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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,370

    Default Switching to Natural Cell Advice Wanted

    I thought a tutorial would be nice for those of us who are thinking of making the switch.

    I would love for those who have made the transition to share their wisdom with those of us who are at the beginning of the journey.
    What is the most efficient way to go about it, particularity for those of us who are new beeks, with limited amounts of drawn comb?
    What pitfalls are there to avoid and how?

    Thanks
    Dan Hayden
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,071

    Default Re: Switching to Natural Cell Advice Wanted

    Could you give us a little more context? What are you switching from and to what exactly would you like to switch? How limited are your amounts of drawn comb? What is the state and manner of this comb?

    Just want to get the proper handle on your questions.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,370

    Default Re: Switching to Natural Cell Advice Wanted

    I currently have 5 hives in double deeps, about 50% NC. However even alternating with wax foundation about 25% of the NC is pretty funky and will probably have to be tossed. I have very little comb for supers. I would like specific advice, however what I was looking for here was a general advice tutorial for those who are starting out and want to utilize NC.
    Thanks
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    885

    Default Re: Switching to Natural Cell Advice Wanted

    Level hives, especially side to side is very important. Comb guides are helpful, but not absolutely necessary. I've have perfect comb drawn on frames I forgot to put a comb guide in, but I have also had ugly comb on frames with out a guide. Most of your comb drawing you want done in the spring and in the middle of the broodnest. If they draw a comb of all drone comb, don't destroy it or remove it from the hive, just move it to the far outside of the box and put another empty in the middle of the broodnest. Spring and middle of broodnest will get you the smallest cells and the best drawn comb. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. If you don't get it all done in one season, that's ok, there is always next season.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Switching to Natural Cell Advice Wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by RiodeLobo View Post
    about 50% NC.
    Are you referring to small cell or foundationless?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,370

    Default Re: Switching to Natural Cell Advice Wanted

    Foundationless. My particular problem was that I could not get my hives to move up and draw any comb in the supers. They all had comb guides, but no foundation or starter strips. And yes the deep combs in the middle of the brood nest were the ones that filled out the best. The problem was when a foundationless comb was placed by a frame with foundation they would draw one out first and throw off the second. Ideally I would have not had to do this but I started this year with 4 nucs and had a single deep hive from last year and just didn't have the drawn comb to work with.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,866

    Default Re: Switching to Natural Cell Advice Wanted

    Michael Bush covers it very toroughly on his site. A Brit dave-cushman.com has a good how to. They say it better than I can.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,370

    Default Re: Switching to Natural Cell Advice Wanted

    Mr. Bush's site is great, and that was the formula that I followed. I was probably asking to much of the bees for the first year and a late start, even feeding considering the poor weather we had this year.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

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