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Thread: Starter Strips

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    Micheal, You say that you have used starter strips. I am thinking of using starter strips in frames in the brood box. Is there any problems that I should be aware of? Also will the bees build comb past the wires in the frames?
    Dale

  2. #2
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >Micheal, You say that you have used starter strips. I am thinking of using starter strips in frames in the brood box. Is there any problems that I should be aware of? Also will the bees build comb past the wires in the frames?

    I have used starter strips off and on for a lot of years (30 actually). I have not tried putting wires in when I did. I didn't have an extractor until recently and it didn't seem important. I'm not sure what they bees will do with the wires, but I think, if the frames are hanging perpendicular, they should build right through them with the wires embedded in the comb. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. If you try it let us all know what happens.

    Currently I'm making a lot of plain starter strips (no embossing) to experiment both on the size cells the bees draw and on the "Housel positioning" theory. Also I'm putting them in bait hives and it will give me a chance to see what size the bees are, if they are natural sized or from a domestic hive. And since they are just starter strips it will allow the bees to naturally cluster in the bait hive, where full sheets of foundation would not.

    I have not had any problems with the starter strips. The bees pretty much fill out the frame with comb. They will leave a few holes for communication. One of the advantages to starter strips is if you have a box full of starter strips you can see how the cluster is doing because you can see what's built at a glance. Especially if you build a Lanstroth sized observation hive. http://www.beesource.com/eob/althive/bush/bush3.htm Also it's the natrual way that a hive developes. They have a cluster and the combs are the shape of the cluster. The only down side I know of is the bees have to make more wax and that slows them down somewhat. I'd feed them lots of syrup or honey while they are building.

    Another up side is you don't have to buy foundation (if you make your own plain starter strips) or you have to buy a lot less if you cut them from foundation. Of course during a major honey flow the bees can't gather as much honey because they are busy building comb.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
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    Michael sorry there is a mistake in you article.

    “"""The only down side I know of is the bees have to make more wax and that slows them down somewhat.
    Of course during a major honey flow the bees can't gather as much honey because they are busy building comb.”"""

    As an old beekeeper you should know bees have during their developing stadium different thinks to do inside the colony before they start collecting honey.

    1. Cleaning the cells, combs and hive / day 1 to day 5
    2. Feeding the young brood – nurse bee / day 6 to day 12
    3. Producing wax and building new cells - glands starting to produce wax / day 13 to day 16
    4. Guard bee / day 16 to day 21
    5. Collecting honey from day 21 till the end of there live

    The days are all approx but give you an idea how the colony is organized.

    A bee in stadium # 3 would never go out to collect honey. I personally had good colonies and they build 7 frames from wax strips to compete honeycombs in 3 days and filled them up with honey.
    I would say, with using wax strips there is absolute no down slowing the colony.


  4. #4
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    I should not comment, but I will be leaving the computor for the day, and do not wish to step on Mike B. reply that will be coming to Axtmann.
    Bees, as needed are recruited for jobs throughout the hive. You may have 10 water collectors on one day, and the next 100 as temps rise. Even though they go through a time-line of designated duties from beginning to end, they do not make wax at costant levels all the time. If a hive is not in need of wax, this allows more bees to be free to other things, like collect necture. This is why those dates are approximates only.

    A hive needing to make no wax will absolutely make more honey than one needing to draw comb. True a #3 stadium as you call it would not probable jump to #5, But the more #3 bees going on to #4, allows more #4 to go to #5.

  5. #5
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    I know the number of days theories. I also know when I put drawn comb on one hive during a honey flow it makes much more honey than the one that has to draw foundation. You can explain it any way you like.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2003
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    It take's 8lb of necture to produce 1lb of wax regardless of the age of the bee's

  7. #7
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    Micheal, What size do you cut the starter strips? Dale

  8. #8
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    I go for anything from 1/2" to 3/4". You could do more or less just so there is at least a line of beeswax for them to work.

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