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Author Topic: beginner's setup  (Read 7404 times)

Offline Cindi

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Re: beginner's setup
« Reply #40 on: December 15, 2006, 10:07:47 AM »
You will benefit from also having bees working instead of swarming. At least this is one of the things to take in use. If you hive a swarm then benefit from the building ability.

Very interesting stuff that all has written.  Now Jorn, you speak about having the bees working instead of swarming.  This is a controversial subject, this swarming thing.  It sounds like it may be good swarm prevention for sure, having the bees kept busy.  BUT... I get a very strong impression that one of the key triggers to the swarming instinct being initiated is when the queen pheromone begins to diminish in the hive.  Now, this could be because she is aging or simply because her footprint pheromone cannot be left behind on the combs because of too thick of bees on the frames, hence not enough pheromone on the comb for distribution.  I understand that there are many other triggers to swarming but I don't understand how keeping the bees busy building can be such a strong influence on swarm prevention.  I also get the impression that once the swarming instinct has been initiated (and many times by the time beekeepers realize the swarm is going to occur (i.e., queen cells)), it has already been set in the bees mind, is too late, and very hard to stop this swarm instinct once it has surfaced.

Some interesting food for thought.  Maybe I have gone off topic, sorry, should have started a new thread. Have a great day, Cindi
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Offline Jerrymac

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Re: beginner's setup
« Reply #41 on: December 15, 2006, 10:14:26 AM »
I think what you are discribing with the older queen is when the bees would supercede her, but not swarm. A crowded nest indicates times are good and ripe for reproduction. So if you keep the brood area from getting filled with nectar/honey they don't tend to swarm. Unless, as you said, you wait too long to open it up and get them to work.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: beginner's setup
« Reply #42 on: December 15, 2006, 03:58:55 PM »
>Brian, I keep forgetting to ask the point about strips.

The bees need something to start on.  If you want natural comb, you let them build what they want.

>how is the strip of foundation kept in place in the frame?

You can nail it with the wedge (as with full sheets of foundation) or wax it in with a wax tube fastener (my preference if I use strips)

>  The frames I get have the groove in the top and bottom bar.

The wax tube fastener will be the easiest.  It's the easiest for full sheets as well.



Look at item number 165

>Is slipping the foundation strip into the top groove enough to hold it in place?


>Do you have a picture of what the frame's foundation looks like once the bees have regressed the size of the comb from the standard size on the strip.

Here's a start:


It was a plain (unembossed) strip made by dipping a wet board in beeswax, but the strips of foundation work the same way.

>If you use starter strips, what supports the comb as only one side would be attached? Particularly if you use an extractor.

Actually I usually use a triangular top bar, but the end results is the same.  The bees will eventually attach it all the way around.  Here's a foundationless frame, drawn and ready to extract:


>You can place wires in the frame and the bees will build the comb around them.

I've never bothered with the wires, but you could.

>had thought of the melted wax, but wondered if it would work.

Not only does it work but it works MUCH better and easier than nailing a wedge.

>i'm thinking i can get by without extra support of wires?

As long as you don't turn combs sidways and you're gentle with them until they are attached a little on all four sides and the wax has matured a bit so it's not soft like putty.

> also, if i were to do it on deeps do you think you'd have to use wires if the deeps were on used for brood.

Actually you don't have to.  Charles Martin Simon never does.

> i'm worried about sagging or melting in heat.

Even with foundation it will do that.

>as i said, my goal is good wax.  i only intend to do this with one hive.  good wax is worth more than honey!!

Actually you can't make very much money raising wax.  Better to raise honey, sell it, and BUY the wax.

> but you don't get so much


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Offline Finsky

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Re: beginner's setup
« Reply #43 on: December 17, 2006, 04:30:57 PM »

But also finsky, how do you "recycle" the wax left over?

I melt the wax and sieve it. Then I take about 100 lbs wax and carry it to the beekeeping stuff retailer who press and cut it into foundaton sheets.

The cost is 3 $/kg  (1,5 $/lbs.)

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: beginner's setup
« Reply #44 on: December 22, 2006, 02:43:27 PM »
If wax must be your goal the best way to achieve the maximum amount of wax is to fill the notch in the top bar with wax and let the bees draw the comb.  Cut out the comb and honey and process both the honey and wax.  The frame is ready to go with its starter strip already in place.  Be aware that in fcusing on wax production you are creating a lot of work for the bees.  If it takes 8 pounds of nectar to make one pound of honey and 8 pounds of honey to make 1 pound of wax thats: 8 X 8= 64 lbs of nectar to make on pound of wax.  The value of wax is realized only if a person manufactures their own soaps, candles, and balms.  Wholesale a pound of wax cost slightly less that a pound of honey at 8 times the production cost.
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