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Thread: 4.9mm foudation

  1. #1
    East Texas Pine Rooter Guest

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    I just received my 4.9mm foundation from Dadant. How do i start converting my estabilished brood hive to the new foundation? Do you take the existing drawn brood frames, and just move them up to the upper supers above the queen excluder? Do you also use the same foundation for the honey supers? I also got a hand held spur embedder for the wire, it is not the electric model. How do you use it? do you heat the spur with a torch? When I go into the esatablished hive, how do you straiten the brood and honey comb cells? Just a lot of questions, thanks for the help. Checked my hive just before dark, and removed the green sapling branch, the hive is working. I will go into the brood box for the first time the latter part of this week.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

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    Rooter,
    I use a spur embedder as well. I don't heat it at all. I simply lay a board that fits within the deminsions of the frame under the foundation to support it and run the embedder over the wires. This is all I have ever done and never heated the embedder at all. The books suggest heating will help, but I can't imagine it being any simpler than it is for me. An alternative method recommended by some is to use a car battery charger clamped to the wires to heat them enough to embed them, but I haven't tried this, so can't elaborate. Besides, spur embedding is the quickest and simplest task I face when building and inserting foundation into frames.

    As for regressing, Dee Lubsy's articles on this website seem to be what most follow. I am using wild-caught swarms to draw out my 4.9mm because I don't want to "waste" any of it by letting the large-cell bees draw on it with poorer results. Then I will insert the drawn combs into the center of the broodnest of the other hives.

    As for inserting the small cell foundation directly into the large-cell hives, you might consider using starter strips during your "step-down" stages to conserve foundation. If they won't draw it correctly anyway, why waste it? But others know more about all this than I do.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,791

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    >Do you take the existing drawn brood frames, and just move them up to the upper supers above the queen excluder?

    You can. What I try to do is move all the honey/pollen frames above the excluder and leave the brood with the queen. Whatever you do, don't put ALL the brood above the excluder with the queen below. They will just abandone the queen and raise a new one.

    If you keep moving the honey up and the larger capped brood to the outside they will keep filling the outside frames with honey and you can pulling them out and inserting new foundation in the middle.

    >Do you also use the same foundation for the honey supers?

    In the long run (after regression) I would run an unlimited brood nest. Basically that means there is just a hive. No supers. Most people running an ULBN have all the same sized frames and all the same size foundation so the queen can lay where she wants, expand as much as she wants and you don't need an excluder.

    I have seldom used an excluder except for things such as regression or as an includer.

    If you use starter strips or foundationless frames you'll need to pay more attention and the combs won't all be interchanable because the bees will build larger cells for storage and smaller cells for worker brood. You will have to keep track of which is which so you don't put larger cells in the middle of the brood nest.

    Also if you use starter strips or foundationless frames, handle the frames carefully until they are attched on at least three sides. Otherwise turning the frame horizontally will breach a heavy honey comb right off.

    >Checked my hive just before dark, and removed the green sapling branch

    You just moved the hive?

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