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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Hockessin, DE
    Posts
    72

    Post

    I have kept bees for five seasons, on and off over the past ten years, with very mixed success, in Langstroth equipment.

    I will be ordering nucs from Fatbeeman this spring, so they will be small bees. I would order small cell frames from him, but he indicated that he has only a limited number, and I need at least 90. (I want to make sure that the wax I put into my hives is pesticide free.)

    Is there anything wrong with putting empty wood frames in the hives and letting the bees build from them? I will be installing nucs. Is there a way to wire the frames before the bees build them out to avoid some of the problems related to dropping the comb from the frame when inspecting frames? (I'm pretty klutzy when it comes to beekeeping.)

    I am not going to build three tbhs, even though I would love to, because I may need to move the hives, and tbhs do not seem to be very moveable once full.

    Thank you for your advice.

    Ellen
    Ellen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    18

    Post

    Hello Ellen,
    I would help a lot if you put starter strips in the empty frames. This gives the bees a guide. Also, put empty frames between two drawn combs as much as possible.

    There is no reason why you can't prewire the empty frames.
    It goes without saying that to build comb, the bees need incoming sugar- preferably nectar, but sugar syrup will do also.

    John
    (Moersch)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    407

    Post

    Ellen,
    I have had good success using empty frames with the little wedge bar turned edgewise along the top bar. Very simple and saved having to install a starter strip. After seeing this I have decided to go foundationless.
    Barry
    KC9TER

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,584

    Post

    You need some kind of guide. Not just empty frames.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Hockessin, DE
    Posts
    72

    Post

    Would the wedge top bars from Bushy Mt. work without adaptation?

    http://www.beeequipment.com/products.asp?pcode=112

    Thanks,
    Ellen
    Ellen

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Hockessin, DE
    Posts
    72

    Post

    Actually, what I should ask is:

    Is there a product I can buy and use out of the box, given that I have neither woodworking skils nor equipment, that would allow me to get the bees started drawing their own comb?
    Ellen

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,990

    Post

    How much pesticide residue could be left in wax that's been heated to melting temperature twice? The beekeeper has melted it, the foundation producer has melted it. Any studies?
    How are you going to protect your hives from bringing back pesticide residue in the pollen and honey they collect?

    [size="1"][ December 31, 2006, 01:29 PM: Message edited by: Oliver aka odfrank ][/size]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Post

    Ellen

    as Barry suggested, yes, that works fine
    you rotate the wedge 90 degrees so it forms a little protrusion hanging down in the center of the frame
    if you have a little beeswax you can rub on it that helps too
    what I have been doing is using starter strips
    here's a pic

    http://www.drobbins.net/bee's/window/Dsc00781.jpg

    here is is partly drawn out

    http://www.drobbins.net/bee's/Dsc00779.jpg

    it works fine
    even better if it's between 2 nicely drawn combs

    Dave

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,584

    Post

    >Is there a product I can buy and use out of the box, given that I have neither woodworking skils nor equipment, that would allow me to get the bees started drawing their own comb?

    Popsicle sticks glued into a grooved top would do. I have never tried just removing the wedge, but I'd be concerned about which edge they will go for, the center one or the outside one. You now have a protrusion that is not in the center.

    Any empty frame between two drawn BROOD combs will work with nothing as a guide except the drawn comb on each side of it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Post

    Dave
    Does your foundationless drawn frames hold up in the extractor?
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,598

    Post

    bluegrass

    I've only used them in the broodnest
    reports suggest they can be extracted if they have some age to them and you spin them up slowly
    it needs to be attached all around
    keep in mind you can wire the empty frame and the bees will draw comb right over the wires
    then it's really no different than wired wax foundation

    Dave

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Blanco, Texas
    Posts
    74

    Post

    I use the wedge in a standard lang. frame.
    http://a749.ac-images.myspacecdn.com...280f7cb3dc.jpg
    Any local woodshop could make these for you. They would probably charge less than s&h on foundation.
    Live Removals & Local Honey in Austin, Texas. www.austinbees.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,584

    Post

    All new comb (with or without foundation) is very soft. As it matures it gets tougher. If you let the comb age a couple of weeks so it's not soft (like putty) and wait until they bees get it attached a little bit on all four sides, it extracts fine, if you are gentle (meaning start out slow and work your way up). If you crank it up with heavy new comb even with wired wax, it will blow out.

    If it makes you nervous, you can put wires in the frames to reinforce the comb. I don't.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wimauma, Florida
    Posts
    271

    Post

    I went through one of my hives yesterday that I had added empty frames betwen drawn ones. They were wired too. The bees drew their comb right on down. without a hitch. On another I had left an inch of comb and honey against the top bar. It is so amazing how they picked up right where I cut off. The new white comb up against the older brown stuff, even so far as mid way on walls, half the cell white half brown.

    I would take a picture but we lost the camera.

    BTW one thing I decided to do is mark the top of the top bar towards one end. That way they all face in one direction no matter what foolishnes I put them through. I noticed in my early attempts, that because I didn't realize what I was doing some of the combs were reversed, thereby messing up that Housel position thing, therefore the bees in that particular hive have built comb in every possible place except right down the middle.

    Thanks, Albert
    September 8th 2007 is National Beekeeping Day
    American Agriculture, its as close as the nearest Honeybee!

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