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.