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Author Topic: unwired foundation problems  (Read 1496 times)
yoderski
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« on: August 05, 2006, 01:15:58 PM »

I am a new beek this year who has a question about unwired foundation.  I have a super of unwired foundation frames on 2 hives that I was planning to use for comb honey.  However, the bees are building some bridging comb between two frames.  When you remove one of those frames, it tears foundation out of the adjacent frame.  Of course, these frames don't have a lot of honey or comb drawn out yet--maybe that wouldn't be so bad with the frame full of honey?  And wouldn't that also be a problem with TBH, as I am interested in those as well?
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Jon Y.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2006, 02:11:08 PM »

Full sheets of unwired foundation have a tendency to warp in the frame making for uneven depth of comb and sometimes comb being built so close together that the bees bridge it.  Cutting the bridges so a frame can be removed is one of the uses for the hive tool.  
If you are going to use unwired foundation use it exclusively in cut comb or comb honey situations or utilize starter strips.  Unwired foundation in deeps is a disaster in progress.  If you're not going to wire it is better to use no foundation at all.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2006, 02:19:45 PM »

It's just what bees do.  It's not because they are wireless or not.  They will do it with any kind of foundation or foundationless on occasion.  Sometimes they don't.  Spacing them appropriately helps.  Ideally brood comb is spaced 1 1/4" and honey storage is about 1 1/2".  Standard frames are 1 3/8".  With foundation it seems to work well to just crowd ten frames together in the center to get them to draw them resonably straight most of the time.  After they are drawn you can space them out more, like 9 or even 8 to a ten frame box.
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Michael Bush
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yoderski
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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2006, 11:36:03 PM »

Thanks Michael--that is probably one of my problems--I only had 9 frames in there, and they had not drawn foundation yet...so maybe I will do it the way it should be and be better off....
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Jon Y.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2006, 11:26:12 AM »

When usuing foundation I'd always put ten frames in a ten frame box AND crowd them tightly together in the center.  This leaves them less room to mess things up and encourages them to use the foundation instead of building their own combs in between.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2006, 01:49:40 AM »

When using foundation use the proper number of frames the box is designed for.  Once the frames are drawn out then you can reduce the number of frames to get thicker comb for easier uncapping.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
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