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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pacifica California, San Mateo County
    Posts
    95

    Default Starting with foundationless frames

    Hi All,

    I am preparing to get bees next Spring and have a question regarding
    using foundation less frames.
    There seems to be a bit of back and for about foundation less frames.
    Well, I am actually plan to use them but I am not sure
    whether this is the right approach when I start from scratch.
    I do not have old drawn cones which can be used by the bees
    after I have put them into the new hive.
    Can I just put the frames (with starter strips) in the hive box and
    pour the package of bees into it and put a feeder in or on top of the
    new hive and be done with the installation?

    Looking forward for some advice.

    Thanks a lot
    Stefan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,236

    Default Re: Starting with foundationless frames

    "Can I just put the frames (with starter strips) in the hive box and
    pour the package of bees into it and put a feeder in or on top of the
    new hive and be done with the installation?"

    Yes... But may I suggest that you coat the starter strips with bees wax.

    Also, You may want to re-think about foundation for your honey boxes. It is somewhat problematic to use natural comb in an extractor to remove honey. It is not impossible but you will cause severe damage to a large percentage of the frames.
    In the brood chambers you will rarely extract honey from them so it is not a big problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pacifica California, San Mateo County
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Starting with foundationless frames

    "Yes... But may I suggest that you coat the starter strips with bees wax."

    Ohh, yes, read about that. I put that on my to do list.

    To harvest honey I actually want to use the "crush and strain" method.
    I don't want to buy an extractor yet. So far I think I should be fine.

    Thanks
    Stefan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Starting with foundationless frames

    I too am starting in the Spring, and would like to try going foundationless. My intention was to put my bees into a deep with one frame of foundation in the middle, and the rest with wax-coated starter strips. I'll mark the one frame and slowly shift it to the side and remove later in the summer.

    I think I'll play the rest by ear, and have a few sheets of deep and medium foundation waiting in the wings just in case. If all goes well, then the extra foundation can just get rolled into candles! My main objective is to let the bees tell me what's working, stay on my toes, and TRY to be ready for whatever they're asking for.

    As for spinning foundationless frames, I've definitely heard from some that it works very well. Bush bees and the Backwards Beekeepers are proponents. While I think I'll skip it and risk having all that "ruined" wax to make into candles, some use monofilament or wire in foundationless frames. The bees apparently work it into the wax.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundat...foundationless
    http://beehuman.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pacifica California, San Mateo County
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Starting with foundationless frames

    I actually just want to use medium boxes, so that I can interchange frames easily.

    Stefan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,427

    Default Re: Starting with foundationless frames

    >Can I just put the frames (with starter strips) in the hive box and
    pour the package of bees into it and put a feeder in or on top of the
    new hive and be done with the installation?

    Yes. I prefer wood strips as they are more permanent.

    >Yes... But may I suggest that you coat the starter strips with bees wax.

    I wouldn't. The wax sometimes falls off, accomplishes nothing in the realm of convincing the bees of anything and is attached less well than the bees will attach it.

    >Also, You may want to re-think about foundation for your honey boxes. It is somewhat problematic to use natural comb in an extractor to remove honey.

    Actually it's not. They extract just fine. I do it all the time.

    >I too am starting in the Spring, and would like to try going foundationless. My intention was to put my bees into a deep with one frame of foundation in the middle, and the rest with wax-coated starter strips. I'll mark the one frame and slowly shift it to the side and remove later in the summer.

    You really don't need the frame of foundation. Just keep an eye on them that first week and make sure they are building in the frames and straighten them out if they are not. But they probably will if you have a comb guide.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Clarks Green, PA
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Starting with foundationless frames

    I have been going back and forth between starting with a Lang or a Warre. After reading, (or maybe over-reading), I am leaning towards starting with a foundation-less Lang so I can still keep it more "organic" and get some hands-on experience.
    I am still intrigued with the Warre and I would like to add one in a year or two, if all goes well.
    Hmmm, maybe I should start with one of each!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Catawba, Wisconsin
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: Starting with foundationless frames

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Can I just put the frames (with starter strips) in the hive box and
    pour the package of bees into it and put a feeder in or on top of the
    new hive and be done with the installation?

    Yes. I prefer wood strips as they are more permanent.

    >Yes... But may I suggest that you coat the starter strips with bees wax.

    I wouldn't. The wax sometimes falls off, accomplishes nothing in the realm of convincing the bees of anything and is attached less well than the bees will attach it.

    >Also, You may want to re-think about foundation for your honey boxes. It is somewhat problematic to use natural comb in an extractor to remove honey.

    Actually it's not. They extract just fine. I do it all the time.

    >I too am starting in the Spring, and would like to try going foundationless. My intention was to put my bees into a deep with one frame of foundation in the middle, and the rest with wax-coated starter strips. I'll mark the one frame and slowly shift it to the side and remove later in the summer.

    You really don't need the frame of foundation. Just keep an eye on them that first week and make sure they are building in the frames and straighten them out if they are not. But they probably will if you have a comb guide.

    I agree 100% with Michael Bush on the above. Very few problems.

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