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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Cookeville, TN

    Default Re: Foundationless mess - HELP!!

    I think if you decide to go foundationless at some point you are going to have to cutout some comb and adjust it or put it in a frame in order for the bees to reattach it. So far I've had to cutout comb twice (minus the cutout I did). Maybe I've been lucky and got OCD bees who like nice straight comb

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA

    Default Re: Foundationless mess - HELP!!

    I have still seen far more messed up comb from wax foundation falling out and fins drawn on plastic foundation than I have from foundationless. I see more posts on here about messed up comb on foundation as well. But if someone posts that they got messed up comb on foundationless then it's because it was foundationless.

    First, we still haven't clear up whether there are comb guides. Without good comb guides you can count on a mess. They should protrude a minimum of 1/4" from the bottom of the top bar. I have the best luck with the triangular ones.

    Second, one of the most important issues with foundationless is that you don't get the clean slate you get with foundation. If they mess up a comb with foundation (and they do often enough) they still start the next comb based on the next wall of foundation. This sets them back in the right line. Bees build parallel combs, so if you get one bad comb it leads to another bad comb. If you get one good comb it leads to another good comb. If you check early before they get more than one or two combs built you can straighten them or cut them and rubber band them back straight in the frame if needed. And NOW you have a straight comb. I have seem people use as little as a bead of wax for a guide and some bees will follow it great. Others will not. I do not recommend that. You want something reliable. You can stack the deck in may ways. One is a good guide that sticks down 1/2" to 3/4". Another is one drawn straight comb. Once you have two drawn brood combs you can put even an empty frame with no guide between them and get it drawn perfectly.

    Now that you are in the position you're in, I would try to find a brood comb (the new honey comb is too soft and heavy to work with) and rubber band it in a frame. Make sure you have good comb guides. Remember that one good comb leads to another and make sure the last drawn comb is straight so it leads to another straight comb.

    I've seen many a new beekeeper with a box full of messed up comb because it got hot and all of their foundation fell out. If they had foundationless this would not have happened. Of course if they were an experienced beekeeper who knew how to wire foundation it wouldn't have happened either. But they aren't. You learn to be a beekeeper by making mistakes.
    Michael Bush "Everything works if you let it." 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Crenshaw County, Alabama

    Default Re: Foundationless mess - HELP!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    <snip>You learn to be a beekeeper by making mistakes.
    That's got to be one of your best statements, Mike!



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