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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    columbus,ohio,USA
    Posts
    518

    Default considering going to foundationless

    I added up my equiptment costs for next year. I have thought about trying foundationless in the past but Im considering just switching becuase its cheaper. Foundation can be almost twice as much as the frame. Plus supposidly its supposed to be good for the bees and all that good stuff.

    Did going foundationless justify the savings?

    Regrets?

    pointers?
    Chris Cree
    Cree's Bees

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,068

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    Pointer

    Read www.bushfarms.com if you haven't yet.

    Always use normal foundation that has already been drawn out to start out.

    Always place a frame for foundationless between two that are already drawn out so the bees will use them as a guide to building your foundationless frame correctly.

    If you place two or more empty frames side by side the bees may have a free for all in how they build the comb. Then you will end up having to it tear it all out. That will be a big loss of the honey used to produce the wax.

    Once they have drawn out a frame well you can use that as one of your guide frames. The best way to go foundationless is to do it by a process where you rotate out one frame at a time always placing an empty frame between two well drawn out frames.

    PS: Nick in the For Sale forum has a very good price on some small cell wired deep foundation. A very good way get started with small cell then you can work them out later.
    Last edited by jrbbees; 11-26-2010 at 03:26 AM. Reason: More to say
    Old Guy in Alabama

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    Stay with foundation, the money I spend on it is well spent. If you buy a few less boxes or make your own tops and bottoms you can save some $$$$ to buy foundation. I would not make the price of foundation justify going foundation-less.

    mike
    Please check out the new kingfisherapiaries.com!
    Like us on Facebook

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
    Posts
    1,847

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    Quote Originally Posted by jrbbees View Post
    Always use normal foundation that has already been drawn out to start out.

    Always place a frame for foundationless between two that are already drawn out so the bees will use them as a guide to building your foundationless frame correctly.

    If you place two or more empty frames side by side the bees may have a free for all in how they build the comb. Then you will end up having to it tear it all out. That will be a big loss of the honey used to produce the wax.
    I started several packages last spring with nothing but foundationless frames. Had no problems getting them drawn out correctly. I agree it's better to put drawn frames between them, but if you don't have them it still works.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,320

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    McLean County, Illinois
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I would pay extra to go foundationless..
    I agree!


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    columbus,ohio,USA
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    thanks! I wasnt going to pay extra. I was asking if any troubles that can happen when using foundationless is worth the savings? If there is any trouble.
    Chris Cree
    Cree's Bees

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,938

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    Quote Originally Posted by greengecko View Post
    I agree!
    And note that is 100% drone Comb !!! Another free and cheap wasted value. Is foundationless the biggest Beesource hoax of 2010? Gee, who said that six months ago???
    Last edited by Barry; 11-26-2010 at 11:53 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    peepers,

    maybe try it out on just one or two hives, see how it works out for you.

    if it gives you what you want, maybe start switching more of other hives over a few at a time.

    in terms of cost benefit to effort expended, some of that depends on what you use and do already.

    for someone who already has their own foundation press and a system that makes it efficient, they might find it's not worth it.

    for others without all that in place and not having extra budgeted for retail foundation,plus shipping, it may even out or even lean toward foundationless a bit.

    won't know until you have your specifics laid out in front of you.

    there is no universal right or wrong here. experiment a little, tweak your own system here and there. you might find out it's worth going further.
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Orange, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    382

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    I started foundationless middle - end of this year. It is cheaper and the bees seem to draw our the comb in about two weeks (both sides). I did a lot of drone type comb at the beginning. I plan on doing all foundationless in my brood boxes this year and shallow honey supers for cut comb. I will be using the black one piece frames in my mediums supers (cause I have so many already purchased).

    It is all an opinion thing.

    I honestly dont believe bees have to learn something that is already programed into them, but that is my opinion.

    Small cell natural comb is natural defense against pest, more bees per square inch in the hive, cheaper than purchasing the foundation which does the conflicts with there natural habits and just simplifies operations is the way I see it. Saving a dollar here and dollar there equals up in the end.

    Like I said, this is my personal opinion. I have noticed most people that dont like foundationless either sell bees or bee equipment. This makes me wonder sometimes if equipment (larger cell) isnt made to make you have to purchase more bees and equipment in the end (again my opinion). Loss of bees due to poor wintering habits, disease (primary from larger cell) and going against natrual design are my thoughts behind my above stated points.

    Thanks Again,

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    895

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    And why is that frame of all drone a problem? It has been said over and over, that when going foundationless if they draw a comb of drone, just move it over and then move it up. Don't take it out of the hive, they will just draw it over again. You can't fight mother nature. The only problems with foundationless is when you first get started you have to make sure they get going in the right direction. And if you are going to extract the frames you need to make sure they arent' brand new comb, needs to be attached on 3 sides. I do not understand the people who insist you have to use foundation. I haven't bought foundation since the JUNK that came in my starter kit years ago. some of that has been popped out and the bees allowed to make their own. As my hero would say "you must do what you feel is right, of course"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    McLean County, Illinois
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    When wax samples were analyzed from six different commercial foundation sources all were contaminated with fluvalinate and coumaphos.

    Source: Mullin C.A., Frazier M., Frazier J.L., Ashcraft S., Simonds R., vanEngelsdorp D., Pettis J.S. (2010) High levels of miticides and agrochemicals in North American apiaries: Implications for honey bee health

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Leetonia, Ohio
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    OdFrank, you ever try foundationless. They draw first 1 or 2 frames as drone and then move on. They draw the foundation they want and need. I am very satisfied with FL frames. I have been doing it about 2 years so far with 20 plus hives with very little efoort or problem.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Orange, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    382

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    I was wisely informed that the drone foundation (looks like drone) can also be honey stores foundation. I dont have a problem with drone foundation, even more during spring build up for mating queens.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Whitsett, NC
    Posts
    491

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    Although different commercial foundation sources all were contaminated I also heard Maryann Frazier say at a North Carolina State meeting a few years back that wax comb and cappings wax from foundationless beekeepers was tested and was also found to be contaminated. I would be interested in seeing some test results from some foundationless beekeepers now to see if there has been any change.
    Just some thoughts.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,938

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    I certainly don't suggest that you use foundation if you feel that foundationless is a better value. "You can't fight mother nature." You can, and that is what foundation does for you.
    Using foundation is similar to egg producers keeping hens in a cage with no roosters. Or milk producers keeping cows with no bulls. Or a farmer spraying Roundup to control weeds. It is a modern agricultural practice to increase production. Limiting drone production minimizes drones who do not collect honey or pollinate and maximizes workers who do.
    Less drones, more workers, more honey or pollinators. And combs that can hold up to the rigors of extraction without cross combs.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    I have been running bees for 3 years now, and I have not bought the first sheet of wax foundation, nor have I installed the first sheet of wax foundation. (I have bought used/unused equipment that had wax foundation in frames that had never been drawn out yet.) I am running over 40 hives at this point.

    I have bought the Mann Lake PF series one piece plastic frames and foundation.

    I probably have 300-400 foundationless deep frames in hives right now.

    If you are running single deeps with an excluder for honey production, you could make the argument that the queen needs every worker cell to lay in that she can, and excess drone comb just cuts down the available laying space and increases the chance of swarming and/or reducing honey crop. If you are running an unlimited broodnest, that argument loses steam.

    I have ran foundationless shallow and medium frames in my honey supers with no problems. I can't see why anyone would buy foundation for honey super frames. (unless they are worried about partially attached combs blowing out in the extractor the first extraction while the combs are fresh and haven't toughened yet.)

    The biggest problem I have had with foundationless (and this is a very minor problem) is if I put several foundationless frames in a box, and the bees begin to curve the ends of the combs, and I have to bend the comb straight in the frame.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    McLean County, Illinois
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    Quote Originally Posted by Ski View Post
    Although different commercial foundation sources all were contaminated I also heard Maryann Frazier say at a North Carolina State meeting a few years back that wax comb and cappings wax from foundationless beekeepers was tested and was also found to be contaminated.

    If fluvalinate, coumaphos or any other contaminant are introduced to any hive they would be expected to be present in the wax. However the issue is contaminants are present in purchased foundation without being purposely added by (or disclosed to) the purchasing beekeeper.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Leetonia, Ohio
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    The bees are going to draw the same amount of drone comb when you use foundation as when you use foundationless frames. (or try to) The only difference is when using foundation they draw it anywhere they can (on top of frames) between frames, or modify the foundation you put in.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Whitsett, NC
    Posts
    491

    Default Re: considering going to foundationless

    As I remember it they were looking for clean wax to start some studies and could not find any.
    Maryann Frazier did a study and another study of wax was done at the University of Ga. with the same results. Contaminated wax and wax cappings were found in "NO TREATMENT" hives of what the universities thought were reputable no treatment natural type beekeepers. I would have said this up front but thought you were familiar with the studies.
    I am not against foundationless, I have some frames of foundationless and some that were foundation starter strips. The wax studies were shocking to me especially when the second one was done with the same results.
    greengecko I will try and come up with more info on the studies when I get back from a 5 day trip. I can PM you if like when I get back.
    But I do agree that contaminants are present in purchased foundation without being purposely added by (or disclosed to) the purchasing beekeeper.

    SKi
    Just some thoughts.

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