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Author Topic: making your own mold for beeswax sheets - bee behaviour  (Read 4923 times)
ThomasGR
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« on: May 11, 2013, 03:36:56 AM »

Hello,
I have just made my own mold - press for be for making beeswax foundation sheets. When bees makes their comb naturally, they fit sides with a special way, in order that a cell from one side covers half background for two cells of the other side ( i could not describe it better , sorry ). When you have a ready foundation sheet, do bees care about alignment of the cells with the other side ? Or they build on the ready made hexagons. My press includes two separate mold - sides, so 100% alignment is not possible.
Thanks.
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2013, 10:32:20 PM »

From my observation over the years. the way the bees produce foundation in order to keep it strong and ridged after aging is they build using offset pattern from each side. the crosses of the hexagon crosses with the base of the cell on the reverse side. I have built a mold press lately but was unimpressed with it. I am making the 2 plate press that uses diped foundation blanks from my younger days on my uncles farm. It worked great back then. I will be posting a thread on it when it is complete and working.

John
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2013, 09:18:13 AM »

>When you have a ready foundation sheet, do bees care about alignment of the cells with the other side ?

Yes, they do.  They shape it from both sides at once and the bees on both sides are working the bottom of the cell making the lozenges of three cells on the opposite side.

It's much easier to not use foundation at all... the bees know how to make comb.

http://bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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ThomasGR
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2013, 02:27:06 AM »

Three days ago, i started a hive giving it 5 frames with foundation of my own mold. My home made mold finally is not as i expected. The silicone rubber is very flexible and soft and alignment is almost impossible. Anyway i will give it a try. This is a combination of actions, its like a few experiments together. A hive ( 4 frames population ) that have American Foul-brood was shaked in a new hive that consisted from 5 frames with my own foundation sheets ( this foundation do not cover 100% of the frame - smile shape ) . Treating A.F. is something i have already done last year, using the shaking method ( i think successfully, those colonies develop as the others this year ) . So i am expecting to cure this hive and restart it using only things made in by me in my basement. The queen seems good, she lays very well on the frames but population never increases... This is going to change in a few weeks.

Foundation-less building is something i also test these days. I have already seen your text Michael, and give it a try before a few days. Yesterday i checked that frame that was placed in the brood box. My observations are :
- They built the strip in 2-3 days ( 4-5 cm ) and after that during 2-3 days almost completed the rest.
- The cells after the strip are drone cells. Obviously the colony needs drones. So it would be perfect to place it at the begining of spring.Now is the end.
- I did not place wire, except inside the strip and the comb is very flexible. I hope that they will attach it to the wood at the end. Does this frame can be placed to the honey super ? I will also try frames with wire, to see the way that bees handle it. Its important to me because all my frames are typical langstroth, except a few shallows ( ? ). Mediums do not exist.

Today i will check the test colony, if i have news i will post a photo of how they build. They have to build, they started without a simple cell and without any food. I noticed day ( 1 ) that stopped pollen forage. Very logical they need nectar to build. I gave them 150gr pollen sub for the first brood.
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ThomasGR
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2013, 03:54:53 PM »

I have some photos from my experiment. These photos are exactly 48 hours after shaking the bees to my own foundation frames.

http://postimg.org/gallery/59r4z82w/

They built almost three frames. So objective 1 is clear. They build to my own foundation ( without any help - feeding for 2 days ).
BUT, i noticed that the queen is not laying in the center of the cells. Some cells are aligned but most of them are not. Of course this is not a good situation, so i have to wait a few days to see how the eggs and larvae develop. I gave them 1 liter 1:1 syrup today.

* By the way, do you recognize the race of this queen ? Queens here are really mixed, the colors of the workers inside a beehive also.
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ThomasGR
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013, 03:59:47 AM »

Just an update. I think that brood i saw before a few days is not even in those cells!!!! I saw again eggs. The eggs i saw first time should be larvae now. So bees do not accept them and not develop them further after laying. My own mold proved to be a waste of time and money. In fact i will use it for candle decoration or making very short starters for foundation less frames.

* Failure leads to success, so i will shake them again and follow Michael Bush texts for foundation less frames.
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Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2013, 02:27:33 AM »

interesting, so what your conclusion is, so far is that you are misaligning the cells from one side to another, and thus the bees are rejecting it?

Could you stabilize the soft form you are using, on a piece of wood for instance and put them on for instance a hing, and then micro adjust each side to the other's alignment until it is proper? Do you even feel the need?
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Jim 134
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2013, 07:04:04 AM »

>When you have a ready foundation sheet, do bees care about alignment of the cells with the other side ?

Yes, they do.  They shape it from both sides at once and the bees on both sides are working the bottom of the cell making the lozenges of three cells on the opposite side.

It's much easier to not use foundation at all... the bees know how to make comb.

http://bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm



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                         BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2013, 10:42:31 PM »

Are you using plastic foundation for your mold? If you mold two separate plates, one for each side of the plastic foundation, If your clamp together is correct it should come out right.  Don't remember where but I think they used Plaster of Paris. spray the plastic foundation with Pam before pouring your plaster. Can't remember all the details. Smiley d2
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HomeSteadDreamer
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2013, 09:26:12 AM »

 pop
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Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2013, 05:15:42 PM »

It is hard to argue with "bees know how to make comb"...they have been doing it before man walked the planet, thats for sure. and using comb guides over 1/4" no doubt mimics branches/etc and just their normal attitude toward building surely. The main reason I like foundation is it helps with cell size I think, in the article above he mentions they were already regressed, but it also helps with keeping things in order....now the article mentions he feels it is worse with collapsing wax foundation/etc due to sitting in the heat....it might be different in different areas, or different times of year, or who knows what, the specifics were not mentioned really and there is always a debate on being a bee keeper or letting the bees just keep themselves because they know what they are doing obviously. I lean more to the latter myself...but I do not have the mentality of 'let them starve if they are going to, good riddance" or "if they die they die." either. I'm sorta inbetween the lines.
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2013, 08:23:41 PM »

so far this is what I have found in my trial. I have a had time making the press using two plates to make the foundation. So I have gone to the old way (don't fix it if ain't broke rule.) I am dipping a plate in wax and just making sheets ( one to two dips per to keep them very very thin.) I place the blank sheet in the frame. I have notice that the bees are all over the blank sheets and are building comb. I tried two sheets one thin one a little thicker. they prefer the thinest sheet to build on. So I guess the keepers of the pass where right you can redesign the mouse trap a million ways it still does the same thing as the first. Trap mice.


John
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ThomasGR
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« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2013, 04:37:51 AM »

This is how the frame looked like, the day i pulled them out of the hive and shaked the bees again to new ones.
Just for covering the curiosity, how not aligned mold press can mess a hive.
It seems that day after day bees "fixing" the cells because i saw larvae inside from different ages, but this is not enough to keep them.


screen capture freeware
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KD4MOJ
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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2013, 08:21:59 AM »

Nice looking frame! I think i'm going to add anther deep to a couple of hives and have them draw foundation.

...DOUG
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