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Author Topic: frame spacing in super  (Read 979 times)
Carol
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« on: May 30, 2013, 12:51:24 PM »

I would like to use 9 frames in the honey supers, foundationless. I don't have any spacers. Does anyone know of something that would make good spacers or should I just space them best I can.
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danno
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« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2013, 12:57:00 PM »

foundationless honey supers?   Are you going to crush and strain?  You really cant do 9 frames.   The best way to make a 9 or 8 frame super is to start 1st year with 10, extract them and then space to 9 the next year.  If you start with less then 10 they will draw all kinds of wanky stuff
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2013, 02:01:03 PM »

I would not space the wider until they are drawn.  Then I'd do it by eye.  It's close enough.  Or buy one of those "combs" that spaces them.
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Michael Bush
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Carol
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2013, 02:06:27 PM »

Sounds good to me...I do have a hand crank extractor. I'd like to try a few combs in that. Once I have 9 frames of empty comb then I can go with the 9 frame set up?
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D Coates
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2013, 02:11:43 PM »

Yep,  I even go 8 once they are drawn.  It ensures you can uncap them quickly.  I eyeball it.
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danno
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2013, 03:07:32 PM »

So you guys are saying you do extract your foundationless SUPER frames?   OK here's a question.  Tell me what advantage you get going foundationless in honey supers.  Sounds like a extractor disaster to me. 
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D Coates
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2013, 03:16:09 PM »

Nope, mine use foundations unless I'm making comb honey.  Even then I use wax foundation and I wouldn't dream of knocking that down to 9 or 8 frames once they drawing gets serious.  My comb honey containers won't allow thick comb.  Some folks like going foundationless, but I'm with you about extractor issues.
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danno
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2013, 07:54:31 AM »

Carol
I'll say it one more time You cant run foundationless frames through a extractor.  They will just blow out.   There is NO benifit to having foundationless supers unless you crush and strain.   Going back to you original question about going down to 9 frame supers.  If you cant run them through a extractor the first year you cant space them out to 9 frame the second.   If you try the just make a big mess.   You will have comb crossing frames and maybe hanging from your inner cover between the gaps
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Carol
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« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2013, 11:02:30 AM »

Ok...thanks. I doubt I'll have honey this year, other than for the bees themselves. I don't want to have to feed them. Might grab a frame or two if they have it for ourselves. Saw a video where someone had a hand crank extractor and was doing foundationless frames. Since I already have one I've got nothing to lose trying it. If it does blow them out it's back to crushing and straining.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2013, 11:02:49 AM »

>So you guys are saying you do extract your foundationless SUPER frames?

All the time.

>   OK here's a question.  Tell me what advantage you get going foundationless in honey supers.

Clean wax.  Natural cell size in case the queen lays there.  Less cost.  Less work.

> Sounds like a extractor disaster to me.

I can blow out anything.  New wax on wired wax foundation blows out easily if you are not careful.  It's all extractable if you are careful.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm#extract
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Michael Bush
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danno
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« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2013, 12:39:53 PM »

>   OK here's a question.  Tell me what advantage you get going foundationless in honey supers.

"Clean wax.  Natural cell size in case the queen lays there.  Less cost.  Less work."
1  natural cell for laying in
She is talking honey super here MB NOT brood frames so if all goes well the queen will not be laying in them.  
2  "clean wax"  
How much cleaner can it be?   A plastic foundation is also new wax the first time through
3  "Less cost"
OK you got me there you save about 70 cents per frame until you blow one out then you lose money.
4 less work
for who?
5    I can blow out anything
Anything wax as you said but you didn't include plastic in your comment
The frame has to come apart to blow out plastic


« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 02:00:07 PM by danno » Logged
Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2013, 02:05:43 PM »

>"Clean wax.  Natural cell size in case the queen lays there.  Less cost.  Less work."
1  natural cell for laying in
She is talking honey super here MB NOT brood frames so if all goes well the queen will not be laying in them.   

In theory.  But theory often does not happen that way and I don't want anywhere the queen can lay that is not natural sized or small sized.

>2  "clean wax"
How much cleaner can it be?   A plastic foundation is also new wax the first time through

Maryann Frazier's research showed all of the new wax foundation is contaminated at fairly high levels with Fluvalinate, Cumaphos and Amitraz.  The plastic is sprayed (albeit with much less) with that same contaminated wax.

>3  "Less cost"
OK you got me there you save about 70 cents per frame until you blow one out then you lose money.
4 less work
for who?   

I hardly ever blow out.
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Michael Bush
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danno
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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2013, 03:00:20 PM »

I have read Maryann Frazier's research.   I know she searched for any foundation that had zero contamination in parts per billion and couldn't find it.  I also know she found  agrochemicals in wax.   So the bee's make wax free of miticides but unless they are dead center in a 10 mile X 10 mile block of land that has no agriculture and zero pesticide and  fungicide  perfectly clean wax in a impossibility so worrying about a mist of wax on a sheet of plastic seems over the top 
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Joe D
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« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2013, 07:44:18 PM »

I am fairly new, but last year I did extract some honey supers frames that were foundationless.  In the early and late extractions, we usually get two extractions per year, I did have a couple frames blow outs each time, probably not attached as good as I thought.  Most did fine.  I did use shallow frame, and I did use some for comb honey.  This is the first year I have ever bought any foundation, it was for some new medium supers.  Good luck what ever you choose to do.



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bailey
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« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2013, 08:45:57 PM »

As for foundationless blowing out or being unextractable that's not quite accurate.

I extract them all the time.  Non radial extractor.
Take my time and hand crank it out.   Haven't bought foundation in 3'years now.
So it is very possible.
Bailey
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« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2013, 06:18:19 PM »

I run foundationless medium frames through a nine frame radial extractor without blowouts. The thing is you can't turn the speed up until most of the honey is out. Then you can speed it up to clean it out.
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danno
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« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2013, 07:00:50 PM »

Point of the whole thread is extracting foundationless.   Sure it can be done sometimes but WHY BOTHER?    Do your foundationless brood frames if you want to but no one has given me a good reason for doing it in supers.   
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Carol
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« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2013, 07:10:22 PM »

Since I have no foundation in any of my frames....and don't plan to buy any....I thought I would try it. My sister gave me a hand cranked extractor that she no longer needed since she never had bees. I am a backyard bee keeper...doing it for fun not profit. Never did mind doing things the hard way. Thought it would be fun to try. May make a mess...but then...crush and strain sounds messy too. I just want to have fun...and let my bees live as naturally as they can under the circumstances.

I read somewhere that the bees make thicker (wider) comb for honey and 9 frames let them do that...so I asked a question.I do remember hearing that if you asked 12 beekeepers a question you'd get 13 different answers.
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JackM
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« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2013, 08:53:20 AM »

Carol,
Just go slow at first, then as the honey comes out you can go faster.  If you wire the frames they won't blow out as easily, but even foundation can blow out if you crank the extractor too fast too early.

Seems like a less than intelligent reason to argue, we all will have different opinions. 

I prefer foundationless as my bees make comb about 3 times faster without the foundation....that is my bees and my preference.  If if blows out I still save all the wax.  I still strain it all anyhow, so no difference.
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JWChesnut
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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2013, 10:38:52 AM »

To get back to the original question-- It is standard practice to start the frames at 10 (minimally spaced).  This ensures straighter comb.  After the comb is drawn out, and extracted a first time, you can begin spacing it to encourage the bees to build deeper cells.  The deeper cells store significantly more honey per cell.  This reduces the capping/spinning workload but at the same time making much heavier and more fragile (in the extractor) frames.

I don't see much of a rate of comb formation difference between foundation-less and foundation comb.  I do see a much, much higher rate of wonky comb formation on foundation-less comb.  *Especially* where there is no already drawn guide comb sandwiching the open frames.    You can draw foundation-less comb and can extract it, but you need to be editing and triming the bees efforts as they form the comb.  You should cull comb, and whole frames that are not even.  A wonky comb will affect the frames next to the bad one, and those in turn will affect the ones next to them.  You can end up with combs that have curves,  holes, pockets, etc.  This makes it significantly harder to cut caps.  The uneven comb invites drone brood and queen cells.  The uneven comb will have more bridging.

Uneven comb that is widely spaced often gets doubled- a fold of comb is created between frames.  Straight comb gets deepened (as you are wanting to do).  Wired foundation can take the forces to extract deepened comb,  I'm not sure that first year open comb could -- too much weight and the wax is too thin, soft and delicate.

So the real advantage, to me, of foundation is the comb is much more organized, straighter, and easier to de-cap and otherwise manage.  You can use an open frame system, but you need to be unstinting in the effort to cull bad comb.  This is hard for the backyard keep to do, as they don't want to melt down all that effort.

So I am missing the point here-- you want spacing because why?  For a hobbiest, the extra effort to decap and spin the 10th frame seems insignificant-- and its the efficiency of effort that is driving the spacing decision- which is an industrial scale concern.  The deeper cells also risk attracting drone brood, whereas foundation drawn and tightly packed frames don't -- the drones are laid on the 2nd and 9th frames surrounding the brood nest.

I think there is a larger issue of chasing the "trendy" here.  Beek's are inveterate tinkerers, why there are so many opinions and approaches.  My suggestion is to start with a strictly "traditional" set-up -- this is your baseline, and add the newer "trendy" modifications slowly and one-by-one as you learn the craft.  Similar to isolating car trouble or fixing a computer -- make only one change at time, or you have no way of knowing what the effect of each modification actually is.
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