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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    105

    Post

    I'd like to try an organic approach for next year. There are no archives for this forum- (where'd they go?)
    I have no experience using wax/wire systems, just pierco- is there anything like this available?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,300

    Post

    This company is working on a fully drawn small cell comb:
    http://www.honeysupercell.com/

    I am anxiously awaiting their success so I can try the product.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Post

    If you don't want to wire and buy foundation, try foundationless. Put a comb guide on the top bar or cut the top bar on a bevel. The comb guide could be popscicle sticks or other strip of wood in the groove of the top bar or a bevel on the top bar.

    Or learn to wire.

    http://www.beesource.com/eob/wire_embedder/index.htm

    For pictures of foundationless see my web site.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
    Posts
    942

    Post

    >Put a comb guide on the top bar

    Could you turn the top bar slat vertically instead of the normal horizontal position (to hold in foundation)?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    BC Canada
    Posts
    105

    Post

    Thanks for the help. I'll look into both. I really should learn how to wire anyway.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Post

    >Could you turn the top bar slat vertically instead of the normal horizontal position (to hold in foundation)?

    That is what I did, I also painted wax on the bottom edge to give them a starting place. I've only done about twenty frames to put in my cut-out colonies.
    Bullseye Bill in The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    www.myspace.com/dukewilliam

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Post

    DennisT....... The archieves are accessed through the "search" function at the top right.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Post

    >Could you turn the top bar slat vertically instead of the normal horizontal position (to hold in foundation)?

    I haven't done it, but some people have. Anything that establishes the center of the frame as the low point or as the center between to combs tends to encourage the bees to build down the center. I have cut top bars on a bevel before assembly and I have added the bevel on after assembly. Others have used popscicle sticks. I've also done starter strips of both small cell and of blank wax sheets. You can also just cut the old comb out of a frame and leave the imprint of cells on the top bar or half of the top row of cells. You can just put empty frames between two nicely drawn capped combs and they will draw it quite nicely down the center with no other guide than the comb on either side.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    31

    Post

    Michael, How much of the comb will be dawn 4.9 by this method? I have tried this and the comb that the bees built varied from very small to drone, or does it matter? will the result be the same as using 4.9 foundation, re Varroa control.
    Richie

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Post

    >Michael, How much of the comb will be dawn 4.9 by this method?

    The size varies a lot on natural comb. Beewrangler aka Topbarguy has done a lot of mapping of where and how much. More so than I have. Once they are regressed it will run as samll as 4.4 and as large as 5.1mm probably. (not counting drone and storage). Starting with large bees you'll still get from 4.7 to as large as 5.2mm for worker brood. But it's where most of it falls and whats at the core of the brood nest that seems to matter the most.

    >I have tried this and the comb that the bees built varied from very small to drone, or does it matter?

    That's normal.

    >will the result be the same as using 4.9 foundation, re Varroa control.

    From my experience, yes. But I try to keep an eye on it and keep the smaller cells in the center of the brood nest and work the larger ones to the outside.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
    Posts
    1,998

    Post

    Errr..Maybe i did something wrong, but my bees started making BIGGER worker cells when I started using started strips. Of course, I only tried it in two hives.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,300

    Post

    Aspera,
    When you used "started" strips, did you space them 1-1/4" O.C.? Did you do it in a top bar hive, near the entrance, and in the early spring, not during the main honey flow?
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Post

    What kind of starter strips? Blank? 5.4mm? 4.9mm? They tend to follow whatever pattern they started with.

    Bees also build cells for their intended purpose. If their intended purpose is to store honey they may build them as large as 6.7mm or so and down to 5.1mm. If their intended purpose is drones (which it often is) then they will be in the range of 6.0m to 6.7mm. If their intended purpose is worker brood then they usually run between 4.7 and 5.2mm on the first regression with most around 5.1mm. and 4.4 to 5.1mm on the second with most around 4.9mm to 5.0mm.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
    Posts
    1,998

    Post

    It was extra thin plain wax foundation (for comb honey) placed in 1 inch horizontal strips along the length on the top bar, inside of a recycled medium frame. I have to admit though, I did it in late spring, during a strong flow so that the bees would draw it quicker. The hive already contained scads of drones. The bees were pretty large Georgian Italians, probably open mated to Buckfast drones or other Italians. They like to make comb anywhere, which is why I choose them for the starterstrips.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Heavener OK.
    Posts
    22

    Post

    with use of the smaller cells you say the bees are smaller and hatch time is shorten.was just thinking.. if this works like that on the honeybee.....then it will probelly work the same on the mite. the ones that make it in the cell will be the smaller mite so it breeds to another one that survived inturn the mite will also regress to a smaller mite so was thinking you might be back into the same boat sore to speek in a few years. Just my thought
    Velbert

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,027

    Post

    My understanding of the reason we suspect that mites are reduced in SC hives is the shorter timeframe for a bee to be capped and to hatch, just like AHBs. The shorter cycle permits fewer breeding cycles for the mite and it's not a size-of-mite factor per se. Thus (hopefully) it wouldn't act as directly as a selective pressure on the mites.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Post

    >with use of the smaller cells you say the bees are smaller and hatch time is shorten.

    Yes.

    >was just thinking.. if this works like that on the honeybee.....then it will probelly work the same on the mite. the ones that make it in the cell will be the smaller mite so it breeds to another one that survived inturn the mite will also regress to a smaller mite so was thinking you might be back into the same boat sore to speek in a few years.

    The mites take a certain number of hours to lay the first male and a certain number of hours for each female and a certain number of hours for the female to mature and mate and be a viable mother to more mites. The shorter time capped simply means less mites. They mites do not, as far as anyone has observed, reproduce faster in smaller cells.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    874

    Post

    I thought starter strips were the strips of melted wax you poured into the groove on the bottom of the frame top bar. That is what I've done. It leaves about 1/16" - 1/8" above the surrounding wood and they work from that (my cell sizes are from 4.5 - 5.4mm). I thought that's what starter strips meant so I melted down my standard size foundation that came with my starter kit and used that. Have I been screwing it up(again)?
    David

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Post

    > Have I been screwing it up(again)?

    If the bees are building the combs in the middle of the frames then you're doing fine. I haven't tired doing just that, but I've seen pictures of people doing it on top bar hives. I just have trouble keeping the wax in the groove. What I mean by a starter strip is a 3/4" piece of foundation (or blank sheet of wax) waxed into the groove or, if it's an existing frame with a wedge, nailed in with the wedge.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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