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Author Topic: Can I transition to small cell foundation one super at a time?  (Read 6122 times)
Robo
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« Reply #40 on: June 17, 2007, 08:31:54 PM »

Some people use an excluder as an includer (between the queen and the exit) for the first couple of weeks until there is open brood.

Yes, I forgot to mention that.   I poured syrup with lemongrass oil on the frames before giving them to the bees and I put an excluder on to of the bottom board to keep the queen in on one and the other was a small swarm that I put into a nuc with no includer.  Both queens started laying in a couple days.  It is difficult to see the eggs in new HSC.  I see they are now offering black and green frames.
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« Reply #41 on: June 17, 2007, 10:43:37 PM »

Forgive me, but you all talke about moving spme frames out and replacing with HSC or empty...What do you do with the frame you removed?  Won't it have brood?  Where does it go?  I think I get confused when talk of moving frames here and there and in and out gets going...

Yeah...confusing to me...

Thanks,
Shar

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« Reply #42 on: June 18, 2007, 06:53:01 AM »

>Forgive me, but you all talke about moving spme frames out and replacing with HSC or empty...What do you do with the frame you removed?

That depends on what is in it, and if you have the same sized boxes.  You are always just moving frames around.  You pull one out of a box somewhere and put it in the brood nest and put that one back in some box somewhere.  If you have all the same sized boxes you have many more options.

> Won't it have brood?

I wouldn't pull one with brood.  I would pull empty and honey frames.

> Where does it go?

If they are all the same sized boxes, probably in the super.  If they are not, probably you'll extract it or let them rob it out.

> I think I get confused when talk of moving frames here and there and in and out gets going...

It always has to go somewhere even if it's just a super or another box.

You should always have a few extra boxes around just to juggle the frames into.
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« Reply #43 on: August 08, 2007, 09:39:05 AM »

Some people use an excluder as an includer (between the queen and the exit) for the first couple of weeks until there is open brood.

Yes, I forgot to mention that.   I poured syrup with lemongrass oil on the frames before giving them to the bees and I put an excluder on to of the bottom board to keep the queen in on one and the other was a small swarm that I put into a nuc with no includer.  Both queens started laying in a couple days.  It is difficult to see the eggs in new HSC.  I see they are now offering black and green frames.

I have a new hive that came from a nuc a few weeks ago.  I am very interested in tryingthe HSC in this hive as it seems that since there are only about 4 frams built out, it would be ideal to start now rather than culling out later. 

I am not sure that I understand the purpose of the queen excluder though in this case.  I understand that it is to go under the brood box. 

I have one deep brood box now. 
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« Reply #44 on: August 08, 2007, 09:57:06 AM »

I am not sure that I understand the purpose of the queen excluder though in this case.  I understand that it is to go under the brood box. 

The purpose of the excluder on the bottom is when you put them on the HSC with no other comb (ie no brood).  This prevents the queen from leaving and them absconding.   If you are moving a 4 frame nuc with comb into a full size hive and filling it out with HSC, then the excluder is not needed.  They will have brood to keep the queen.   You will have more difficulty with then accepting the HSC though since they will have the 4 frames of wax.  If you plan to shake them onto all HSC, then you should use the bottom excluder.

You could shake them on a full deep of HSC, put an excluder on top too (to restrict the queen to the HSC) and then put the nuc frames in another super on top until the brood hatches.
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« Reply #45 on: August 08, 2007, 10:42:52 AM »


You could shake them on a full deep of HSC, put an excluder on top too (to restrict the queen to the HSC) and then put the nuc frames in another super on top until the brood hatches.

I think my only concern with this idea is that there would bee too much room for these bees.  I already and dealing with SHB and adding even more comb by putting a bottom deep and moved the deep with brood up top.   
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« Reply #46 on: August 08, 2007, 11:08:29 AM »

You are probably right.  Luckily I don't have to deal with SHB.
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« Reply #47 on: August 08, 2007, 11:20:16 AM »

Ok, I am still considering giving it a try.  While this does cost a bit more, it does seem like a much easier and faster way to transition to small cell.  It seems that I may be able to use a box of 20 to rotate them through my 3 hives until all are on small cell.  It will still take a while and a good bit of work but alot less than the other methods....Huh

When using this, what is used for the honey supers?  Do you have to use small cell foundation / strips / etc?  Or can they just use what I have.  Will small cell bees mess up standard cell wax foundation?
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« Reply #48 on: August 08, 2007, 11:28:26 AM »

if you have good established colonies, you should use the comb that they have now in the brood boxes, for honey supers.

when you regress them, why would you ever put normal foundation in again?
you should use either starter strips or SC foundation.
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« Reply #49 on: August 08, 2007, 11:33:39 AM »

if you have good established colonies, you should use the comb that they have now in the brood boxes, for honey supers.

when you regress them, why would you ever put normal foundation in again?
you should use either starter strips or SC foundation.

I would nt use normal foundation again in the brood box(es).  I would let them draw their own (most likely with starter strips) or use SC wax foundation.

I already have a bunch of unnused standard wax foundation and frames and that is why I was asking about using it in the honey supers.  If that messes things up then fine, I am just checking. 
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« Reply #50 on: August 08, 2007, 11:40:08 AM »

well, i don't really know how bees would draw normal foundation, i said it just because...let's say you'd wanna make a split. and if you have standard comb, the split would have to go throu the whole proces of regression again...i mean, i hope you know what i'm aiming at.
basicly you could use normal foundation in honey supers, you'd only have to make sure you never put them into the brood boxes.
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« Reply #51 on: August 08, 2007, 11:44:18 AM »

Ok, I am still considering giving it a try.  While this does cost a bit more, it does seem like a much easier and faster way to transition to small cell.  It seems that I may be able to use a box of 20 to rotate them through my 3 hives until all are on small cell.  It will still take a while and a good bit of work but alot less than the other methods....Huh
That was/is my plan, except I had a few good removal jobs and used the money to buy more HSC.

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When using this, what is used for the honey supers?  Do you have to use small cell foundation / strips / etc?  Or can they just use what I have.  Will small cell bees mess up standard cell wax foundation?

I used my standard honey supers, except on these hives I did use an excluder to keep the queen from moving up to the real comb and brooding more large bees.   I want to go thru a few HSC only brood cycles to make sure I have all small cell bees before letting them build natural comb.

You could use your standard cell foundation as starter strips.  They don't use it as a pattern, just a guide to place the comb.  They will draw whatever size comb they desire, regardless of the size of the starter strip.  In fact I use corrugated cardboard for my starter strips.  A lot of people seem to get hung up on using SC foundation for starter strips when all it is doing is costing them more.
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« Reply #52 on: August 17, 2007, 05:29:50 PM »

 I started 3 packages on starter strips this year and 1 on a deep 5 frame nuc with plastic frames. I finally gave the nuc a super below the nuc box because they just refused to work the plastic any more--it looks odd having a juc box atop an 8 frame super--I built a special top that slides down around the outside of the nuc and insteps the nuc over the super. The rest of the packages built out the 1st box of starter strips w/o problems--very good looking comb.  The next super went haywire--a lot of cross comb on the hives with bottom entrances whereas the bees with top entrances drew the strips out fine.

I now use just a wooden rib down the center of the frame and spray it with sugar syrup when I install the frames.  I also have taken to putting the super on the entrance side of the hive so that the bees have to travel over the empty frames to get to the brood nest.  That's up for top entrances and supering below for bottom entrances.  This works in keeping the combs straight with foundationless frames.

If you follow: I'm not using foundation at all any more in any form.  I'm also supering hives with only empty frames sprayed with a little syrup.  I've found that baiting the frames with syrup and then making the bees traffic across the empty area aids greatly in keeping the bees drawing straight comb without the guide of foundation or strips.
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« Reply #53 on: August 17, 2007, 08:35:01 PM »

I started 3 packages on starter strips this year and 1 on a deep 5 frame nuc with plastic frames. I finally gave the nuc a super below the nuc box because they just refused to work the plastic any more--it looks odd having a juc box atop an 8 frame super--I built a special top that slides down around the outside of the nuc and insteps the nuc over the super. The rest of the packages built out the 1st box of starter strips w/o problems--very good looking comb.  The next super went haywire--a lot of cross comb on the hives with bottom entrances whereas the bees with top entrances drew the strips out fine.

I now use just a wooden rib down the center of the frame and spray it with sugar syrup when I install the frames.  I also have taken to putting the super on the entrance side of the hive so that the bees have to travel over the empty frames to get to the brood nest.  That's up for top entrances and supering below for bottom entrances.  This works in keeping the combs straight with foundationless frames.

If you follow: I'm not using foundation at all any more in any form.  I'm also supering hives with only empty frames sprayed with a little syrup.  I've found that baiting the frames with syrup and then making the bees traffic across the empty area aids greatly in keeping the bees drawing straight comb without the guide of foundation or strips.


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« Reply #54 on: August 18, 2007, 12:10:23 AM »

Brian,

All of the frames that I have introduced this year with starter strips have been put into the upper supers where the bees have invariably built comb with huge cells - all of which has been used for storage. But I have a question about putting these frames into the brood area with the intention of starting the regression process:  is there an issue with support here when using unwired frames? I may have asked this back in the spring so forgive my faulty memory.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #55 on: August 18, 2007, 03:42:29 PM »

You have probably noticed that new white comb tends to bend if the frame is tilted off upright, however, after a few weeks the comb firms up and is as strong as comb built on foundation with wire support.  If you put on starter strips the frames should be able to be used in an extractor after about a month or so.  If you only have a few hives the cut and strain method works well--just cut out the comb, honey and all, and put the frames back on the hive.  Having no wires allows you to harvest honey whenever you want some--1 frame at a time if you want.  You can cut & strain or cut as chunk honey.  If you're short on equipment this method also allows you to only have 2-3 supers per hive and harvest as you go. 
With all medium boxes they can go wherever you want.  It makes the operation incrediably simple.
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« Reply #56 on: August 18, 2007, 05:39:38 PM »

I have noticed all of the above. They did sag especially on extremely hot days. Does that mean that these unwired frames are also suitable for brood rearing?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #57 on: August 21, 2007, 11:39:38 PM »

Zoot:  I use nothing but foundationless/wireless frames now.  For everything--brood, cut-comb, chunk, crush & strain, even extract.  After the first 2 weeks the comb becomes fairly rigid.  If you've ever had the opportunity to do a cut out of a feral hive you will have noticed how rigid aged comb can be.  Feral bees do not use foundation or wires. I'm going natural as possible with Langstroth designed equipment.
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« Reply #58 on: August 22, 2007, 06:38:57 AM »

Threads are moved around here all the time - why hasn't this been moved to the Natural and Organic section?
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« Reply #59 on: August 23, 2007, 12:29:42 PM »

Brian,

I am doing as  you are. Just slowly introducing foundationless frames with starter strips to get the whole hive on natural comb. I read lots of your posts and I agree that the bees can just do whatever size cell they need within the hive.

Have you tried extracting with the natural comb or do you do the crush and strain method???
I would still like to continue using my extractor if possible.

thanks
Annette
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