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  1. #1

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    I read in some of your posts that you put a corner starter strip on some of your bars but leave the rest flat. Does that work out well? I'm trying to take a minimalist approach - I could cut a raised strip or saw kerf or something else, but figure if I could leave the majority of them with nothing, all the better. Is there any difference in how well they attach the comb without a starter strip? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    605

    Post

    the starter strip helps guide the bees to build the comb with the bar as opposed to across the bars. the best guide around is already drawn straight comb. that means that after the bees have drawn a few combs you can start putting blank bars inbetween the drawn combs. if youre hiving a package i would use guides on half the bars at the front were id put the queen cage and leave the back bars blank to be inserted between combs. if hiving a swarm i would use all guides unless i was giving them a comb of brood. in my experiance theres no telling were a swarm will start drawing comb.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Post

    >I read in some of your posts that you put a corner starter strip on some of your bars but leave the rest flat.

    Not sure what you mean by this. Here's my typical foundationless frame:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Foun...lessFrame2.JPG

    Here's the page on foundationless on my web site:

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

    Do you mean "leave the rest flat" as in the sides and bottom? Yes. Do you mean "leave the rest flat" as in not putting a starter on the rest of the frames? Not exactly.

    Bees need some kind of guide to get them to draw straight comb. Any beekeeper has seen them skip the foundation and build combs between or out from the face of the comb, so we know that sometimes they ignore those clues. But a simple clue like a beveled top bar or a strip of wax or wood or even a drawn capped comb (or brood comb) on each side of an empty frame will work most of the time.

    >Does that work out well?

    Yes, if there is some kind of guide (even if that's just drawn comb on each side).

    >Is there any difference in how well they attach the comb without a starter strip?

    No. They attach it well to the top. They will later attach it to the sides (you have to treat them gently and don't turn them sideways until they do) and finally they will attach the bottom.

    >the best guide around is already drawn straight comb.

    In the brood nest, yes. Or capped comb. Uncapped doesn't work.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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