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Author Topic: Homemade foundation ?  (Read 6070 times)

Offline Maryland Beekeeper

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Homemade foundation ?
« on: January 07, 2013, 11:10:39 PM »
I have made some foundation by pulling window screen through wax. What size cells will be built ?
Thanks,
Drew

Offline Vance G

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 02:05:04 AM »
That depends on what size cells they are used to producing and what size cells they need when they draw it.  That is a novel idea.  What made you think of it? 

Offline Maryland Beekeeper

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 04:50:57 AM »
I had lots of old comb & needed foundation :)

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2013, 04:53:22 AM »
Definitely a cool idea.  I have used screened inner covers in the past for observation purposes, and the bees sure don’t hesitate to hang comb from the stuff.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2013, 09:24:15 AM »
Hard to tell what the bees will think of it since the screen is flat and combs are not.  The bottoms of cells go back and forth along the midrib.  But as far as size it will vary greatly depending on the size of the bees you started with, the use the comb is built for, the latitude you live at, the time of year etc.  I see everything from 4.4mm to 5.1mm for brood comb and all the way up to 7.0mm for honey and drones.
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Offline Maryland Beekeeper

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2013, 11:53:45 AM »
If everyone switched to screen foundation what size cells would be built ? They would get smaller ? If B's were not locked in to this variable would it allow desirable genetics to better express their advantage ?

Offline Finski

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2013, 12:03:28 PM »
If everyone switched to screen foundation what size cells would be built ? They would get smaller ? If B's were not locked in to this variable would it allow desirable genetics to better express their advantage ?


Do you think, do they make 4 angle or 6 angle cells onto screen?
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Offline edward

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2013, 01:16:37 PM »
If everyone switched to screen foundation what size cells would be built ? They would get smaller ? If B's were not locked in to this variable would it allow desirable genetics to better express their advantage ?

And when honey production falls because the bees produce less honey the whole world can import more quality honey from china  :-X

mvh edward  :-P

Offline Finski

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2013, 01:28:33 PM »
.

When I take my own wax and give it to foundation company, it makes to me foundations and take 4 dollars per kilo.

It is 700g price of honey.
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Offline Maryland Beekeeper

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2013, 03:16:45 PM »
-B interested to see the affect of 4 sided sell on brood development if you see a link.
-Or honey production skyrockets because of healthier B's, more beeks ... ? :)

Offline Finski

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2013, 03:52:30 PM »
-B interested to see the affect of 4 sided sell on brood development if you see a link.
-Or honey production skyrockets because of healthier B's, more beeks ... ? :)

Honey yield depends on pastures, but I am afraid of overgrazing if hives are too healthy and mighty
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Offline BlueBee

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2013, 04:41:43 PM »
Drew, I think your window screen idea is ingenious for making large brood frames.  However the downside is the bees will build all sorts of cell sizes on it.  That limits your ability to knock down the varroa mites via drone cell removal since the drone cells will be spread out among the other cells.  Maybe you can deal with varroa in some other manner.

Offline Maryland Beekeeper

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2013, 05:42:09 PM »
Bluebee, Thankx, no indication that they will build it out any different than foundation-less, haven't seen anything on it, perhaps, whatever it is they build, will help with varroa ? If I want nice endless expanse of worker brood I have to choose a size to imprint ? That might be more responsibility than I want.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 05:54:39 PM by Maryland Beekeeper »

Offline BlueBee

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2013, 06:22:47 PM »
What I really like about your screen idea is if you have scrape it down (wax moths, too many drones, etc), or if the bees harvest wax from it, I suspect they will rebuild on the raw screen later due to the roughness of the material.  Such isn't the case with a smooth substrate.  I also like the idea of allowing the bees to build whatever they want.  My only fear with that plan is it removes one of my tools for dealing with varroa. (drone culling).

How are you attaching the screen to the frame?  

Offline little john

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2013, 06:48:40 PM »
I think it's a bloody brilliant idea. I would have said so on 'that other forum', but doing so would have only upset a certain petulant person.

The kind of mesh I already have for my own experiment is ex-China (like most things these days) - and sold as Window Fly Screen. It's got a 2mm mesh size, which I can't see influencing the bees at all, and is only a few thou thick. I've tried tearing it, and I can't - so it's tough stuff.

I can see it being used with frames instead of foundation, and as a reinforcing substrate with Top Bars: no more collapsed combs; no more skewed combs, and should a comb come adrift due to rough handling - that mesh will act as a hinge, and keep the comb attached - so no more dropped combs producing clouds of miffed bees ...

Brilliant - simply brilliant - best idea I've heard yet (assuming the bees take to it, of course).

LJ


Offline Maryland Beekeeper

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2013, 07:03:19 PM »
Bluebee, Perhaps the need for the invention of core-sampler type tool,(like greenskeepers use) to pull comb plugs ? Hot melt glue gun... rules ! :) use for frames as well, very solid, haven't done stress test yet :)

LJ, I cut the corners and left 2" gap in middle of mine to allow passage thru frames, have idea that queen would prefer it. I have thought in handling sample that I could make everything from sailboat to bullet proof vest out of the stuff. :)
Cheers,
Drew

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2013, 09:45:24 AM »
>What I really like about your screen idea is if you have scrape it down (wax moths, too many drones, etc), or if the bees harvest wax from it, I suspect they will rebuild on the raw screen later due to the roughness of the material.

But I use no foundation with a wood guide and just scrape it down to the wood and they rebuild it fine...
Michael Bush
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My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline Maryland Beekeeper

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2013, 10:44:01 AM »
Michael,
-have you come up against any size limitations in managing foundation-less comb ? My hope is to facilitate management of combs I am finding in cutouts, (4'+)
-would you expect foundation to accelerate cell/comb construction ?
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 11:00:16 AM by Maryland Beekeeper »

Offline Robo

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2013, 04:36:23 PM »
Obviously none of you excited about this have Duraguilt experience.   Bees do not take a liking to build comb off a flat surface and will do everything they can not to.   I think you will get plenty of burr type combs between your frames.   Bees build comb down, working both sides.   How many cut-out have you done where the bees use the vertical wall as "foundation" to build cells off of?

I appreciate thinking outside the box,  but form my experience,  I don't foresee a high probably of success.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Homemade foundation ?
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2013, 05:28:12 PM »
Quote
Bees do not take a liking to build comb off a flat surface and will do everything they can not to.
Tell me why they use foundation.
When I worked for a medical company we used a lot of "spun lace" as a web strengthener for adhesives.  The material is non woven and very strong like tyvek.  I was thinking you could silk screen the hex pattern on this material to make foundation.
Never thought I would do it!