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Thread: Foundation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, MO
    Posts
    169

    Cool

    Yup, me again!

    ok, I bought a beginner's dadant kit off ebay. It came with duraglit. I bought some other med supers that came with another type.
    Will I have a problem with mixed foundation between boxes?

    Tell me what I need to get for the brood deeps and the med for honey. How much drone should I buy?

    I am totally confused about what is the best and easiest to deal with. What about the Brushy Mtn "superframe"? And why black?

    I am nesting - I guess - just like when I was about ready to give birth. Gotta get everything ready for those little bees arrival.

    Thanks so much for putting up with me.

    Oh, I can't make it to the big doin's in Ks this weekend. I was hoping to make it.

    Martha

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,102

    Post

    >ok, I bought a beginner's dadant kit off ebay. It came with duraglit. I bought some other med supers that came with another type.
    Will I have a problem with mixed foundation between boxes?

    No problem. From the bees perspective there is no difference between wax and Duragilt since the walls on the durgilt are wax, not plastic, unless sometime in the future they decide to tear down some of the Duragilt and get down to the smooth plastic center. Once they do this they never rebuild it. This is the only down side. I've used a lot of Duracomb (Duragilt without the metal on the sides) and liked it.

    >Tell me what I need to get for the brood deeps and the med for honey. How much drone should I buy?

    Unless you are planning on the "drone magnet" method of Varroa conrol, or you want to use an excluder and would prefer the drone comb for extracting easier, I wouldn't buy any. The bees will build the amount of drone they want anyway, no matter what you do.

    >I am totally confused about what is the best and easiest to deal with. What about the Brushy Mtn "superframe"? And why black?

    There is some contraversy over which the bees prefer, but IMHO black is nice for the brood chamber for a beginner so you can see the eggs better. But certainly not a requirement. White is better for the supers because you can judge the color of the honey better. I like to sort my honey into light and dark when I extract so I can sell light to people who like light and dark to people who like dark. I also like BOTH light and dark better when it's more specifically one or the other instead of mixing all the flavors together. The other thing about superframes is they are already put together for you and glued and nailed to make them very well constructed.

    >I am nesting - I guess - just like when I was about ready to give birth. Gotta get everything ready for those little bees arrival.

    Better now than realize at the last minute you forgot something. All in all, though, I wouldn't worry too much. If you have a nice hive with frames and foundation the bees will do the rest.

    >Thanks so much for putting up with me.

    There is nothing to "put up with".


    [This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited March 04, 2004).]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi Martha,

    >Will I have a problem with mixed foundation >between boxes?

    Some times bees will prefer wax opposed to plastic foundation. But all in all you should be able to mix them.

    >Tell me what I need to get for the brood >deeps and the med for honey. How much drone >should I buy?

    Well, I'd buy zero drone foundation. The bees will make enough drone comb to suit there needs without you adding any. I personally use 4.9mm wax foundation sold by dadant or made by myself. However if you are not really inclinde in that direction I'd recommend pierrco frame/ foundation for its ease. Or another option would be wood frames with pierrco snap in foundation in the event that some day you should decide to go to 4.9 or some other type of foundation you only need remove the comb/ foundation and replace it. If you go with the foundation/ frame you will need to rid of the whole unit and start over.

    >I am totally confused about what is the >best and easiest to deal with. What about >the Brushy Mtn "superframe"? And why black?

    Never used it. But black is liked by some as it shows up the eggs and larvae easily against the background. Nice if you plan on grafting to raise queens.

    Clay



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,102

    Post

    Actually, you're already on one path, but I am with Clay. I'd go with the 4.9mm small cell foundation. You get a free regression by starting a package on it. But that's another issue.

    Also, you've already bought deeps for brood, which is what most people do, but I prefer to not lift so much and buy mediums for everything. Of course I still have a lot of mismatched equipment of other sizes and even totally different designs (DE hives) but my goal is all lanstroth mediums. A full medium box of honey is about 60 pounds and a full deep is about 90 pounds. In theory the brood nest should weigh less, but sometimes you will have a brood nest in the bottom and a full deep of honey above it that has to be moved to find the queen or check for eggs etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, MO
    Posts
    169

    Cool

    I was going to use the drone foundation for the varroa. Plus it's always a good homeschool science project.

    My 17 yr old has been asking me more and more questions. I am hoping that he will be my partner in this effort.

    When you put the drone frames in - how many? Would one per hive be enough? I don't want the queen and her subjects going drone crazy. How often do you put in the drone frames? Continuously or like once a month to monitor?

    Do all the companies sell the smaller cell (4.9 right?) foundation? That pop in pop out foundation sounds good. I'd hate to have to throw out the whole works because the foundation got old or funky.

    My daddy is still whispering in my ear....don't waste...save it....save everything!

    Thanks,
    Martha

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,102

    Post

    >I was going to use the drone foundation for the varroa.
    >When you put the drone frames in - how many? Would one per hive be enough?

    One per hive is enough.

    >I don't want the queen and her subjects going drone crazy.

    They always want to raise drones.

    >How often do you put in the drone frames? Continuously or like once a month to monitor?

    You don't do it to monitor. You do it to kill the drones. You put in the drone frame and take it out with it's capped, before they emerge and freeze it in the freezer. Then you put it back in the hive and let them clean it out and lay it full again. The problem with this method is every frame of drones you pull out of the hive this way could have been a batch of workers. It costs the bees alot of resources to raise that brood.

    >Do all the companies sell the smaller cell (4.9 right?) foundation?

    Dadant makes it and I've only seen Dadant and Brushy Mt. selling it.

    >That pop in pop out foundation sounds good. I'd hate to have to throw out the whole works because the foundation got old or funky.

    You can buy 4.9mm in plastic if thats what you want.

    The concept of small cell and regression is both simple and complicated. The concept is simple. Bees naturally build small cells when left to their own devices over enough generations. But unfortunately we have been rasing them on enlarged comb. A larvae that developes in a large cell gets larger. A larvae from a small cell is smaller. A larger bee can't build a really small cell, but will try to build it smaller if they can.

    In other words, most bees are raised on 5.4mm cells. If a bee from 5.4mm cells is allowed to build what they want (without large cell foundation) they will build about 5.15 to 5.2mm cells. If a bee from those 5.15mm cells is allowed to build what they want it will be about 4.9mm cells. If those bees are allowed to build what they want they will average about 4.85mm cells. So to get from large cell bees to true small cell bees takes them building new brood comb after smaller bees emerge and again after those bees emerge.

    This is done either by gradually culling the brood comb over time or by doing shakedowns onto new foundation. I'd vote for the gradual method.

    Now the concept of a small cell bee is that they are naturally more hygenic. No idea of the mechanism. I have observed that they cap the brood a day earlier which cuts down the number of varroa infesting a cell and it emerges two days earlier (one day shorter post capping time) which cuts the amount of offspring the varroa that did infest the cells can make.

    All in all it makes for a healthier hive.

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