uhhhh the major thing u need to worry about is splitting up the brood chamber too much. reust me i found out how bad it is this year. just search for my thread entitled "never checkerboarding again" . it really slowed them down for weeks and they are just starting to build population now.
Hmmm... Since this is my first year, I just don't have any drawn comb to put the foundationless frames between. I haven't even added another box to the first deep brood box yet. Its time now, but I wanted to get an idea of what others would do before I added the medium on top of the deep brood box. I gotta say, I'm more confused than ever now...
my 2 cents with only 2 1/2-3 years of beekeeping is :
-we run one deep on the bottom. and run mediums the rest of the way up.
we pretty much have plenty of brood for any occasion whenever we need it.
-foundationless. of course saves alot of money in work. no wiring,no worries of the chems in the foundation,no pre sized/aligned cells so
the girls d as they need.
-never treated for anything. we DO feed though early spring.
-we also keep top bar hives as well and they draw like crazy in our experience. we have this year cutout brood from a top bar hive and banded into a medium frame for a queenless hive and today we are making nucs with extra queen cells.
that is how we are running our apiary. everything changes yearly and it should because they are always chellenges when dealing with keeping livestock. but we are pretty much setting up our apiary the way we like it now.
we also like to over winter in deeps.
basically u have to figure out what works for u. we are treatment free but if we ever come under attack from something we would probably take necessary action if there is no other way to defend the hives.
we also run all screen bottom boards as of this year ..... and we are sold on them. it made a huge difference with our bees this year.
I'm in the process of switching from two ten-frame deeps to three eight-frame mediums for brood boxes. Here's what I'm doing, which (so far) seems to be working:
At the end of the winter, the bees were in the upper ten-frame deep. So I took the bottom box off, moved the top box to the bottom position, and added an eight-frame medium on top. I added the eight-frame box on one side of the hive, over the cluster, and used a small board with a couple of bricks on top of it to close the gap.
In the eight-frame medium, I put six foundationless frames (F) and two frames of drawn comb (C) from an old honey super, like so: FFCFFCFF. That way the queen could use the comb as a ladder to get up into the box, and the comb would hopefully help the bees draw out the other combs straight. For foundationless frames, I used standard wedge frames, with the wedge broken out and nailed/glued back in on edge. No wax starter strip.
Right at the beginning, the bees made one misstep (from my point of view; from their point of view, I'm sure it was the right thing to do). They build a sphere of comb up from the top of the frames in the bottom box, incorporating the bottom rails of two of the frames in the top box. I scraped it out, and they rebuilt it, so I scraped it out again. By then others had started building nice, straight comb down from the top of the frames in the top box, and they have been doing beautifully since then (knock on wood).
At some point, perhaps next spring, when there are no bees left in the bottom ten-frame deep box, I will remove it. And then I will have a brood box consisting of three eight-frame mediums. In the meantime, I'm planning to cut the deep combs down to mediums to use as ladders in future medium boxes.
Currently I have one hive that I am experimenting with foundationless...8 frame deeps..I am on the 3rd deep..I placed foundationless in between some drawn out frames(tried to do every other frame, but some I just put a couple of foundationless together) in each box and they have done great! I used wooden dowels as guides and they have had no problem..I found one on the end that was crooked but they were just beginning and so I took it off and let them start again. This hive is booming! At some point I would like to take out all the ones with foundation and put in foundationless so that all the deeps will be foundationless. I didn't wire any of these. I say just start and see how they do!