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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Havre de Grace MD USA

    Default Will they create "natural" cell size if my starter strips are printed foundations?

    I used commercial foundation that I cut into strips about 1.5 inches long as my starter strips for my TBH. So far I'm very pleased with how straight they have been drawing the comb and I think the starter strips have a lot to do with it.

    However, I'm curious about whether or not the bees will ultimately vary the cell size as they work their way down from the strips? Or, does the cell size that they start building off these foundations end up dictating the cell size for the rest of the comb extended from it?

    I guess I can start measuring for myself and will try to be good about doing so and report back, but I'm guessing I'm not the first one to try this and also be curious about it so I was hoping someone might be able to report their own experiences.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Accord, NY


    Yes they will build "natural" cell size. Not necessarily small cell but natural. They can't help it. You'll see different size cells on the same comb depending what they intend it for (honey, worker brood, drone brood.) Eventually they will regress to small cell on their own. Enjoy watching them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA


    The first row of natural comb is always bigger cells and it rapidly drops in size. So the imprint probably won't adversely affect them. But why take the chance? Just put Popsicle sticks in and you'll have a permanent guide.

    As far as size, the first turnover of comb will be smaller, but may not be as small as they need to be or as small as they will get if you go through more:
    Michael Bush "Everything works if you let it." 42y 40h 39yTF


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