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

    Default Observation with foundation-less and foundation frames

    Hi,

    I am fairly new to beekeeping. I go partly foundation-less and also use only medium size frames. With partly foundation-less I mean that I use foundation frames between
    the foundation-less frames, so that they build straight comb. In the beginning
    I just had foundation-less frames but I quickly put a few foundation frames in to
    prevent a mess. So far it works very well.

    In the spring it seems the bees rather used the foundation-less frames to build new
    comb and usually use the foundation frames a little later. They also build the comb
    very quickly.
    This changed now. The bees only build little new comb but they still draw out the
    foundation frames when they need the space for honey and brood.
    My conclusion from this observation is, that I only put foundation frames or frames with already build comb in to the hives in late summer and fall.
    In spring I will use more the foundation-less frames.

    I use the Mann Lake PF-125 frames, these are the black medium size frames.

    Do you see similar behavior in your hives?
    What are your thoughts?

    Thanks
    Stefan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    addison,maine,USA
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Observation with foundation-less and foundation frames

    Hi Stefan
    Thanks for your findings on foundation less frames. We make ObHs, advertised on Beesource. We have been thinking about suggesting, to customers, replacing 1 deep foundation frame (we cut our notches for all deep frames) with 1 foundation less frame or 1 medium foundation frame. this would give a broader view of Bees comb building Nature and perhaps show up queen cells.
    I guess one question might be: What kind of cells did they build in the foundation less frames??
    Mark
    -----------------------------
    You can't think like a Bee, but you can watch them think.

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

    Default Re: Observation with foundation-less and foundation frames

    What kind of cells did they build in the foundation less frames??
    Well, the cell size of a foundation-less frame differs. The bees decide what they need. A typical frame with worker brood usually has smaller cells in the middle and bigger ones around.
    If they decide to build drone cells in the foundation-less, well they will do it. Because I use just medium frames I cut out some of the drone brood, if both sides are drone brood.
    The bottom line with foundation-less frames is that you let bees decide what they need to build. Well, I just gave them a little push into a direction that I prefer with my foundation frames.

    I am not familiar with observation hives, but I would think it would be nice to see how the bees build comb in the hive. Of course if they have filled the frame, you have the same end result.
    But with a Observation Hive you want to exactly see that, how things are progressing.

    Cheers
    Stefan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Observation with foundation-less and foundation frames

    I have done foundationless in the observation hives. The only issue is that the desire for parallel combs sometimes overcomes their desire to follow the comb guide and the build some small combs either at right angles to the glass or at a 45 degree angle to the glass. It's educational, but not always what people want. Now if there is an inch of drawn comb at the top of the frame, then odds are they will just continue that. So a good plan, if you want to watch them build comb in the observation hive, is to get the foundationless frame started in a regular hive and once the comb has at least a starter row of cells most of the way across, then put it in the observation hive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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