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Author Topic: Foundationless brood boxes  (Read 1518 times)

Offline Kris^

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Foundationless brood boxes
« on: September 28, 2005, 09:38:09 PM »
Can a hive be made with foundationless frames in the brood boxes and frames with foundation and/or drawn comb in the supers?  Putting the supers on after sufficient comb has been drawn in the brood boxes, of course.  With wax strips along the top bars, will the comb in the brood boxes be consistently drawn well enough to allow for frame removal and inspection?  I'm thinking of doing something a little different next year . . .

-- Kris

manowar422

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Foundationless brood boxes
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2005, 12:39:27 AM »
Howzit goin' Kris?

Give your bees only one box of frames to work on
at a time, they will draw out the cells with or without foundation.

My girls have been drawing out medium frames with 1" strips
of 4.9mm foundation all season. I've just been moving the drawn
frames to the outside edges as the bees complete them and put
the untouched frames (from the outside) in the middle. Then when
all the frames in that box are about 75% drawn, I add another and
begin the process again.

I'm not letting my girls waste time next spring, I'm buying plastic
fully drawn frames for all my honey supers next year (if they fit
in my 9 frame extractor basket) then all I'll have to worry about is broodnest frames. 8)

Offline Michael Bush

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Foundationless brood boxes
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2005, 08:15:17 AM »
>Can a hive be made with foundationless frames in the brood boxes and frames with foundation and/or drawn comb in the supers?

Sure.

But if you put the drawn comb on at the same time you put the foundationless frames in they will use the drawn comb until it's full of honey or brood or whatever they need before they draw the foundationless.
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 Kris^

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Foundationless brood boxes
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2005, 10:30:38 PM »
Quote from: manowar422
Howzit goin' Kris?



Trying to make plans for next spring.  From one hive wintered over last year, I have 5 full hives and a nuc this fall.  I was happy with this year's excess honey production, and even sold a couple cases of the stuff at the farmer's market this weekend.  Since I can't hardly eat any of it anymore.   :(   (But that has been going very well, too.)  So naturally, I want to expand more.   :D   But I've found the frames and plastic foundation to be my greatest cost in building more hives.  So I thought that if I could get the bees to draw their brood comb unaided, that might help reduce the expense.  But I can't see doing foundationless fames for a honey super, because I extract.  So I'll keep ordering the smaller plastic foundation for that.

At least it makes some kind of sense to me.

-- Kris

Offline Michael Bush

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Foundationless brood boxes
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2005, 08:20:03 AM »
>So I thought that if I could get the bees to draw their brood comb unaided, that might help reduce the expense. But I can't see doing foundationless fames for a honey super, because I extract.

I do foundationless frames.  I extract. I don't even use any wire, but you could.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline Kris^

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Foundationless brood boxes
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2005, 07:59:15 PM »
Quote from: Michael Bush


I do foundationless frames.  I extract. I don't even use any wire, but you could.


Ok.  How do you imbed a wire -- after the comb is drawn?  And how do you deal with honey (and possibly brood) that may be there when you go to put the wire in?  Or do you wire the frame before the comb is drawn, and does it interfere with their drawing?

-- Kris

Offline Michael Bush

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Foundationless brood boxes
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2005, 11:11:53 PM »
If I were going to do it I would wire the frame before putting it in the hive.  As always, with foundationless, make sure the hive is level so the comb will go down the middle of the frame.

All that's necessary to extract is:

Make sure the wax is mature, not soft like putty, but at least a couple of weeks old so it has a bit of substance to it.

Make sure it's attached at least a little on all four sides.

Make sure you are gentle at first when the combs are full.  Start slow and work your way up.
Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen