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Type: Posts; User: Betsy Sharp

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    Re: Yikes...both my hives swarmed today!

    After they swarmed, I was much less hesitant about going in and fixing all the wild comb. Once I straightened them all out, then they built beautiful regular comb from then on. The left-behind bees...
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    Re: Yikes...both my hives swarmed today!

    Thanks so much for your detailed reply.

    So, the two swarms (which camped out for a while 50 feet up in a couple trees) have headed out.

    The hives, containing the stay-behind bees, appear (from...
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    Yikes...both my hives swarmed today!

    My very first bees ever, installed as 4-lb packages in late April; it hasn't even been two months yet!

    They were not overcrowded; each hive had mostly filled one medium eight-frame box. I'm...
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    Re: Update on foundationless hives: good news

    Thank you folks for the encouragement.

    Sam, I know, elastics would have been better. I just didn't have any and I don't live anywhere near any stores. I also agree that smoking the hive is...
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    Update on foundationless hives: good news

    Well, after the trauma of cutting out wild comb while it was still fresh and fragile, and causing some destruction almost two weeks ago, I'm pleased to report that the bees have mended the damage and...
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    Re: Foundationless comb castles

    Yes, I wondered about some kind of temporary comb-guides. The cardboard partitions sound like a good idea. I'll give the hives some days to be undisturbed, and then next time I open things up I'll...
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    Re: Foundationless comb castles

    thank you, Michael Bush and Sam Smith for the good suggestions. Rubber bands...well... living on an island without stores or ferries means that sometimes you find yourself without the common bits of...
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    Re: Foundationless comb castles

    Countryboy: Thank you. Your advice and encouragement are welcome. I will make sure to put a good straight frame of comb in the new boxes.

    I've taught myself how to do a lot of things over the...
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    Re: Foundationless comb castles

    Michael,

    Thank you so much for your very complete and helpful answer.

    I use the foundationless comb guides sold by Kelley's. The bees simply built everything perpendicular to the plane of the...
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    Foundationless comb castles

    Well, I finally did a first check on my foundationless hives. Sort of. The good news is that there was no comb attached to the makeshift covers I started with, and now both hives have...
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    Re: Checking new foundationless hives?

    I'm appreciative of the advice; it makes perfect sense. Right now I'm looking out the window at a solid curtain of rain pelting down, just imagining all the comb that the hivebound bees are building...
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    Re: Checking new foundationless hives?

    odfrank: no, I don't have an empty box on top. I just made a hole in the hive cover which is exactly the size of the jar lid, and then inverted the jar and stuck it tightly into the hole. The body...
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    Checking new foundationless hives?

    OK, so I installed my 4-lb packages into their foundationless hives 1 week ago today.

    Each hive has been consuming an average of one pint of syrup per day from a top (mason jar) feeder. I'm...
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    Western Bee Supplies, Polson, Montana

    Here's my recent experience with Western:

    I always wanted to run 8-frame hives. They’re lighter weight for my lousy back and wrists, and they allow the bees to expand vertically a bit more.
    ...
  15. Re: Just installed bees in foundationless hives!

    Breakfast: Did you have a look a few days after installing, to see if the queen had been released from her cage? If so, what did it look like in there? I'm so curious!
  16. Re: Just installed bees in foundationless hives!

    Davidbee: And good luck to you. It's cool that you're experimenting with different setups.

    I think my bees are also taking orientation flights, kind of hovering in front of the hive and going...
  17. Re: Just installed bees in foundationless hives!

    BH: My reasoning, as an utter newbie, is that medium frames can get by without wiring because they're not that deep. Maybe it would be dicier if you were running foundationless deeps?

    MB: Thank...
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    Re: Novice feeding question

    I arrived at this exact same solution, after getting disgusted with the whole ziploc baggie fiasco. The holes in the plywood hold the jars very snugly, and it works well. I haven't yet put a super...
  19. Just installed bees in foundationless hives!

    I'm waiting to see how it all turns out, and if they create some kind of cross-comb disaster in all that open space. (I used Kelley's guide frames). I just hived them yesterday, in their brand new...
  20. Re: Hive activity after placing new package.

    I've also been curious about what normal activity looks like, right after installing new packages. Yesterday I hived two four-lb packages. Each one was put into two medium 8-frame boxes, with top...
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    Re: 10-frame / 8-frame conversion?

    Michael Bush, thank you so much for the link to your step-by-step guide. I didn't acknowledge your previous post in this thread, but did immediately go to your site (which has already been one of my...
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    Re: 10-frame / 8-frame conversion?

    Nope, already shipped off the tops and bottoms. I think we're just going to have to deal with the boxes ourselves. We'll figure out some configuration that's strong enough. We're just finishing up...
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    Re: 10-frame / 8-frame conversion?

    Yes, my husband is helping out with the carpentry, and says he will either use biscuits or just make new dovetail end joints. And then do something about the handles... He's pretty resourceful. In...
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    Re: 10-frame / 8-frame conversion?

    So NOW, all of a sudden, Western Bee Supplies (where I bought my woodenware from) has a big banner on their homepage saying, "YES, we manufacture 8-frame woodenware" !!!!

    Good grief. I don't know...
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    Re: 10-frame / 8-frame conversion?

    I think you (and the other folks who've said the same thing) are right.

    It was not a good idea to settle for my second choice just because it was hard to locate an affordable supplier of the...
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