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Author Topic: How many problems using no foundation in new package?  (Read 2734 times)
JackM
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« on: October 31, 2011, 09:38:26 AM »

I have many choices available to me.  I am using all 8 frame mediums.  I can put in strips of foundation, foundation, just the wedge on edge (my preferred).  I want to eventually be foundationless.  But new packages and empty hive, will the bees be pretty good about "following the lines?" 

Would I be better to just get them going with foundation or 1" strip of foundation to keep them honest at first until I have some comb built up?

I was going to get a nuc and package, but fear the unknown illnesses that could come from someone elses bees.  So two packages it will be, going to order them today Smiley
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windfall
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2011, 02:10:01 PM »

This summer I caught 2 swarms off 1 of my hives

I dumped them into deep boxes with just a few (3 I think) empty foundationless frames and a follower board to limit the space. Then I just kept an eye on them and added a frame at a time till they built out to 5 and held them there for overwinter nucs.

The comb they built was flat and even. I may have just gotten lucky. And folks tell me swarms are particularly quick at building out comb....but they are also similar to a package.

hope that helps for what it is worth.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2011, 02:48:19 PM »

As long as you don't hang the queen cage and direct release her they are very good about "following the lines".

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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
cinch123
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2011, 02:58:50 PM »

I read that direct releasing the queen will likely result in them balling her and killing her. Is this not the case? Do they have enough time to get acquainted in the package before being dumped in together?
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yockey5
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2011, 03:05:30 PM »

I read that direct releasing the queen will likely result in them balling her and killing her. Is this not the case? Do they have enough time to get acquainted in the package before being dumped in together?

I have never had a problem with package bees killing the queen, however never say never as bees will make a liar out of the best of us.
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JackM
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2011, 07:29:48 PM »

Michael, If you don't hang the queen cage what do you do with it in an empty hive?  Just put it in the bottom until they work her out?  I understand that can easily take a week.

Actually if you could elaborate on the not hanging part, why, etc., or link to a good explanation?  Would appreciate that, don't remember it being addressed in your book, but I could have dozed in that part?Huh

Smiley
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rail
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2011, 08:02:32 PM »

Jack,

I started a new package with foundationless deeps and did not have any problems at all. Laid the queen cage on the bottom of the frames and fives days she was released.

I kept inserting empty frames between drawn comb and they drew out straight comb.
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Sirach
Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2011, 08:24:17 AM »

>I read that direct releasing the queen will likely result in them balling her and killing her. Is this not the case?

It is not the case.

>Do they have enough time to get acquainted in the package before being dumped in together?

A package is total confusion and they are just happy there is a queen there.
 
That would be page 78 in my book.  The section titled: "Don't hang the queen between the frames"

"Don't hang the queen between the frames

"This almost always results in an extra comb be-tween those two frames drawn on the queen cage. Release the queen and you won't have to worry about the messed up combs. This is even more important in a foundationless scenario such as a top bar hive or foundationless frames as one messed up between the frames comb will result in a repeat of the error the rest of the way across. Dump the bees in. Let them settle a bit. To keep the queen from flying, pull the cork from the non candy end (where she can get out now) and, while holding your thumb over the hole, lay the cage on the bottom and leave it. Put the frames back in and the lid on and walk away. Don’t try to release her onto the top bars. Release her down on the bottom board.

"One of the issues seems to be that people think that either they will abscond or they will kill the queen. In my experience leaving her caged does not seem to resolve these issues. If they want to leave they usually move to the hive next door anyway and abandon the queen. If you release the queen it also won't stop this from happening, but it also won't cause it. I've not had a problem with a package killing the queen. A bunch of confused bees have been shaken together from many hives and in the confusion they are just happy to find a queen. If they do kill the queen it is almost always because there is already one loose in the package that got shaken in. The bees prefer this queen because they have contact with her."

And further on page 81:

"Don't let messed up comb lead to more messed up comb

"If you have foundationless or a top bar hive this is even more critical. With foundation you get a sort of clean slate every frame as there is another wall of foundation to start from. Still I would try to straighten out any messes quickly. Bees build parallel combs, so with foundationless one bad comb just leads to another. By the same token one good comb leads to another as well. The sooner you make sure the last comb from which the “next” is being built is straight and centered; the better off you will be because the next comb will be parallel to that one. If you have a top bar hive, make sure you have some frames built that you can tie combs into if they get crooked or fall off. That way you can always get at least the last one in the row straight again or, better yet, all of them straight. Especially with foundationless, I would check soon after installation and make sure they are off to the correct start, meaning the combs are in the frames and lined up correctly. The sooner you make sure, the better off you'll be.

"If you're using foundation and the bees build fins off of the foundation or parallel combs where there is a gap you can't get to, scrape this off before it has open brood in it. The wax isn't nearly the investment that open brood is. Keep the hive clean of this messed up comb or it will haunt you for a long time to come. With plastic foundation you can just scrape it to the plastic. With wax foundation you'll need more finesse."
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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JackM
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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2011, 08:50:38 AM »

 Brian
Thank you much for the page numbers and posting here too.  Old guy brain flatulence.  rolleyes
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T Beek
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2011, 05:51:02 AM »

Hiving a package would be the rare time I use any foundation.  I use 8 frame mediums so just placing 2-4 frames w/ foundation as 'starter' frames gets bees on right track.  Used comb is better and used more frequently in my hives these days but I still keep some foundation frames just for this purpose (I try to remove them before they become too drawn out).

thomas
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JackM
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« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2011, 09:20:15 AM »

I think what I will try is using the wedge on edge as the guide for the most part and if they get all messed up I can just put in foundation.  I have a few frames I put foundation in, and some with just strips of foundation at the top and some just using the wedge.  I love to experiment.

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jaseemtp
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« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2011, 03:06:45 PM »

What I did this year was use some foundation with foundationless frames.  I did a checkerboard type pattern with the fist 8 frame medium box and after that was drawn out I pulled a few of the drawn frames up when I placed a second box on them.  It all worked out very well for me.
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shelly
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« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2011, 02:30:35 PM »

I just built a top bar hive.I put it out in the yard.I noticed bees going in and out.I think a swarm moved in
shelly
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yockey5
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« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2011, 02:33:37 PM »

Shelly, where are you located? My bees are out today, but certainly have no notions of swarming. lol
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shelly
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« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2011, 02:46:28 PM »

I live in Los Angeles California...........it is cool today
shelly cheesy
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