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Author Topic: Foundationless? The experiment is over....for good!  (Read 4326 times)
FRAMEshift
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« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2011, 03:47:28 PM »

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

Ok, I see what you're doing.  We do use some plastic frames... the PF100s, to get a new package started with straight comb.  Then we put foundationless between the plastic frames and go from there.  We always have straight comb this way. 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2011, 01:05:08 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?

I wouldn't fix it.  They do the same with foundation.

>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?

All together in the center unless you want to make a follower to put in the gap on one side.

>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?

You don't.  Put them in the center.

If you get a frame of drone and remove it, they will just make another until they get their quota of drone comb.  Trying to eliminate drone comb is the leading cause of several problems, one of which is drone brood in the supers because you didn't allow it in the brood nest.  I try to move it to the outside if I find drone comb.  The bees will backfill it with honey when they are droneright.
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Michael Bush
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windfall
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« Reply #22 on: July 16, 2011, 09:20:40 AM »

We started with foundationless this year and following advice posted here (beemaster) have had very good luck. Straight combs between those already drawn.
Yes they made a few frames of drone intially, then started right back in with worker...now most of the drone is backfilled with honey.

The only problem for us has been the last few weeks, the top few inches of many frames has gotten drawn out wide and filled with honey. We have seen this all over, but most commonly they are drawing out the top of older full frames into the space of new or newer frames that were inserted between them. Has not been a big problem and we mostly just left it alone. I did try shaving a couple down with the hive tool...we will see next week if they just put it back
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kathyp
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« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2011, 09:51:22 AM »

when they are storing honey they will draw deeper cells if they have the space.  many people use 9 drawn frames in honey supers so that they are deeper and easier to uncap.  if you have  to cut it apart that's ok.  the bees will clean up the drips, but be aware that dripping honey around can start robbing and attract yellowjackets, etc.  it can't be helped, but you need to watch for problems and protect your hives. 
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.....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.....

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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2011, 10:03:43 AM »

The only problem for us has been the last few weeks, the top few inches of many frames has gotten drawn out wide and filled with honey. We have seen this all over, but most commonly they are drawing out the top of older full frames into the space of new or newer frames that were inserted between them.

This is one of the many reasons we like long hives.  With Langs you are forced to break the hive up into pieces and when one or two frames are overdrawn they don't fit neatly in the standard 10 frame or 8 frame space.  With a 33 frame long hive, you just slide everything down and it always fits.
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2011, 10:54:56 AM »

I will never go foundationless, it is just too much hassle for me.


Its actually easier than foundation once you understand the do's and dont's of it. I place foundationless frames in between capped brood frames or between capped honey frames but always 10 frames in a 10 frame box.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #26 on: July 16, 2011, 11:50:56 PM »

>Its actually easier than foundation once you understand the do's and dont's of it.

IMO MUCH easier than foundation...
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #27 on: July 17, 2011, 12:41:39 AM »

So ultimately why are people going foundationless? You can produce cut comb honey with foundation so that is out. I am in the hassle crowd for now. I don't see the point in a lot of things I guess. Like TBH and Warre hives for example. Are they really that much better than a Lang. I think TBHs look stupid. I have always believed bees work better going up and down not side to side. The TBH definitely throws that logic out the window. Just my opinion.
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« Reply #28 on: July 17, 2011, 08:20:24 AM »

obviously I can only speak for myself.
I started beekeeping with foundationless because:

I didn't want to buy foundation. I make all my gear, I will let the bees do the rest. I don't want to buy anything but bees and hopefully not them once I get a bit more experienced and established.

I am learning a lot by watching the hives expand and draw the comb themselves. It forces me to pay attention and see things I might not notice otherwise....Everyone who has come to visit loves to see the natural combs drawing out and melding together on the frame.

It might (I know this is debated) reduce the chemical contamination in the hives.

If I were keeping many hives, or didn't want to be in the hives I have frequently, I could see the attraction to foundation. But for the place I am out there really is no reason I would want to use it. To be fair, I have had nothing but good experience with it in my short time keeping bees, if I had been having the frustrations I see others write about I might be singing a different tune.
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FRAMEshift
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« Reply #29 on: July 17, 2011, 09:10:47 AM »

You can produce cut comb honey with foundation so that is out.

How do you do that?
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« Reply #30 on: July 17, 2011, 11:05:44 AM »

Quote
So ultimately why are people going foundationless

everyone has different reasons.  mine were cost of foundation and the fact that with foundation you are only giving the bees one cell size option.  if you look at hives built in walls, trees, etc., the bees draw cells of different size for different thing.  seemed if they did it on their own, they must have a reason so i went with their reasoning  grin

Quote
You can produce cut comb honey with foundation so that is out.
How do you do that?

they make a thin foundation just for comb honey supers.
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.....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
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« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2011, 11:32:05 AM »


they make a thin foundation just for comb honey supers.

 I don't think I'd want to eat that.  Even if you want to use foundation for the brood frames, you could still use foundationless for the honey supers.
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« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2011, 05:38:02 PM »

I'm learning a very great deal from this discussion.  Thank you all very much.  In the last few days I've gone into my hives and realigned all the frames towards the center of each box.  While doing so, I cut away the mess the bees made on the walls and fed it back to them.  In addition, I added frames with foundation for the purpose of "pyramiding".  I did a little experimenting: Some boxes I put 1 frame of foundation on each side.  Others I put one frame in the middle and one on the outside.  Next I'll pull up some nice straight drawn combs from below and place them in empty boxes above.  It's good to know I'm now on the right track.

I don't want to do any extracting right now - just do cut comb honey - so I don't want to have to put too much foundation into my hives. If the bees store honey in them, as they probably will, I'll leave this for them.

Michael Bush:
Why do you feel foundationless is much easier to work with than foundation?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #33 on: July 18, 2011, 11:26:14 AM »

>So ultimately why are people going foundationless?

The two main reasons are usually clean wax (no contamination from Acaracides) and natural cell size (not uniform 5.4mm cells, but a range of cell sizes almost all of which are smaller than that).

> You can produce cut comb honey with foundation so that is out.

If you like eating organophophates, yes.

> I am in the hassle crowd for now. I don't see the point in a lot of things I guess. Like TBH and Warre hives for example. Are they really that much better than a Lang.

Simpler.  Not necessarily better.  Cheaper.  Easier to make from scrap wood.

>I think TBHs look stupid.

Looks have never been high on my list of importance in a hive.

>I have always believed bees work better going up and down not side to side.

And yet according to Eva Crane, throughout all of history including now most of the hives in the world are horizontal.

>The TBH definitely throws that logic out the window. Just my opinion.

Since the bees are happy to move sideways it does throw that logic out the window.  If that was true than TBHs would not work.  Yet they do.

>Why do you feel foundationless is much easier to work with than foundation?

They mess up foundation just as much, but with foundation  I have to buy it.  I have to store it, I have to put it in, I have to wire it, worry about it sagging, warping and collapsing.   With foundationless I do none of that.  When I go through a deadout with foundationless I just cut out any combs that are badly webbed by wax moths and put them back in the hive.  I don't have to take them back to the house and scrape them out, and put foundation back in them first, and then find out I didn't need as many frames as I thought and the foundation sags before I get it in the hives and I have to redo it... way too much work.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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DavidBee
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« Reply #34 on: July 18, 2011, 11:45:32 AM »


I haver (had) a KTBH and two Langs, all foundationless - I don't want someone else's dirty wax. The two Langs have cross comb, maybe because I used nine frames instead of ten, but at robbing time that really doesn't matter, as I use crush comb method. It does inhibit inspections, though. The top bar was going gangbusters, with beautiful comb, lots of bees, and minimal cross comb. I expected lots of honey from them, but, alas, when I arrived with my buckets there were just a few confused bees about and the hive was full of wax moths. I suspect the moths were just a result of something more sinister, but I had been lazy and not looked inside for three of four weeks, so I now have no clue. But to the point - the top bar hive girls followed the rules and drew marvilous straight comb.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #35 on: July 18, 2011, 12:39:43 PM »

A couple people have mentioned using 9 frames in a 10 frame lang box and trying to go foundationless.  This WILL result in poorly drawn comb and failure (unless you don't mind boxes full of crossed comb as David mentioned).

A 10 frame box requires 10 frames when using new foundation or foundationless.  Once the frames are drawn out, then you can use 9 or even 8 frames, but not before.
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Rick
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« Reply #36 on: July 18, 2011, 12:41:31 PM »

Michael,
I get what you say about the foundation drawbacks.  Good points you make.  How do you address the pyramiding technique that so many on this thread have found so successful?  I'd imagine, you find some nicely drawn, straight combs and use them in the upper boxes?  But if you have none of these to begin with, how do you begin?  Going in and straightening until you get them?  That was the only way I was able to get relatively straight combs.  I started out my swarms on a nice straight comb of honey.  It was in the upper boxes that I got into trouble and learned why from this thread.
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kathyp
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« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2011, 01:31:39 PM »

just pull some up from the bottom and replace the ones you pulled with empty frames.  i pull mine up into the center because the queen will be more likely to get right up there and lay.  i replace with empty frames right  next to the brood below because those will get drawn faster. 

eventually you will have lots of drawn comb, but when you are starting out it's a bit of a juggling act.
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.....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
Michael Bush
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« Reply #38 on: July 19, 2011, 03:51:49 AM »

>How do you address the pyramiding technique that so many on this thread have found so successful?  I'd imagine, you find some nicely drawn, straight combs and use them in the upper boxes?

Yes.

>  But if you have none of these to begin with, how do you begin?

Put the second box under the first and you'll eliminate the need.

>  Going in and straightening until you get them?

If you only have some that are not flat in the frames, cut out what you have and tie it into the frame straight.  Now you have some straight ones.

>  That was the only way I was able to get relatively straight combs.  I started out my swarms on a nice straight comb of honey.

Hard to beat a straight comb for a guide unless it's two straight combs, one on each side of the empty one.

>  It was in the upper boxes that I got into trouble and learned why from this thread.

Here is some historic advice:
http://bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm#historicreferences
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Michael Bush
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Stone
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« Reply #39 on: July 19, 2011, 01:52:08 PM »

Michael,

Why do you use only mediums?
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