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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Post

    If you are going to use different honey supers than you are brood boxes, would it be ok to use standard sized foundation since there would be no egg laying in them and honey cells are bigger than brood cells normally anyway? From what I have read, the bees probably would not draw it out correctly anyway since they are honey cells.

    Am I right? Someone with more experience might have a better theory on this one.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,288

    Post

    Here are the theories as I have heard them. I'm just on a first regression and have no solid experience on 4.9mm in supers, but I have used 5.4 in supers and drone comb in supers.

    One of the theories on the 4.9mm in supers is that bees are a creature of habit and the more I get them in the habit of building small comb the better they will do it.

    Another is that drone comb is easier to extract and the bees have an urge to build some anyway so let them get it out of their system in the supers. (NOTE: Do not attempt to use drone comb in the supers without a queen excluder. The queen will gladly go to the top box to lay it full of drone.) Drone comb is VERY easy to extract.

    Another is that it doesn't matter in the supers so if you want plastic foundation ect. you may as well use it there. Plastic stands up to extracting really well.

    Another is "why keep two kinds of foundation around?"

    As I said, I'm still forming my own opinion on all of this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,506

    Post

    Before I went to using small cell comb, I used Duragilt (5.4mm) in my hives, both in the brood chamber and honey supers. Once I converted all my brood frames over to 4.9, I just couldn't see scraping all the 5.4 honey comb I had. Last year I put those supers on my hives and the bees worked them just fine. Since it takes a lot of work to get bees to draw good 4.9 comb, why make it any harder on your self and insist on it in the supers? I see very few good reasons to do this. Unless you are a commercial beekeeper and like to move frames all around, there is no point to 4.9 in the honey supers. Actually it goes against what bees do naturally. Bees will want to draw the larger cells during a honey flow anyway, so let them do it.

    Regards,
    Barry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    397

    Post

    Hi all

    Topic was started posting:
    If you are going to use different honey supers than you are brood boxes, would it be ok to use standard sized foundation since there would be no egg laying in them and honey cells are bigger than brood cells normally anyway? From what I have read, the bees probably would not draw it out correctly anyway since they are honey cells.
    Am I right? Someone with more experience might have a better theory on this one.

    Reply:
    Yes and No. Depends upon at which stage you are in regression of your bees and trying to draw combs.

    There have been many good early talks on this very topic here and I suggest you go back to the first few months and review posts here on regression by "hitting SHOW ALL TOPICS". Here you will find names like Sewell, Huestis, etc and good talk.

    YOu can also go and read the appropriate regression chapters at:
    http://www.beesource.com/pov/lusby/

    ONce you have your colonies regressed fully then beekeepers can do a lot more then those still or just beginning regression and sometimes when finsished regressing, the older ones then to forget this.

    Also depending upon the region of the country and propensity of the flow will many times also say whether or not the bees will allow very much bigger combs for honey supers and how may.

    In Nature Drone combs only account for about 10-15% total of most feral colony combs. Also in Nature it is not placed above the broodnest normally. It is more to the sides.C.P. Dadant wrote about this early on (10%) natural ratio at the beginning of the 1900s.

    All I can say is follow the bees and if they refuse then stop. Especially if it deters from you getting your bees back naturally sized down. Once ther then try again. If still no go, then do what the bees prefer.

    Sincerely,

    Dee A. Lusby

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