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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,605

    Post

    >No. It was such a big pile of bees I didn't have room to put all the frames in. I had to wet them some to get them to roll out of the swarm box (they can really hang onto screen wire) and I was afraid that shoving them around to get the "pile" thin enough to put the other frames in would hurt too many bees, so they have five frames total, all shoved together in the middle of the box.

    I would have gently set the frames on top of the pile and wait for them to let it work it's way to the bottom. They will eventually make room for it to fall to the bottom.

    >The drawn comb is in the center frame. I left them alone yesterday so they could get adjusted and I was going in today to put in the other frames.

    I'd put the rest in soon.

    >Is that bad?

    Bad? No. Brave? Yes. [img]smile.gif[/img] You never know what bees will do with a big open space, but they often decide to use it in ways you did not anticipate.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Warren County, Kentucky
    Posts
    113

    Post

    Ah. I see there is a sharp learning curve ahead. Also, I'm getting the impression from the way this hive is taking off that this will be a different experience from a package, and that I may be working my tail off to keep up with it. :0/

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    222

    Post

    Do the bees draw out natural comb better if they have a small cell starter strip?

    APK
    Andrew<br /><br /> <a href=\"http://orsba.proboards27.com/index.cgi\" target=\"_blank\">http://orsba.proboards27.com/index.cgi</a>

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,605

    Post

    &gt;Do the bees draw out natural comb better if they have a small cell starter strip?

    My preference for small or natural sized comb is a beveled top bar. But since most equipment already has a groove or a cleat and is set up to put foundation in, a starter strip is one alternative to get some natural sized cell without a lot of new skills, tools and reworking of equipment. If using a starter strip, my preference would be a blank one with no embossing and let the bees build what they want. But since that also takes equipment and work to make the blank sheets, many people use small cell starter strips to get the bees started on something that isn't misleading them into large cells. They will not draw natural comb better from a small cell starter strip than from a comb guide or a blank starter strip, but they will draw it out better than with a large cell starter strip.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Ledyard, CT, USA
    Posts
    67

    Post

    Michael -

    where does one gets the frames with the "angled" top bar? - deeps, etc?

    thanks
    - I would like *everyone* to be nice to baby crabs.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    457

    Post

    I'll give my experiances so far with starter strips and SC. I used starter strips (made from SC foundation) in medium frames to start my 2 packages. Since I didn't have any drawn comb, I did cut one sheet of foundation to fit into a frame and used it in the middle for each package. I didn't wire anything.

    Both packages have almost filled the frames. There is a beespace at the bottom of the comb just above the frame and a beespace between the comb and the sides of the frame. There are some connections between the frame and the comb on most of the frames's sides and bottom. I had no problem handling them.

    Now, how well were they drawn? A lot of drone comb on all of the frames. All of the combs could be better, as there is waveyness (is that a word, and if so, is it spelled correctly?) on all of them. One comb had a second drawn on it. I'm moving it to the side to replace.

    I moved two frames in each hive up to the second box I added. In one 2nd body, I put the drawn frames in the middle with a starter between them. In the other hives' second body, one of the frames just wasn't drawn well enough to put in the middle of the hive, so I put it on the side. There are enough bees to cover them. Now that I think about it, I should have left in in the bottom box and used a different one for the 2nd frame moved up. Oh well, I think they will be fine as both hives have wall to wall bees and emerging brood (and drones).

    What am I going to do for the third box? I'm going to wire frames, use full sheets of SC foundation (to try and get better drawn comb for the brood nest), and feed them into the first two boxes brood nest. I'm also going to cut the sides down to 1 1/4 inches to encourage them to draw the foundation small.

    My swarm I caught just isn't doing well. I'm going to put it into a nuc tomorrow (I've got to build the nuc first and my neighbor isn't home so I can't use his shop).

    It was neat seeing the bees emerge. I didn't see the queens, but I know they are laying. I did see new workers and worker brood. The workers did look smaller. I think my carni queens must not be pure as some of the new brood was yellow. Doesn't bother me though. I'm going to requeen with NWC queens (maybe a WV too) this fall.

    Pugs

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,605

    Post

    You can cut a beveled piece of wood (like the corner off of a one by at a 45 degree angle) and nail it onto the top bar. You can take a regular top bar (ungrooved prefered, grooved works better than cleated and cleated will work) and run the top bar through the saw and cut a 45 on each side.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    1,649

    Post

    My tbh starter strips were made from pieces of broken foundation, both small cell and standard cell. One piece of standard still had the vertical wires. Another piece of standard cell came from broken comb honey foundation. At first I didn't have beveled top bars. When I first installed the bees they ignored the strips, went to the rear of the hive and built their comb perpendicular to the bars. Those were cut off and inserted into the non-beveled frames which were interspersed with the starter strips. I have, since then, beveled the remaining bars. The bees are now makng their comb quite nicely, except for a single piece of comb which is the most forward one. It has gotten wider than the rest and violates the 1.25 center to center dimension even though there is an undrawn strip in front of that. The cells my bees are drawing appear to be about the same size no matter what cell size strip they used.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,605

    Post

    One way to eliminate the gap at the bottom is to nail the bottom bar on and pull it back out 3/8". Then when they leave the gap at the bottom you can push it back up the 3/8" and close the gap. This was not my idea, but comes from Jay Smith.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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