Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
September 20, 2014, 06:49:52 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: ATTENTION ALL NEW MEMBERS
PLEASE READ THIS OR YOUR ACCOUNT MAY BE DELETED - CLICK HERE
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Foundationless? The experiment is over....for good!  (Read 4762 times)
Stone
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 163


Location: Delaware County, New York


« on: July 14, 2011, 08:42:58 PM »

Having kept top bar hives for two years, I figured foundationless Langs would not be too difficult.  Was I wrong! 

I came out of winter with three hives.  Did some splits, got some swarms, did a few cutouts and now I have twelve.  I feed all with honey I got from the extractions - let them reprocess it and make it useful for them and me. I do this weekly.

I run all mediums and after I placed the second (or third) medium on top (of the rubber-banded brood from the cutouts) I get comb architecture straight from nightmares - including combs of nectar on the walls, and comb drawn from the bottom of the frame upwards!  I even got comb crossing the frames that looked like the rolling hills of the Catskills! I have spent hours trying to fix all this.

At first I thought it was Kelley's frame design (which I do NOT recommend) but then they did it to my popsicle stick top bars too.

I started to put in two end frames with foundation to see what they do next.  Waiting to see at this point. I'm extremely discouraged.  I don't want to do any extracting.  I just want to run foundationless shallows - spaced at 9 frames - for cut comb honey, but I shudder at what I'll get. I can't help thinking I'm doing something wrong but I have no idea what. Need some help.
Logged
kathyp
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 15151


Location: boring, oregon


« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2011, 09:10:32 PM »

Quote
foundationless shallows - spaced at 9 frames - for cut comb honey,

you will get wonky comb with 9 frames.  the space is wrong and they will try to fix it.

as for 10 frame boxes, it is easiest to start them with one frame of foundation down the middle.  it's also important to keep the frames pushed close together in the middle of the box.  any extra space should be to the outside.

some hives will just draw bad comb even with foundation, however, i have dumped swarms on boxes of new frames and had them do fine.  i suspect you bee space is the issue if all of your hives are having problems.
Logged

.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
FRAMEshift
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1681


Location: North Carolina


« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2011, 10:05:01 PM »

You are used to doing long hives (TBH) so you haven't encountered the bottom up building before.  When you use foundationless in a lang, you have to "ladder up" by placing a frame of drawn comb in the upper box.  If you don't do that, they will often draw it from the bottom up.

Nothing wrong with Kelley frames.  I think they will usually work fine even if you use only empty frames.  But we always try to alternate new empty foundationless frames with drawn frames and we NEVER have wonky comb.  As Kathy said, always push your frames together tightly.  And if you do get bad comb, remove it immediately.  Bad comb leads to more bad comb.
Logged

"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh
Michael Bush
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 13658


Location: Nehawka, NE


WWW
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2011, 11:31:19 PM »

The two issues are you need a ladder when you add boxes on top or they may start building from the bottom up.  A drawn comb pulled up to the center of the top box works fine for a ladder.  And you need the right spacing.  I like the triangular bars the best.  They are followed better than anything else and makes a stronger attachment.  But most guides work fine.

The most important thing to grasp with any natural comb hive is that one good comb leads to another in the same way that one bad comb leads to another. You cannot afford to not be paying attention to how they start off.  Once you have a mess the most important thing is to make sure the LAST comb is straight as this is always the guide for the NEXT comb. You can't take a "hopeful" view that the bees will get back on track. They will not. You have to put them back on track.
Logged

Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Stone
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 163


Location: Delaware County, New York


« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2011, 07:23:38 AM »

Thank you for the suggestion about "laddering" and keeping on top of what the bees are doing. It seems each time I look inside a hive, I'm fixing a mess. I'm lucky I'm on vacation! By the way, I placed frames with foundation into the hives I already fixed.  Doing the rest of them today.

One more question.  I noticed that the last frame of my bottom (base) hive body which is topped with honey (or mostly honey), is attached to the wall. (I've see this on two or three other hives.)  I haven't checked this box for awhile but I can see this from above. Would you suggest I go in and fix that too?

And one more thing.  I'm new to Langs and I'd like to know if the procedure is to push all frames together in the middle of the box - leaving an equal space at both walls - or to push them tight against one wall?

AND if you push them tight against the one wall, do you continue that all the way up into the other boxes with the same space on the same side of all the boxes?
Logged
yockey5
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 677


Location: Hudson, Indiana


« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2011, 07:44:33 AM »

I will never go foundationless, it is just too much hassle for me.
Logged
Stone
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 163


Location: Delaware County, New York


« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2011, 07:52:10 AM »

Yockey5,

As my original post said, I'm definitely going in that direction. I'm ambivalent about it though because I don't want to extract - only want to do cut comb.
Logged
FRAMEshift
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1681


Location: North Carolina


« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2011, 09:15:51 AM »


One more question.  I noticed that the last frame of my bottom (base) hive body which is topped with honey (or mostly honey), is attached to the wall. (I've see this on two or three other hives.)  I haven't checked this box for awhile but I can see this from above. Would you suggest I go in and fix that too?
You must have seen this in your TBH.  They are notorious for side adhesions and brace comb.  The bees are adding support where they can.  They are not trying to build a new brood comb (unless you leave too much room between the frame and the side.)  Just make sure you break the support comb with your hive tool before you try to pull the frame out so you don't damage the comb in the frame.

Quote

And one more thing.  I'm new to Langs and I'd like to know if the procedure is to push all frames together in the middle of the box - leaving an equal space at both walls - or to push them tight against one wall?

The boxes are designed to have the frames pushed together tightly in the middle.  If you push them all to one side, the space will be large enough to generate some serious cross comb.
Logged

"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh
Francus
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 104

Location: Charlotte, NC USA


« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2011, 09:25:53 AM »

I am a new beek and I started with foundationless. In two hives so far I have only had two frames of wonky comb. I cut both out. Also, between the two they have drawn out about 14 frames so far and they look real good.

I used the big popsicle sticks for guides and glued them into the top bar. I also used one frame of wax foundation which I put 2 frames off center for a "ladder". So far I have been amazed. And it is fun to open the hives each week and see that nice white new comb has been added to yet more frames.

For reasons I can't understand, sometimes they will start two or three combs on one frame and then as they get bigger they meet up an join. This usually works, but on the couple of wonky frames they decided to bend the combs in opposite directions and not fuse them. Crazy bees.

I enjoyed Mike Bush's website as it goes into foundationless in detail and also has a wealth of other information. It's at

http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

if you are interested.
Logged

"...but Sweetie, it's basically just an Ant Farm for adults...."
T Beek
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 2776


Location: USA, N/W Wisconsin


« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2011, 09:42:23 AM »

This discussion is what makes this site so great cool

thomas
Logged

"Trust those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they've found it."
kathyp
Universal Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 15151


Location: boring, oregon


« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2011, 10:10:05 AM »

something else occurred to me and it has come up before.  lots of new beekeepers expect perfect frames like those shown in pictures.  even when using foundation, your bees often will not draw perfect frames.  they  will connect frames in spots, and they will draw burr comb.  sometimes nothing is wrong, but we need to check our expectations.....and buy one of those nice long bread knifes.....they correct most sins  evil
Logged

.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
D Semple
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 495

Location: Overland Park, Kansas


« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2011, 10:39:34 AM »


Nothing wrong with Kelley frames.  I think they will usually work fine even if you use only empty frames.  But we always try to alternate new empty foundationless frames with drawn frames and we NEVER have wonky comb.  As Kathy said, always push your frames together tightly.  And if you do get bad comb, remove it immediately.  Bad comb leads to more bad comb.

Ok, I'm a beginner with 18 new hives all foundationless, I don't have drawn comb to put my foundationless frames between unless I pyramid up 5 frames from lower boxes everytime I add a box. Is that what you recommend I do???

Right now I'm pulling up a couple of straight frames in the center of for each new box. The biggest issue I'm having is the frames adjacent to the good frames will be straight, but then their comb gets off center of the frames towards the outsides of the box. I'm using 9 - 1 1/4" frames in 8 frame boxes.

Thanks, Don
Logged
caticind
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 385

Location: Carrboro, North Carolina

Nothing sweeter...


« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2011, 10:52:39 AM »

Don, you should definitely pyramid up from the lower boxes when you add a box.  This not only helps you get good-looking comb drawn fast, but it also helps reduce congestion and swarming by feeding empty frames back into the hive body.  If you can, make every other comb a drawn comb.
Logged

The bees would be no help; they would tumble over each other like golden babies and thrum wordlessly on the subjects of queens and sex and pollen-gluey feet. -Palimpsest
Stone
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 163


Location: Delaware County, New York


« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2011, 11:03:20 AM »

What exactly is "pyramiding up"?
Logged
Scadsobees
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3198


Location: Jenison, MI

Best use of smileys in a post award.


« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2011, 12:20:56 PM »

I agree with Kathy - 9 foundationless frames in a 10 frame box is a recipe for disaster.  Get them drawing first, then move them apart.

After the first time, there is usually enough wax on the frames that any subsequent drawing should be straight.

Cut comb- I have the same thing, only I used shallows.  Put a "v" on my homemade frames instead of a popsicle stick and they did just fine.  First time I waxed the "V".

I do have to admit, though, that I'm not a big fan of foundationless. I use mostly plastic foundation, so any foundationless frames end up being drawn drone, and the queen will cross 6 full boxes to lay in 2 drone combs   angry...
Logged

Rick
FRAMEshift
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1681


Location: North Carolina


« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2011, 12:47:40 PM »

I do have to admit, though, that I'm not a big fan of foundationless. I use mostly plastic foundation, so any foundationless frames end up being drawn drone, and the queen will cross 6 full boxes to lay in 2 drone combs   angry...

Sure, the bees want to make some drones.  If you don't give them some drone comb, they will make burr comb to lay drones in.  So if you have plastic frames, then the first foundationless will always be heavy on drone, since they don't already have enough space.  But that is not a fault of foundationless.  That's just bees being bees.   You could give them plastic drone foundation which is very nice if you want to do anti-mite drone trapping.
Logged

"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh
FRAMEshift
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1681


Location: North Carolina


« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2011, 12:51:20 PM »

What exactly is "pyramiding up"?

As used here I think it just means moving drawn frames from a lower box to a box higher up.  It does not imply that those frames should be only near the center of the upper box.
Logged

"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh
Scadsobees
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3198


Location: Jenison, MI

Best use of smileys in a post award.


« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2011, 01:36:29 PM »


Sure, the bees want to make some drones....

Yeah, I know, it just doesn't fit into my beekeeping personality right now.  Less aggressive management (LAM) of the bees means that I have to set them up to work like I want them to...so they get it right on the first time. Pulling drone frames out every other week isn't part of my LAM schedule  grin.
Logged

Rick
FRAMEshift
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1681


Location: North Carolina


« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2011, 02:09:41 PM »

Pulling drone frames out every other week isn't part of my LAM schedule  grin.

Well that's the problem right there.  You keep pulling them out, so the bees keep making more.  The bees want to make drones.  They will keep building drone comb until they get drones.  If you are pulling the drone out as a mite trap, that's fine.  But if you are just pulling them out because you think they shouldn't be there,  you are wasting your time and the bees energy.  Why not just leave the drone comb  where it is?

Once the bees get the drone comb they want, you can add foundationless frames and they will draw worker comb in them.
Logged

"You never can tell with bees."  --  Winnie-the-Pooh
Scadsobees
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3198


Location: Jenison, MI

Best use of smileys in a post award.


« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2011, 03:03:32 PM »

Pulling drone frames out every other week isn't part of my LAM schedule  grin.

Well that's the problem right there.  ... Why not just leave the drone comb  where it is?

I meant as more of an IPM strategy...no point in breeding mites...either way I end up leaving the drone comb in the brood nest in the few foundationless frames and end up freezing the drone comb in my supers and then moving it to the outside of the boxes. 

I do so prefer the nice straight combs built on plastic.
Logged

Rick
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.367 seconds with 22 queries.

Google visited last this page September 10, 2014, 09:39:01 PM