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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Best way to draw small cell on foundationless

    I am running mostly PF-125 frames with a few Kelley foundationless thrown in. It seems like everytime I put a foundationless in they draw it out huge for drone comb even if I put it smack middle of the brood nest. Any tips on how I get them to draw it out as small cell brood size?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,388

    Default Re: Best way to draw small cell on foundationless

    Let them draw out all the drone comb they want and then they will draw worker. I think that's it.

    With foundationless you leave it up to the bees, and sometimes they want drones.
    Since '09-30H-T-Z6b

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morro Bay, California, USA
    Posts
    1,109

    Default Re: Best way to draw small cell on foundationless

    Bees on foundationless draw a much larger proportion of Drone in the FL frames. I have observed this again and again over many years. The FL advocates attack this observation with a lot of hand waving, but it is cold hard reality.

    You can use the drone comb for honey supers, but the management required to cull and move individual comb is excessive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
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    4,388

    Default Re: Best way to draw small cell on foundationless

    Fortunately at extraction time honey almost jumps out of drone comb.

    Also, a small hive with a young queen is much less likely to build drone comb - so foundationless frames in mating nucs.

    A strong overwintered hive will fill foundationless frames over and over with drone comb during the reproductive season - I use FL frames for mite trapping and as part of my swarm managment, and 90% of it gets filled with drone. Maybe more. But a lot of energy goes into all that drone brood.

    Something else you should know is that when they do build foundationless worker comb it probably won't be small cell until you've been doing small cell for a while. Even with small cell plastic foundation they will taper the cells out and you will see that a lot of it won't really be small cell if you look close at it. With wax they will chew out the foundation to remodel it.

    Good luck.
    Since '09-30H-T-Z6b

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Casey, Il, USA
    Posts
    1,796

    Default Re: Best way to draw small cell on foundationless

    make a nuc and use them for a comb building factory. They want to expand so they make more workers. Overwinterd or otherwise healthy hives want drones so they can reproduce.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    hinesville ga usa
    Posts
    523

    Default Re: Best way to draw small cell on foundationless

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Craig View Post
    make a nuc and use them for a comb building factory. They want to expand so they make more workers. Overwinterd or otherwise healthy hives want drones so they can reproduce.
    DITTO
    I use all foundationless and it's not as bad a problem as with the beeks that use a mixture of foundationless and foundation, but yes I do have more drone comb than the foundation beeks. I raise my own queens from a strain of bees I like, so it keeps me from having to have drone colonies. I think the mixing of foundationless may keep down a lot of burr comb, they are going to build drone comb somewhere, why not where you designate it. JMO

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Missouri, USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Best way to draw small cell on foundationless

    Thank you for the responses. I guess my problem was that since I run mostly PF 125 with only some foundationless mixed in, I wasn't giving them enough room for drone comb which is why they kept making it. I'll try the nuc idea while increasing my percentage of foundationless in my mostly PF125 hives.
    Thanks!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    48,239

    Default Re: Best way to draw small cell on foundationless

    Put the drone comb on the outside edges and feed in more foundationless.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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