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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Grahamsville, NY
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    443

    Post

    Comb honey production cost comparison among
    traditional cut sections of comb honey, Bee-O-Pac System, Hogg Cassettes and Ross Round Sections.

    Since different types of equipment used in comb honey production yield results that vary in size and weight, I am introducing the term "conditional unit," which is equivalent to 16 Oz. The application of this term allows to compare the costs of comb honey collected through different equipment.

    More details are here:
    http://www.beebehavior.com/comb_hone...comparison.php

    Boris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,380

    Post

    At least two of your assumptions are wrong in my case.
    1) Why would you ever need to re-assemble a medium frame just because you cut comb out of it?

    2) I don't use foundation. Maybe that relates to #1. With foundationless, you just cut out the comb and replace the frame in the hive. No extra work. If you leave an edge of comb at the top, you can do this whether you are foundationless or not.

    Since I am already in all mediums and foundationless, there is essentially no additional cost to producing comb vs extracted honey other than packaging, about $1 by your figures.

    [size="1"][ February 17, 2007, 09:00 AM: Message edited by: Ross ][/size]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Grahamsville, NY
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    443

    Post

    "Why would you ever need to re-assemble..."
    "I don't use foundation..."

    Ross,

    People use it in my area because the honey flow
    is not so high. With foundations, bees make combs more quickly.
    For examle, according to the Lloyd Spear (a round comb honey producer from up-state New York):
    "...When four rings are in each frame half, place a sheet of foundation on one frame half, and close the two halves. The frame is then complete and can be placed in the super..."

    But anyway, I have added your approach to my calculations.

    Boris

    [size="1"][ February 17, 2007, 10:52 AM: Message edited by: Boris ][/size]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,213

    Post

    >With foundations, bees make combs more quickly.

    That has not been my experience, nor have I heard that from anyone who has tried foundationless frames.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Grahamsville, NY
    Posts
    443

    Post



    [size="1"][ February 17, 2007, 12:54 PM: Message edited by: Boris ][/size]

  6. #6
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    Jul 2006
    Location
    Grahamsville, NY
    Posts
    443

    Post

    Note: Lloyd Spear's a round comb honey experience is over 20 years.

    Boris

    [size="1"][ February 17, 2007, 01:06 PM: Message edited by: Boris ][/size]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,213

    Post

    And you are saying Lloyd is/was doing foundationless?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Grahamsville, NY
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    443

    Post

    "And you are saying Lloyd is/was doing foundationless?"

    No. It was just additional Note. This summer I will try Lloyd's approach (see above statement).
    But may be Ross's foundationless approach is acceptable for some areas?

    Boris

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Syracuse, NY (upstate)
    Posts
    247

    Post

    Hi Boris,

    You're in the Catskills. I am a few hours from you in Central New York (Upstate). I've switched over foundationless frames for all my cut comb. The advantages are numerous:

    1) No foundation cost
    2) No time/labor needed to install foundation
    3) The bees build larger cells (drone size) meaning a lower wax to honey ratio. As a result, my customers prefer the foundationless because they end up with less wax in their mouths per bite and they don't have that thick center (foundation). That's because the bees build a much thinner foundation layer than even cut-comb foundation. Boris, in addition to trying Lloyd's approach, how about trying the foundationless approach. It's suitable for ALL AREAS, not just those with a long nectar flow. When the nectar flows, the bees draw wax. One Note: be sure to place the foundationless frame between two fully drawn frames (with a 1/4" starter strip protruding below the top bar).

    -Eric

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,380

    Post

    I find the bees draw foundationless in about 1/2 the time of wax foundation, and about 1/5 the time of plastic foundation. We don't have an extended heavy flow either. That's one of the reasons I went to foundationless.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Post

    We ran Basswood Boxes for about 10 yrs (500-1000 sections a year-8 frame) and due to labor concerns crossed over to all cut comb this past year and are extremely happy with the results.

    I have never run foundationless intentionally but the reasoning here sounds, well, sound. Are you fellows running starter stips and if not what is to keep the bees from running combs diagonal accross the frames which I've seen happen in foundationless brood frames? Could you please describe the equipment configuration you're using as well as the timing of supering (ie 4 foundationless supers added beginning of flow, 1 added, half complete, 2nded added etc.)

    Thanks

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,380

    Post

    http://www.myoldtools.com/Bees/frames/sled5.jpg

    This is what I do, although I know longer bother to glue the small triangle back in. I just rip both sides of a WTB frame at 45 degrees. I can do 100 in about 15 minutes. I typically add a super of foundationless with a single drawn frame near the middle, or I checker board them into the brood chamber as need be.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Schenectady, NY, USA
    Posts
    257

    Post

    I know a guy running 400 hives solely for cut comb, using foundationless frames. If this technique gets around it may mean trouble for Ross Rounds, as our tremendous advantage is that frames can be reloaded without having the endless cleaning associated with used cut comb frames. (We are finishing our 200 supers of Ross Rounds, and are about to start on our 500 frames (50 supers) for cut comb and are dreading the job. These 50 supers will take more time than the 200 Ross Round supers!

    He runs his cut comb in deep frames. When he uses a new frame he applies a coating of beeswax to the top bar. For used frames he does nothing. He says that the microscopic traces of beeswax from the previous year are enough to get the bees started. He has a bottom bar on the frame as otherwise the bees will draw down to the queen excluder.

    He goes for a 12 ounce cut, so he can get several from a frame. He does not hesitate to combine 2-3 cuts in a single container to make up the 12 ounces. He does not drain the edges, and will add 1-3 ounces of liquid honey if necessary to get to 12 ounces.

    His package is not pretty as the combs are all different sizes and thicknesses. And late in the season the liquid honey is always crystalized. He cannot use the standard jewelry boxes for packaging as most of his combs are too thick, so he uses a lightweight box not unlike the clamshells sold by some dealers.

    But...in a normal year (meaning most years) he produces some 20,000 12 ounce cuts and always sells out. He has effectively 'trained' his customers to this package. The only downside is that he takes a real price cut compared to either Ross Rounds or 'regular' cut comb. But his price is part of what lets him sell 20,000 a year, and considering that he has far less labor than cut comb and somewhat less labor than Ross Rounds, he may come out ahead of the game! Last year he sold his cut comb for $2.25 (wholesale, in a carton of 24), compared to my $4.00 for Ross Rounds or $4.50 for my cut comb in a jewelry box. The $2.25 is also what the big comb honey producers in Florida and Michigan were getting in 2006 for their cut comb in jewelry boxes.
    Lloyd Spear, Owner of Ross Rounds, Inc. Manufacturers of round section comb equipment and Sundance Pollen Traps.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,213

    Post

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm

    Here's how I do it. Also old combs with even a little bit of the last comb on them work fine without any kind of guide.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Grahamsville, NY
    Posts
    443

    Post

    Eric,

    My area flowers are here:
    http://www.beebehavior.com/bees_and_flowers.php

    What do you have in your area?

    Thank you.
    Boris

    [size="1"][ February 21, 2007, 02:18 PM: Message edited by: Boris ][/size]

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    The Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    297

    Post

    Boris, nice website.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Grahamsville, NY
    Posts
    443

    Post

    Thank you, Patrick

    Boris

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    "Also old combs with even a little bit of the last comb on them work fine without any kind of guide." Thanks, Michael. I'm in my 5th year of beekeeping and I can't tell you how many "holey" combs I've tossed out because other beekeepers told me they were no good. My own logic told me to keep them this year and your statement's just confirmation of what I was thinking.

    Too, when it comes to foundationless frames, can you please confirm for me that you can give a hive a box of ten foundationless frames to build on; that you don't need to alternate drawn comb with the foundationless so that the bees draw it straight? I've never done 100% foundationless, but was planning on doing it this year. Other beeks are telling me it can't be done 10 frames at a time. Help!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Post

    > I know a guy running 400 hives solely for cut
    > comb, using foundationless frames. If this
    > technique gets around it may mean trouble for
    > Ross Rounds

    Not at all, Lloyd!
    What you need to do is hand out free foundation
    at the meeting you attend, one sheet per person.
    Colored foundation.

    Maybe you've never seen it, so I'll describe the
    "experiment". I wish I still had my photos:

    1) Put some of that colored foundation that is
    sold to make those tacky "rolled candles"
    in a frame. (Any color will do.)

    2) Let the bees draw out that comb.

    3) Observe the color, and note just how much of
    the foundation was "drawn out" to make the
    comb. Observe just how much of the total
    mass of the comb clearly was fabricated from
    the foundation, rather than fabricated from
    wax scales.

    That's a LOT of wax that the bees were given, and
    did not have to produce themselves, which is a
    costly and slow process, often made slower by
    poor weather for brood rearing to get the young
    bees to make those tiny wax scales.

    So, foundation is a big advantage, one that
    results in more drawn comb much faster than one
    can get from empty frames, and when making comb
    honey, you want to use every little advantage you
    can provide the bees, as the opportunity to
    first draw comb and fill it is brief.

    I guess most folks think that bees just attach
    wax scales to the foundation to make comb, but
    the little "experiment" I mentioned blows this
    misconception out of the water in short order.

    Foundationless frames are a great way to slow
    down one's entire season, limit one's harvest,
    and keep colonies small and wimpy.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Carp, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    123

    Question

    I wonder if anyone know what is the net weight of the bee-o-pac also the finished product weight?

    Thanks

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