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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lamont, Florida, USA
    Posts
    172

    Default Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    I use frames with foundation but wonder, when I add honey supers, if I can add foundationless frames to the hive? Good or bad idea?


    beecuz


    "...for breath is sweeter taken even as the last in places dear...with gardens, fields and dogwood trees...in forest stands of bamboo shoots, of ginger root and honey bees..."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    827

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    I guess that depends on where you are planning on putting the foundationless frames and when. If you add them to the middle of the broodnest and pull honey frames up into the super (assuming you are using all the same frames) then ok. If you are talking about putting them in the super with foundation ummmmm make sure hive is level side to side, keep an eye on it, if then have an empty frame between 2 that are storing honey (not capped) they will draw those out into the foundationless frames space and ignore it. So it depends, need more input, input,input input. Rod

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    >if I can add foundationless frames to the hive? Good or bad idea?

    As rweakly points out, the results will depend on what exactly you do and what exactly you SHOULD do depends on what you are trying to get as an outcome.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lamont, Florida, USA
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    I am trying to find a way to use foundationless frames, since I have plenty of them and very few extra frames with foundation. The hive as it stands now consists of a deep and a medium brood box using plastic foundation. When it is time to add a honey super (now?) I would like to add a medium with foundationless frames, if that will work, since I already have it handy. Nothing would be in that honey super other than undrawn foundationless frames. I wondered if doing that would confuse the bees or if they would be just as happy having two brood boxes with foundation and one honey super without???? Or am I just asking for trouble???

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,294

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    You'll freak at first but don't worry. I added foundationless supers to a hive with 4.9 cell ML plastic brood frames. I got a whole super full of solid drone comb. But, after the boys hatched, they filled that big drone comb with huge amounts of honey. Do it!
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    >if they would be just as happy having two brood boxes with foundation and one honey super without?

    The bees would always prefer to find space without foundation. Give them some with and without and they will prove it to you...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    I am trying the same thing, just mainly to see what happens. I put 1 "empty" frame in the middle of a medium super on each of two hives.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,267

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    Different folks have different experiences, but my experience has been if I add a super of foundationless frames, they build their comb willy-nilly, and I have a freaking mess. If I add foundationless between drawn comb, they draw it out quite nicely. Your experience may vary, though.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lamont, Florida, USA
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    Thanks, guys. I will forge ahead bravely! : )

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Alabaster, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    I started a package with 3 frames of rite-cell and 7 frames of foundationless. The foundationless has been the center of their attention for drawing out comb. They attempted to cross-comb early on (due to beekeeper error I believe) but that has been about 90% corrected and I will correct the rest after the brood comes along a bit more substantially. I put 2 frames of foundationless then 3 frames of the rite-cell and then 5 frames of foundationless. They built away from the rite-cell in the 5 foundationless frames and have kept going.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Bon Aqua, Tn USA
    Posts
    333

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    I got my package a week ago this past Wednesday. I put them in a deep and placed 4 frames with wax coated foundation from Dadant in the middle and then alternated with foundationless to the right and the left and I checked it Saturday having let the Queen out on Friday. I give them 1/1 sugarwater. So far they have drawn the middle 4 completely out and one foundationless on right and left side and partial on another one. No cross comb as of yet. That is what I plan to do on the next one also.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lamont, Florida, USA
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    I checked my "experimental hive" yesterday, after putting a medium super with some foundationless frames on it several weeks ago. Hooray! Lots of beautiful white comb the way the bees like it! And the way I like it, with no cross comb! This was also my first successful split! They had plenty of new brood and frames with nectar and some honey. I am a happy beek! My thanks to all who gave advice and encouragement!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    Congrats
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    If I have it, I like a drawn comb in the center of any box of anything (foundationless or otherwise) and it does increase the odds of good comb because bees build parallel combs and one comb establishes that line. If I don't have one, though, they usually follow the guides anyway.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Cleveland County, Oklahoma USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    I stuck some foundation less frames into my hives this year just to open up space. Last check they had drawn some of the most beautiful comb I've ever seen

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lamont, Florida, USA
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    If I have it, I like a drawn comb in the center of any box of anything (foundationless or otherwise) and it does increase the odds of good comb because bees build parallel combs and one comb establishes that line. If I don't have one, though, they usually follow the guides anyway.
    Yes, I see that. I had two frames with foundation in the center and the rest were just the wooden frames with the plastic foundation taken out. I did nothing as far as guides were concerned for those empty frames, but the bees knew what to do. I am hooked on foundationless!

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lamont, Florida, USA
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackRabbit View Post
    I stuck some foundation less frames into my hives this year just to open up space. Last check they had drawn some of the most beautiful comb I've ever seen
    Mine too. I'm very excited, since I've always gone with foundation in the past. This is beautiful new wax.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,345

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    All my swarm hives this year have been started on foundationless frames, and I am thoroughly impressed at how fast and how nice they draw them out!! I did experiment a bit and put a foundationless between undrawn plastic foundation frames and it turned into a mess, but I had to see it for myself!!

    I know i'll never buy deep plastic foundation again, and after trying a box of medium foundationless frames in a honey super and extracting them, I may never buy plastic again!!

    I do run 50# test monofiliment line for comb stability, and I also think it helps line up the festooning bees as well, even when things are not fully leveled out.
    Coyote Creek Bees

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lamont, Florida, USA
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeGhost View Post
    I do run 50# test monofiliment line for comb stability, and I also think it helps line up the festooning bees as well, even when things are not fully leveled out.
    BeeGhost:

    How do you use the monofiliment line? Is it a criss cross from corner to corner of an empty wooden frame? Is the need for stability mainly for when you take the frames out of the supers? Do you harvest honey from them in an extractor? So many questions... : )

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,345

    Default Re: Adding foundationless to frames with foundation

    Beecuz,

    I run my lines horizontal so I can easily cut out the comb if they mess up the pattern or I want to cut out the old comb eventually. I wanted just a bit more stability for when I move hives from one location to another and also I was told that it helps the bees keep the comb straight, which seems true so far. Do a search for pictures of foundationless frames and you will see my picture and others pictures of foundationless frames with comb.

    I have not extracted foundationless comb, yet. But I am going to try a box or two of mediums this year, as well as a box of deeps, which I will spin a lot slower to start!!

    Heres my process of stringing a foundationless frame:
    I drill two holes on each end bar, one hole about 4" from the bottom of the top bar and another hole about 2" from the top of the bottom bar. I then get two picture frame nails (1/2" long #18 i believe) and nail one above the top hole and another above the bottom hole, leave about 1/8" of the nail sticking out so you can wrap the line around it. I then take the fishing line and run it through the bottom hole and over to the other bottom hole, up the side of the end bar, into the top hole and across to the other top hole and then make two/three wraps around the top nail and hammer it home. Grab the bottom line pull the string tight and wrap it around the lower nail, pound in the nail. Take a pair of clippers or razor blade and cut off the loose ends. Dont forget to glue popsicle sticks or paint sticks cut in half into the slot where plastic foundation would slide in, this will give them a guide to start drawing off of.

    Good luck!! If you want I will take a picture of a finished frame and then re-post the drawn out frame as well so you can see the results!
    Coyote Creek Bees

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