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Author Topic: Foundation question friends!  (Read 2462 times)
patriotgirlie
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« on: April 03, 2013, 08:53:05 PM »

Hi friends.  I threw this out there on facebook, but I wanted to ask here too.  I have everything ready for my bees (which are arriving this next week)...but because of the weather, my foundation has been delayed in shipping.  What should I do if the bees get here before the foundation?  I ordered a few plasticell frames just in case, but I'm not sure what my best option is.  HELP!
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Hemlock
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2013, 10:00:27 PM »

you can affix a popsicle stick, or such, to the top side of the frames.  The bees should use this as their starting edge to begin drawing out the comb. It's called foundationless and many beeks use it regularly.

If you can get a drawn frame from a friend.  put it in the middle of the hive with the other empty frames.  The bees should drawn the empties out parallel to the full one.

A 'Foundationless' frame with starter strip.
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gov1623
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2013, 10:01:31 PM »

if your bees get there before your foundation, i would think your only choice would be is to go foundation less.
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Who Dat!!!
10framer
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2013, 10:10:41 PM »

pay for the expedited shipping.
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bailey
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 10:33:19 PM »

Try to get at least one drawn comb in the box if you try foundationless
At the very least a foundation in one frame.
Otherwise cross comb mess.
Bailey
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RHBee
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2013, 11:01:46 PM »

pay for the expedited shipping.
What he said. I decided to try going foundationless on a package. It didn't work well at all. Found out later that you need to stagger in drawn comb to make it work. Guess what most newbies don't have?
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Later,
Ray
Moots
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2013, 11:31:01 PM »

you can affix a popsicle stick, or such, to the top side of the frames.  The bees should use this as their starting edge to begin drawing out the comb. It's called foundationless and many beeks use it regularly.

If you can get a drawn frame from a friend.  put it in the middle of the hive with the other empty frames.  The bees should drawn the empties out parallel to the full one.

A 'Foundationless' frame with starter strip.



Hemlock,
Two quick questions/observations....Is that your photo?

Notice that it doesn't appear to have any starter edge?  Is that the case, or is it just not visible?

Also, notice that the frame has been wired.  I'm using wax foundation and wiring my frames, hadn't made a decision yet, but at some point might want to try some foundationless.  I had wondered about still installing the wire for support...Hadn't heard anyone else mention doing this...Is that fairly common?


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gov1623
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2013, 12:07:01 AM »

I wire my deeps for a little extra strength but not my mediums.
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Hemlock
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2013, 09:19:59 AM »

Two quick questions/observations....Is that your photo?

Notice that it doesn't appear to have any starter edge?  Is that the case, or is it just not visible?

Also, notice that the frame has been wired.  I'm using wax foundation and wiring my frames, hadn't made a decision yet, but at some point might want to try some foundationless.  I had wondered about still installing the wire for support...Hadn't heard anyone else mention doing this...Is that fairly common?

Moots,
Yes it's my photo.  The starter strip in this case was a small wax foundation strip.  I don't have any images with a popsicle stick so i used what i had; same principle though.  I wanted to show where the starter strip goes on the frame.

For foundation & foundationless I don't bother wiring brood frames.  That frame is wired because it was to be a honey frame that will be spun. 
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Moots
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2013, 10:13:51 AM »

Two quick questions/observations....Is that your photo?

Notice that it doesn't appear to have any starter edge?  Is that the case, or is it just not visible?

Also, notice that the frame has been wired.  I'm using wax foundation and wiring my frames, hadn't made a decision yet, but at some point might want to try some foundationless.  I had wondered about still installing the wire for support...Hadn't heard anyone else mention doing this...Is that fairly common?

Moots,
Yes it's my photo.  The starter strip in this case was a small wax foundation strip.  I don't have any images with a popsicle stick so i used what i had; same principle though.  I wanted to show where the starter strip goes on the frame.

For foundation & foundationless I don't bother wiring brood frames.  That frame is wired because it was to be a honey frame that will be spun. 


Hemlock,
Cool!  Thanks for the follow up.  Thinking I may want to do some foundationless at some point to try comb honey...obviously in that case, I'd skip the wiring.
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"We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
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10framer
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2013, 10:29:28 AM »

pay for the expedited shipping.
What he said. I decided to try going foundationless on a package. It didn't work well at all. Found out later that you need to stagger in drawn comb to make it work. Guess what most newbies don't have?

foundation in every other frame works.  i think for a first hive started with a package you'd do better to start with foundation, though.  the learning curve is big enough without fighting a bunch of cross comb and it also gives the bees a little jump start. 
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2013, 11:32:08 AM »

 There's a guy on youtube that chronicled his first year at beekeeping. He went foundationless and dumped his package of bees right into the hive and it was a success. He kept the queen in the cage for a couple days, just hanging in the hive and the other bees took care of her and started to build comb. Search for TheBeeVlog to find his videos. Very informative to actually see what's going on as he's learning the ropes.
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sterling
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« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2013, 11:57:07 AM »

You can use two or three of the plastic frames in the middle of the box to help get them started right.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2013, 03:55:03 PM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm
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Michael Bush
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Joe D
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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2013, 08:09:33 PM »

I have used paint stirring sticks cut in half.  I hot glued them in.  If you don't have any drawn comb frames, then you will need to check them regularly.  If the bees start to get the comb off center or running frame to frame, you can gently straighten them with your fingers.  After they get a few frames done you can move empty frames between the well started ones.  Even if you have some drawn comb frames you need to keep a check on the foundationless ones to make sure they are going right.  Good luck.   On my TBH after the bees got a few frames going they keep them straight themselves.



Joe
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tjc1
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2013, 10:20:22 PM »

I am trying foundationless for a new package, using tips from this site:

http://www.beebehavior.com/foundationless_frames_brood_area.php.

I am using the strips of milk carton and 'wiring' the frames with fishing line, as shown here. Lots of good, clear photos of bees making their own comb on open frames. I am also swapping out every other frame in the lower brood nest of my original colony for this coming season.

Some other interesting info on this site - esp on the subject of 'cold climate beekeeping' (Finski, take note!) Perhaps folks here are already familiar with the writer, Boris Romanov; I just found this doing a web search...

« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 09:52:35 PM by tjc1 » Logged
salvo
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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2013, 12:10:11 AM »

I started foundationless in 2011, two hives. Nothing for guides, plain frames, wedge top on edge. I had to pay close attention in the first deeps. I had several long discussions with the bees until they got the process down correctly. They're pros now.

Salvo





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Salvo
tjc1
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« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2013, 04:56:31 PM »

Update on my experiment with foundationless (see post above):

I put a package into our school hive with just one frame of partially drawn foundation as a guide, and the bees have done great work! They drew out their own combs well before they finished drawing the comb on the foundation. Only one slight problem where the top of a comb detached and leaned into a neighboring comb, which I straightened out. It is beautiful to watch them create the natural comb, and now that I have done it seems to make much more sense for a lot of reasons, especially for the small scale beek.







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kathyp
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« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2013, 06:45:10 PM »

Quote
Found out later that you need to stagger in drawn comb to make it work. Guess what most newbies don't have?

don't need it.  the guide helps, but i have dumped swarms into boxes with completely empty frames when i run out of equipment.  couple of keys to it, though. 

you have to have your bee space right.  one of the most common mistakes made is to not have the frames tight together toward the middle of the box.  you also have to keep an eye on them so that if they start anything funky, you can fix it quickly.

to be honest, i have had as many problems with foundation as without .  double comb, odd break repairs, connected comb....

some hive are just messy and you either stay on top of them or live with it.
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Tim Bates
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« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2013, 02:29:06 AM »

Quote

you have to have your bee space right.  one of the most common mistakes made is to not have the frames tight together toward the middle of the box.  you also have to keep an eye on them so that if they start anything funky, you can fix it quickly.


some hive are just messy and you either stay on top of them or live with it.

I just had a nuc that was starting to explode so rather than put them in a 10 frame that I hadn't built yet I was lazy and put one of my 5 frame swarm boxes on top of them. The space between boxes was not right and the mess they made was not purty and it hurt my heart to cut out all that comb. They built up from the middle of the comb in the bottom box between the frames in my upper box. Never seen that before but all I can figure was too much space.

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