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Author Topic: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?  (Read 4855 times)

Offline tillie

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Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« on: April 08, 2007, 06:02:39 PM »
Last year I put thin surplus foundation in my honey supers.  The bees stored honey and I harvested via crush and strain.  I saved the frames with the remnants of comb in the freezer (after putting them back on the hives for the bees to clean out).  Today I put those empty frames with the remnants as a guide on my strong hive to store honey. 

I think this means that with only the comb remnants to use as a guide, the bees will draw natural cell.  Or since these frames were originally started as large cell, will the guides of last year's comb mean that the bees think large rather than small cell?

I am in the process of converting to all medium boxes and (if my daughter's boyfriend can help me), I'll cut the boxes I'm using this year down to eight frames, but at the moment I'm using shallows for honey with this remnant comb.

Linda T freezing in Atlanta

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Offline Kirk-o

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2007, 06:38:09 PM »
I think thats a good Idea I don't know what size they will Draw.You could measure it.Michael bush has on his site how to measure I think.Are you bees large cell bees?The other thing is this honey and wax should be clean of chemicals if you don't treat your bees.You could mention to people you give or cell honey to that this honey is from bees that haven't been treated
kirk-o
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Offline Understudy

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2007, 06:55:00 PM »
Sounds like you are doing fine. The frames should be fine to use. And cutting down to mediums will make life easier.

I had my beekeeper meeting on Friday. We had a visitor from Chattanoga, TN. . Very nice gentleman. He has been in beekeeping for 20 years +. He is now on his way to converting to mediums. Why? Because after 20 + years his back is giving him problems and he doesn't want to aggravate it. But he likes beekeeping. Sound familar Michael?

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Offline Kirk-o

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2007, 06:57:08 PM »
Good idea I use mediums also .Dee Lusby in Arizona has all deeps and runs 900 hives I don't know how she does it
kirk-o
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Offline tillie

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2007, 09:01:12 PM »
Kirk-o, 

I haven't treated my bees in any way - only used powdered sugar to get them to groom off the mites - and am now in the process of moving to small cell. 

The hive I put these empty frames on has small cell in the deep (next to the large cell nuc frames they came in) and small cell (or whatever they are drawing) in the medium above the deep.  So I didn't want to mess up the process in any way with the
conversion/regression to small cell.

Linda T
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Offline Kirk-o

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2007, 09:29:24 PM »
Good Idea keep up the good beekeeping.Have you ever read anything by Charles
Martin Simmon?He writes about Beekeeping Backwards you would Like it .Its in the Points of View section of the old Beesource web page.
kirk-o
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Online Michael Bush

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2007, 09:55:17 PM »
>I think this means that with only the comb remnants to use as a guide, the bees will draw natural cell.

By definition it will be natural cell.  If the frames were in the brood nest and you had small cell bees they would probably be in the range of 4.6mm to 5.0mm.  But since you're putting them in the supers and the bees are drawing them to store honey in they will probably be larger.

> Or since these frames were originally started as large cell, will the guides of last year's comb mean that the bees think large rather than small cell?

That will be irrelevant.  The use they intend them for will be the deciding factor.
Michael Bush
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My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline tillie

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2007, 10:00:21 PM »
Thanks, Kirk-o, I just read the article on BeeSource and I really liked it.  He and Michael think alike - "Everything works if you let it...."  sounds similar to what I just read by Charles Martin Simon.

Thanks, again, Michael, for the continuing help.  I'm going to order Brushy Mountain's 8 frame mediums for my boxes going forward so I won't be distinguishing between deep, medium and super.  That makes more sense - and I realize the bees, although I am putting this box on as a honey super, may as they did last year, use it as a brood chamber.  In that case, I hope they draw smaller cells.

Last year my bees moved into the honey supers and started raising brood there.  With an idea of regressing to small cell (or at least in this first phase, smaller cell) raising bees in cells originally drawn for honey will mean they raise larger bees?

Linda T
« Last Edit: April 15, 2007, 11:58:41 PM by tillie »
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Offline Kirk-o

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2007, 10:48:47 PM »
I found when I read Charles Simmon And Michael Bush and Dee Lusby beekeeping becme more of a experience.It turned in to observeing the obvious It became fun again.I was feeling like a para medic or a emergency room technition instead of enjoying beekeeping.All the expertise in the world is not a substitute for observation

Kirk-o
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Online Michael Bush

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2007, 07:57:14 AM »
>With an idea of regressing to small cell (or at least in this first phase, smaller cell) raising bees in cells originally drawn for honey will mean they raise larger bees?

If they move the brood nest up into larger cells, yes.  Sometimes they do.  Usually the queen prefers to lay in natural sized brood cells to larger honey storage cells.
Michael Bush
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My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline tillie

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2007, 10:59:42 AM »
It's fun watching how my bees are drawing comb from the starter strips - all over the place in size, but in one of the hives, you can clearly see that they drew larger drone comb on the edge (and are raising drones there) and in the center, smaller (haven't measured, but they are regressing) cells, now capped with brood.

Let's see, to quote someone I really respect, "Everything works if you let it..."

Linda T
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Offline Kirk-o

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2007, 06:09:49 PM »
Thats right also "work with nature not agin her" Charles Martin Simmon
kirk-o
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Offline KONASDAD

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2007, 11:04:48 AM »
Those of you using SC, Can you use foundationless small cell frames in your honey supers and do extracted honey?  or do you have to do crush and strain?
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Offline tillie

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2007, 11:52:22 AM »
The cell size shouldn't make any difference in how you do your honey harvest. 

I always (listen to me with my 1 year of experience :roll:  :roll:) use crush and strain, but I think you can use any kind of harvest you'd like with any cell size.  It is more complicated to do crush and strain with wired in foundation because of the wires, but otherwise you can harvest any way you like with any cell size, as I understand it.

Now if the bees make a mess with the foundationless frames like one of my hives did, I imagine crush and strain is the only way to go because an extractor depends on centrifugal force throwing the honey out of straight well lined up cells.  But since I think crush and strain honey tastes the best in the world, why wouldn't you want that?

Linda T
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Offline KONASDAD

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2007, 03:15:10 PM »
My conscern is the centrifigal force on honey filled frames w/o foundation would result in a blowout. Additionally, i dont want to do crush and strain as i have free access to an extractor and it takes 10lbs honey to make 1lb wax. Seems like a lot of work for bees to do that all of the time. I am doing one box of cut-comb, but the rest of the supers have waxed plastic foundation from a manufacturer in S.Dakota(name escapes me). Just wondering is all.....
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Offline tillie

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2007, 04:45:48 PM »
Please look at for the words not only of Michael Bush, but also several other experts:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesharvest.htm

And see my experience comparing extracting to crush and strain (I've done both) on:

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=6621.0

The third post compares C and S to extraction and further into the thread are some good pictures of C and S and how easy it is - not to mention the better- tasting honey,

Linda T very biased in Atlanta

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Offline Kirk-o

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2007, 08:53:56 PM »
I like to  use natural cell and starter strip to avoid chemical infested wax I also wire my frames you can use a extractor
kirko
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Offline reinbeau

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2007, 11:11:09 PM »
I'm curious, Tillie, as to why you think crush and strain honey tastes better?  I can't imagine there'd be a difference...... :?

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Online Michael Bush

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2007, 11:13:03 PM »
>Can you use foundationless small cell frames in your honey supers and do extracted honey?  or do you have to do crush and strain?

I extract foundationless frames all the time.  You don't have to do crush and strain.

>My conscern is the centrifigal force on honey filled frames w/o foundation would result in a blowout.

I can cause a blowout with any kind of foundation if I crank it all the way up right off the bat.  Being able to extract foundationless frames is a function of these issues:

1)  The comb is attached a little bit on all sides.

2)  The comb is not brand new wax.  Brand new wax is soft like putty.  After it's a couple of weeks older it's much tougher.

3)  You are gentle with the extraction.  This means you start very slowly and work your way up slowly.  You can have it cranked at the end, but you can't do it until most of the honey is out of the comb.  It's what you should do anyway, as you can blow out wired wax also.

Here's a foundationless frame just before I extracted it:
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/FoundationlessDrawn.JPG
Michael Bush
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Offline tillie

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Re: Natural cell frames from last year for honey supers?
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2007, 11:15:10 PM »
Hi Ann,

There really is a difference in taste - I think it's because in the extractor the honey has air incorporated into it and it changes the taste.  In crush and strain, it's just honey that hasn't been messed with and it tastes much richer - try some this year - a frame or two - and you'll be amazed.

Linda T
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