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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    McMinnville, TN, USA


    <Trails? Is that a person on here?>

    Someone mentioned it was tested during this discussion but I did not go back and find it to make an exact quote.

    <Anyway, the reason most say it is because they have believed the old statement about how much honey it takes to make a pound of wax. From my experience they will build comb the most quickly without the foundation. If that's true, why do I care about the logistics of how that happens?>

    This was the reason for my question about the trial/test that was done. I think that the mid rib is thinner in natural drawn comb so it contain less wax. The bees seem to hesitate drawing foundation and when given foundation and a foundationless frame the foundationless one gets drawn first. The hive that got the undrawn super this year took twice as long to draw it out as the one given the foundationless frames. Just did not want to sound as strong as Bjorn did on topic of where is your proof. I can not remember what article said what but can keep it fairly straight in my head what was said when I did read it so it is hard to ask where did you get this.

    <And you also got to prove to yourself that smaller sizes ARE natural sizes.>

    I saw that in the removals I did. No need to convince me that was natural.

    < But I'm also lazy. No foundation to wire. No foundation to sag before they draw it and have to be replaced again...>

    That part is just an advantage. If I could aford it I would buy me some frames and build me that wood strip Topbarguy used to put a starter strip on his TBH TBs and just pour the melted wax onto the frames. Frames are cheap for all the cuts it takes to make one.

    <That's a good plan. They want a certain amount and if you take it all away they will draw more drone comb.>

    I learn that point quickly when I tried to cull the first drone comb. They just rebuilt it 80% drone cells.

    <Dee Lusby arrived at 4.9mm for these reasons:
    1) It was the point at which it resolved the problem.>

    Many are still having to help their small cell colonies fight the mites. So 4.9 have not fully sovled the problem for all.

    <2) She wants to have all the same size, interchangable comb, and 4.9mm is about as small as she can extract with the thicker honey they get in the desert.>

    Another great reason for foundationless frames, as the bees make honey storage size cell when they need them. I found one cell that I could stick my finger in it was so large in the supers. This fall that cell was capped.

    <I think you also have to figure, if you can't convince people to regress from 5.4mm to 4.9mm so how would you convince them to regress from 5.4mm to 4.6mm?>

    If you had the foundation made for a study and that study showed beyond a doubt you could keep bees with little or no mites because of it you would atleast get the 4.9 believers to try it. I think the cost of small cell and the problems getting them regressed(which we do not have with natural cell size) are why most beekeepers are hesitant to try it.

    <Trying to get 5.4mm bees to draw 4.6mm foundation would be a mess. I think they would turn it into a crazy quilt. Most 5.4mm bees don't do so badly with 4.9mm foundation.>

    With the problems some have had with getting 4.9 drawn, You have a good point. But I got to that size in one year with natural comb.

    <Dee belives that all of us observing such a mixture of sizes are seeing them because we are not fully regressed. The combs on her bees are very consistent with just small cell everywhere and drones around the very edges, mostly in the bottom corners and the bottom (where she leaves a gap).>

    From what I have seen in the feral hives goes against this. They all started with bigger cells(5.2-5.0mm yet some started with some drone comb) and gradually got smaller with the exception of the patches of drone comb.

    <I like them more, especially as I get the hang of how to manage them. Things like putting a drawn comb in the middle of a box of foundationless frames greatly improve matters.>

    I found I needed a drawn comb then 2 undrawn combs to get all straight combs. With me using all mediums there is no need to wire them for extracting, just make sure they are aged a bit and well attached to the sides and bottom. Other than trying permacomb and small cell foundation and maybe ross rounds I see no need in foundation.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA


    I'm with you on "all mediums", "no wire" and extracting foundationless. But no one seems to believe you can extract them when you tell them that.

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