, 03:50:26 PM »

Do you like Duragilt, Permadent, 100% wax or what?
If you were starting new and going to buy all new equipment which would you buy or would you get  a combination of some?

Thanks
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2005, 04:09:15 PM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/FoundationlessFrame2.JPG

Here's my favorite.  Smiley  No foundation.

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

And here it is all drawn out.

But IF I were to buy foundation it would be 4.9mm small cell wax.
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Michael Bush
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2005, 04:29:25 PM »

4.9 small cell wax for me also.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2005, 08:06:16 PM »

I am using duragilt and like it a lot.  In the future I MAY go small cell.  Oh BTW...Mr. Bush, it was hard to see in the first photo you posted, but do you just use a frame or do you put strips in?  I thought I saw before that you use starter strips.  Also, why do you like to do that instead of regular foundation frames?
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drobbins
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2005, 09:53:04 PM »

here's a 1 inch starter strip

http://drobbins.net/bee's/Dsc00781.jpg

and here it is after a week in the hive

http://drobbins.net/bee's/Dsc00779.jpg

and here it is with bee's on it

http://drobbins.net/bee's/window1.jpg

I think in the future I'll make the strip even smaller
just get em started straight and let em build what they want

Dave
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2005, 10:21:28 PM »

> BTW...Mr. Bush, it was hard to see in the first photo you posted

Go to www.bushfarms.com and see if you can look at all of them.  There are several pictures there.

>do you just use a frame or do you put strips in?

Yes.  Smiley

>I thought I saw before that you use starter strips.

On existing frames I put in starter strips sometimes.  Anymore I usually just put them between two drawn combs and don't put anything in them at all.

But all my unassembled new frames I cut the top the angled comb guide onto the bottom of the top bar.

>Also, why do you like to do that instead of regular foundation frames?

6)  The bees build it faster with no foundation.
5)  No foundation to buy.
4)  No foundation to install
3)  No foundation to buckle because I put it on the hive too soon and it got hot.
2)  No foundation to wire.

and the most important

1)  Natural cell size with no fighting with the bees to do so. (controls Varroa).
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Michael Bush
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jgarzasr
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2005, 03:34:07 PM »

I am interested in the theory behind using the small cell / foundationless frames.  So did you gradually replace your drawn out (standard) frames with these or did you try these type of frames on a new hive?  Also - for the foundationless frame - do you just put together standard frames and leave out the foundation and put in the hive?  I would be very interested in trying these out from all the data posted on the bushfarms site - and I really like the thought of the bees making their own foundation - the way it should be.
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thomashton
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2005, 03:55:37 PM »

Quote from: Michael Bush
> BTW...Mr. Bush, it was hard to see in the first photo you posted

Go to www.bushfarms.com and see if you can look at all of them.  There are several pictures there.

>do you just use a frame or do you put strips in?

Yes.  Smiley

>I thought I saw before that you use starter strips.

On existing frames I put in starter strips sometimes.  Anymore I usually just put them between two drawn combs and don't put anything in them at all.

But all my unassembled new frames I cut the top the angled comb guide onto the bottom of the top bar.

>Also, why do you like to do that instead of regular foundation frames?

6)  The bees build it faster with no foundation.
5)  No foundation to buy.
4)  No foundation to install
3)  No foundation to buckle because I put it on the hive too soon and it got hot.
2)  No foundation to wire.

and the most important

1)  Natural cell size with no fighting with the bees to do so. (controls Varroa).


How do you harvest with top bar frames. Do you just cut the comb out and sell it as chunk? You can't spin that in an extractor can you?
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drobbins
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2005, 04:19:06 PM »

Thomashton,

I think you answered your own question  Smiley
no, I don't think it would stand an extractor (thereby saving you from buying one)
I don't have a tbh, but want to build one
it seems to me, that if done correctly, (proper dimentions) you could put regular supers on top of it and just use the tbh as your brood chamber

Dave
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Phoenix
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2005, 04:19:25 PM »

I'm not sure whether or not I should be responding, as the questions seem to be directed to Michael, forgive me if I butt in here.
Quote
So did you gradually replace your drawn out (standard) frames with these or did you try these type of frames on a new hive?

You can do it either way, but as long as you have drawn comb, it would be best to alternate foundationless or starter stripped frames, between frames of drawn comb.  That will give the bees some guidance and keep the new comb pretty straight.
Quote
Also - for the foundationless frame - do you just put together standard frames and leave out the foundation and put in the hive?

Standard frames are perfectly fine as long as you alternate them between frames of drawn comb, but some of us have constructed special top bars with comb guides, by cutting the sides of the top bar at a 30 or 45 degree angle.  I prefer to insert 1 inch strips of 4.9mm foundation in standard frames, to give the bees a guide, yet still achieve natural comb in the remaining space of the open frame.
Quote
I really like the thought of the bees making their own foundation - the way it should be.

Some of us prefer naturally drawn comb, and the smaller size of natural cells as well.

To answer your original question Thom, I prefer natural comb or small cell plastic foundation.  I don't like Duragilt, due to the tendency of the bees to strip off the wax in spots, and then they refuse to rebuild comb in the stripped area.  I don't like wax foundation because of the hassle of wiring, and the bees seem to build foundationless comb faster than drawing plain wax foundation.
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Phoenix
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2005, 04:27:55 PM »

Quote
How do you harvest with top bar frames. Do you just cut the comb out and sell it as chunk? You can't spin that in an extractor can you?

I do harvest a good amount of cut comb, yet if you are careful with a frame of aged foundationless comb, you can extract it.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2005, 05:17:30 PM »

>How do you harvest with top bar frames. Do you just cut the comb out and sell it as chunk? You can't spin that in an extractor can you?

I do both.  The nice soft wax I do as cut comb.  When the wax is new it's really delicate.  If you wait until the bees attach it some on all four sides (not all the way, just some) and the comb has aged so it's not soft like putty, then you can extract it gently.  Start slow and work your way up.  If you go to fast too soon you can even blow out wired wax.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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bassman1977
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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2005, 08:34:55 PM »

Michael, thanks for posting your website.  That's quite a bundle of information and very interesting at that.  Maybe next year I'll try the foundationless frames on one of the two new hives I plan to start.
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2005, 11:02:33 PM »

Quote
"To answer your original question Thom, I prefer natural comb or small cell plastic foundation...."


Phoenix made reference to it but I haven't located a source yet. I've found the SC wax foundation but I want to get away from wax foundation if I can. I am a small hobby beekeeper and I do the cut comb and squeeze thing (no extractor). All of my hives are from ferel swarms and I intend to manage most of the mite problem with SC. I managed to keep most of the comb from the colonies I've collected and the bees are making new comb without foundation. I have two hives that need a little help in keeping the comb straight or building it in the center of the frame instead of starting on the edge. (They also like curves.) I think a starter strip of small cell foundation would do the trick. Where do you find small cell plastic foundation.
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Phoenix
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2005, 11:50:56 PM »

I got my 4.9mm plastic foundation from Dadant, but they have discontinued carrying it.  Some of the Dadant branches still have some though.
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