Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Erie county, NY, United States
    Posts
    6

    Default Can you mix SC and foundationless in the same hive?

    A few newbee questions here . . .

    I am looking to buy a hive in the next couple of weeks and I am trying to decide the best setup. I would like to do as few treatments as possible, so it seems a small cell or natural cell would be a good idea.

    For those of you who are advocates of SC. Do you use any foundation at all in your hive bodies or what type of foundation is best? We will want to have the ability to extract our honey, so we want to have some type of foundation in our honey supers. Do some folks have no foundation in their hive bodies and foundation in their supers. Do the bees seem to mind?

    Mann Lake sells a complete hive with the pf100 frames with a 4.9 cell size I am thinking of just going with that. That is considered small cell, right?

    Also, the gent i am hoping to buy my bees from raises all his own queens and "survivor stock" that is acclimated to our Buffalo winters. He is selling 5 frame nuc's that are on a 5.1 cell. I would be able to drop them right into my a hive with 4.9's right?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Can you mix SC and foundationless in the same hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by bgehl View Post
    Do you use any foundation at all in your hive bodies or what type of foundation is best? We will want to have the ability to extract our honey, so we want to have some type of foundation in our honey supers. Do some folks have no foundation in their hive bodies and foundation in their supers. Do the bees seem to mind?
    If you put small cell wax foundation in honey supers, you will not get small cell comb. You can keep it small cell if it is drawn in the brood nest at the right time of year or unless you're using PF frames. I've often thought of using drone foundation in supers just so the difference is properly delineated, but I just place poorly drawn frames or frames with a lot of drone comb in the supers to be filled.


    Quote Originally Posted by bgehl View Post
    That is considered small cell, right?
    PF-100 frames measure 4.95mm per cell, so yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by bgehl View Post
    Also, the gent i am hoping to buy my bees from raises all his own queens and "survivor stock" that is acclimated to our Buffalo winters. He is selling 5 frame nuc's that are on a 5.1 cell. I would be able to drop them right into my a hive with 4.9's right?
    Shouldn't be a problem. Get a hold on that survivor stock, if it really is. It's either start with survivor stock or make your own. Trust me, it's harder to make your own.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Erie county, NY, United States
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Can you mix SC and foundationless in the same hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I've often thought of using drone foundation in supers just so the difference is properly delineated, but I just place poorly drawn frames or frames with a lot of drone comb in the supers to be filled.
    Your drone comb would typically come out of your hive body right? So to put that in your supers are you running all mediums?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,763

    Default Re: Can you mix SC and foundationless in the same hive?

    I mix them all the time.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,285

    Default Re: Can you mix SC and foundationless in the same hive?

    This discussion just took place on another thread. I out with nucs on 5.4 mm comb and surrounded them with 4.9 and kept moving the 5.4 til it was at the outside of the hivebody and all sc was in the center. Then, you can remove the 5.1 or just leave it on the outside. Very little brood is reared out there. Your next box you put on, move a sc frame of brood up in the middle. put a foundationless next to it on each side and two of the ML frames outside that to guide the bees to build straight comb. They will build drone comb and fill it with drones. It is said that the bees will only build drone comb til they have enough anf then switch back to worker cells if they need them. The plastic frames extract fine and the foundationless are more prone to blow out, especially when they are new. You would be well served to search old threads for small cell and you will find ample discussion and lots of people arguing about whether or not it serves any purpose. Fare Well on your journey.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Can you mix SC and foundationless in the same hive?

    Quote Originally Posted by bgehl View Post
    Your drone comb would typically come out of your hive body right?
    The broodnest, yes. I allow the bees to place the broodnest wherever they want. Any box can be a hive body, any box can be a super.

    Quote Originally Posted by bgehl View Post
    So to put that in your supers are you running all mediums?
    For the past nine years, I have run all deeps, but I am switching to mediums. Depending on how nuc sales go, I may continue with both sizes, but they won't be mixed in a single hive. Each hive will be one or the other. I have never regretted keeping only one size.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Can you mix SC and foundationless in the same hive?

    We use some small cell foundation (including PF 100's) and a lot of foundationless comb. We extract from both. We have many combs where I have to look really closely to figure out whether they're made with foundation or are foundationless.

    If the bees you are starting with are 5.1, I would put the PF 100's on either side of the broodnest and as brood hatches out replace the 5.1's with more PF 100's.

    I would use the 5.1's for the outsides of the broodnest for drone rearing and honey storage.

    We don't treat with anything or use queen excluders so we don't distinguish between broodnest and supers. We keep the best, smallest drawn comb in the center of the hive and anything with less well drawn and bigger cells stays to the outsides, regardless of what box it's in.

    If you don't end up with the 5.1 bees, the PF 100's work really well for regressing bees even if they originated on large cell comb. Once your bees are small (2 months or so) you can start feeding in small cell foundation or foundationless frames.

    As Sol said, getting comb drawn will depend on the nectar flows in your area and the strength of your hives.

    I would put any thoughts of honey extraction aside until at least your second year. You want to give your bees plenty to go into winter with and it's a lot easier to have honey in combs to give them than extract and then have to feed later. The honey doesn't go bad in the combs and if they don't use up everything during winter, they'll have a head start in spring.

    If for some reason the bees don't make it through their first year, you'll have real honey to give to your new bees.

    When you're ready to extract foundationless frames, go gently, increasing the speed slowly and flip the combs a couple of times during the process. We have never had a foundationless frame blow out.

    Ramona

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Erie county, NY, United States
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Can you mix SC and foundationless in the same hive?

    Thanks for all the replies. . . . it is really helpful and starting to make sense. though i am sure once i have a whole hive a bees and some decisions to make, i wont be so sure.

    One side note, I have been reading many other threads and I have seen that things can sometimes get testy. . . i am sure i speak for many when i say thanks for your patience with the new guys.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,308

    Default Re: Can you mix SC and foundationless in the same hive?

    No problem, "New guy!" We're always happy when someone succumbs to our infatuation, er, disease, ah, I mean, avocation or hobby.
    Some of us (me included) use "survivor stock" on what is now called large cell, with no problem, and don't worry about small cell. You can start with the frames your nucs come with, and install foundationless between drawn comb, the bees will do the rest. Or, if you want to regress to small cell, others have explained that protocol, and you really need to follow it.
    Good luck! and welcome!
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads