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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,486

    Question

    I know the subject of this topic is an oxymoron, but bear with me. I am considering taking up the suggestion of several comments and making a foundationless frame for Brood only, and using foundations for the supers.

    In this way the hive would supposedly benefit from the mite resistant characteristics of the natural comb size and I could get some honey for extraction from the supers.

    I am interested in ideas or comments. I will basically just take a regular frame and glue on a triangular top bar... Like the oldfashioned frame discussed below.

    I am getting 3 more packages in a few weeks so I will have total of 6 hives, 3 existing top bars and 3 Langstroth. If I make one of the langs foundationless should give me a pretty wide range of things to observe and learn.

    I started with the TBH's because I didn't want to buy an extractor and it sounded good. But now I have met some friends who have offered to do some extracting so thought I might check out the "Dark Side"

    interested in comments as always...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
    930

    Post

    Try going to http://charlesmartinsimon.com/stinging-insects.htm

    he's already worked up some plans that work really well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    >I know the subject of this topic is an oxymoron, but bear with me. I am considering taking up the suggestion of several comments and making a foundationless frame for Brood only, and using foundations for the supers.

    Why bother with foundation for the supers? That's where more people use starter strips or foundationless because they want the foundation to keep the drones out of the brood nest. I would use all foundationless.

    >In this way the hive would supposedly benefit from the mite resistant characteristics of the natural comb size and I could get some honey for extraction from the supers.

    I extract foundationless medium frames. You have to make sure the wax is "mature" and not really new and be gentle until most of the honey is out. But you should do that anyway. Charles Martin Simon says he extracts his deeps that are foundationless. I'm not that brave but mediums are 3" less deep than that. Also, of course, there is just comb honey.

    >I am interested in ideas or comments. I will basically just take a regular frame and glue on a triangular top bar... Like the oldfashioned frame discussed below.

    Buy frames from Walter T. Kelly and tell them you want a solid top (no groove at all) and a solid bottom. They will sell them for the standard price. Then just run the top bars through the table saw to make the bevel.

    Your other choice is to just use standard frames with blank starter strips, or even bevel the top bar on the standard frame and don't bother with the starter strip. They all work. I just like to eliminate the groove because the wax worms like them.

    >I started with the TBH's because I didn't want to buy an extractor and it sounded good. But now I have met some friends who have offered to do some extracting so thought I might check out the "Dark Side"

    Extracting is too much work anyway. I have an extractor and am trying to get away from extracting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Lodi, California U.S.A.
    Posts
    17

    Post

    Will using foundationless frames get the bees to make small cells? Or would a 1" starter strip of 4.9 foundation in a regular frame bee better...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Post

    Yes, they will build smaller cells with foundationless frames.

    Just remember that they build a variety of sizes depending on the use and the time of year and the location in the hive and the spacing of the comb next to it.

    So if they bees build it for honey storage it will NOT be small cell. If they build it in the middle of the brood nest it will be. So before you juggle comb around in a foundationless hive, make sure it's the size you want. For the brood nest, try to keep it 4.9mm or smaller. It takes a generation or two of bees to get regressed so if you add combs to the middle of the brood nest from time to time you'll get smaller cells there. I often see whole combs that are 4.7mm except for the edges where the honey is stored.

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