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Author Topic: How to expand foundationless framed hive  (Read 2006 times)
JDsBees
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« on: June 02, 2013, 07:03:53 PM »

OK, some background. I have started two hives from nucs. These nucs had a mix of foundationless and 5.1 cell foundation frames.  My plan is to use foundationless frames for everything. It is almost time to add a second box and I have a couple of questions.  I am a new beekeeper so please bear with me.

Question 1. What are the advantages/disadvantages to adding the second brood box below first brood box. I read that this will work fine when it is cool outside. Will this work when it is warm out also?              I am thinking of placing the second box below to help encourage the bees to move into it.

I plan to add one frame of drawn comb to the added second box to help the bees keep going straight.

Question 2. Should I just add a couple of empty frames along with the drawn frame and use follower boards in the next box or fill the box up with empty frames? 

I was worried that filling the second box with mostly empty frames would give them too much empty space.. not really sure.   The temperature here is around 75 during the daytime and 55 at night.

Any suggestions?       
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Billybee
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2013, 10:02:02 PM »

I have no suggestions and am pretty new at this but, will tell you my tale and you can soak it in..

I just started 2 package 2 months ago. I put them in a 10 frame deep, 1 frame half full of comb on the end in each box with no follower boards and until the last few days it looked like the pictures posted but further along.

Now there are 6 built out 3/4 the way across the frame or so and they are getting off line because they seem to be starting to make honey at a good clip and the honey filled comb is wider than the brood. (as usual for me). Once they build out wider into your next empty frame it forces the next to be built all kinds of ways but straight as well and theres where I am now. I have been tossing the idea of follower boards between them to try and contain this. (The follower boards I have made do not close off the hive and are the size of the frame itself). I do NOT want to put foudation in at any cost because I had the same problem with it as I do without it. That problem is honeycomb on brood comb getting way thicker than the rest of frame. I also have a newer swarm I caught and they are building straight now. They are 1 month behind these packages and I gave them a real small piece of comb to start. I am considering staggering  follower boards every other frame until the comb is built out. I cant find much info on this topic at all though one way or the other. Also thinking of spacing 9 frames in ten frame box and not finding a lot on the topic as well. Thats wheres I am to date with our 3 hives from nothing.

Foudationless for me no matter what. I may make a post of this elsewhere on the forum.



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Can somebody tell me where I can find a foundation tree?
chilibee
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2013, 12:59:25 AM »

Bees like to travel up. Motivating them to go down with a frame of uncapped brood and eggs may help but I would just set it right on top of your other box. Just my two cents.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2013, 10:24:19 AM »

>Question 1. What are the advantages/disadvantages to adding the second brood box below first brood box. I read that this will work fine when it is cool outside. Will this work when it is warm out also? 

It will work either way.  Bees naturally work down.  This is easily proved by simple logic or by simple experiment.  Logic: a swarm moves into a tree and has to cluster at the top and has to build down.  Experiment:  put a package in three or four boxes of foundationless frames (or foundation if you insist).  They will cluster at the top and build toward the bottom.

>I am thinking of placing the second box below to help encourage the bees to move into it.

The only time I find this advantageous is when it is cold at night.  Otherwise, I would pull two frames of brood up to the box above to get them to expand and give them a ladder.  Not only is it less work to add boxes to the top but you can monitor better when they have filled the box without lifting boxes.

>Question 2. Should I just add a couple of empty frames along with the drawn frame and use follower boards in the next box or fill the box up with empty frames?

Fill it with empty frames (with comb guides of course).

>I was worried that filling the second box with mostly empty frames would give them too much empty space.. not really sure.

Maybe.  But I would also feed empty frames into the brood nest now and again.  These will be straight and will occupy them.
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Michael Bush
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kathyp
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2013, 10:12:53 PM »

Quote
Bees like to travel up.

Quote
It will work either way.  Bees naturally work down.  This is easily proved by simple logic or by simple experiment.  Logic: a swarm moves into a tree and has to cluster at the top and has to build down.  Experiment:  put a package in three or four boxes of foundationless frames (or foundation if you insist).  They will cluster at the top and build toward the bottom.

i like doing it under for this reason and one other.  very often, by the time i'm going to add a box, the bees have stored honey over the brood.  they queen may not cross this to move up, but if i have put the box under, she will move down.  you can take a frame of brood from your full box and put it in the middle of your new box.  they will stick with the brood and this helps them move.

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Brother Dave
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« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2013, 03:29:35 PM »

I started a package last year I put the can of feed on top of the inner cover with two sticks for spacers covered with a deep box and lid. I should have took a picture  comb was all over that box and all over the feeder yes they do start at the top. David


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T Beek
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« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2013, 04:38:21 PM »

Never did understand why some Beeks suggest using those spacers, allowing them access to the top box  huh.  Perhaps Your experience examples why we shouldn't.  They aren;t needed IMO. 

We don't want bees getting into that top 'feeder' box for the reasons explained.  They don't need the spacers to get syrup through the inner cover hole.  If spacers are big enough you might find the queen-a-layin up there before long. 

Ask me how I know  Wink
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Brother Dave
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« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2013, 04:57:14 PM »

I learned my lesson anyway and that was not the end of the world.


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OldMech
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« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2013, 06:22:08 PM »

I cant say much more than Michael did....

   If you have the lower box 70% full you can pull a couple of those brood frames to put in the center of your upper box.    I keep Mann Lake pf120's available, even if they are not filled yet, and drop a couple of those in as well...
  IF, starting a new hive on all empty frames.. I try to make sure the frames are rubbed with wax, and use the pf120's (4.9mm cell size) to try to keep them straight. I use three of the pf120's in a ten frame box otherwise filled with foundation-less.  I do not "under" super them, but also dont generally fuss with them much when the temps are low. In fact, I often pull the bottom box early (i use all mediums) and set the second box on the bottom board. I then cut the wax from the original bottom box, or place empty frames up top for them to fill to rotate my wax out..
   I check them once a week when they are starting new foundation, and straighten comb IF needed. If they really get lopsided I cut out and make them restart. Overlyu fat combs just get skinned down with the hot knife.
   Normally i dont have to touch anything...  but then, when I had my "plastic" hives i had a start that built cross comb between the sheets of plastic.. I think they confused me as much as they were confused..  that was REALLY a mess to get going right.. hard to cut out plastic, has to be scraped.. THEN they just tried to rebuild what they had started. I ended up putting NEW frames in to get them going right. set them back a couple of weeks.
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