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Thread: Foundationless

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Port Murray, NJ
    Posts
    60

    Default Foundationless

    I've got three hives, two top bar, and one lang (8 frame mediums). I installed three packages at the beginning of April. I've got some experience with top bar, but I'm brand new with the foundationless. I thought things were going well until I opened them up today and noticed they were building 2 combs two a frame, making it very difficult to remove the frames. When I started, I put one frame with foundation to give them something to build off of. Everything on the far side of the foundation frame looks good, but the near side is as I describe above, doubled-up.

    I am reluctant to "fix" the frames given how new the comb is. I also don't really want to set them back.

    Is there any harm with just leaving it be? It should only be, at most, 4 frames that will be "messed up". I could eventually cycle these frames out, once the comb has hardened up and the colony has expanded into the top box, etc.

    Any ideas?


    o9hIr.jpg

    --jon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Foundationless

    Doesn't look like it would be too hard to break of the comb and use rubber bands to put it back in. As I understand it once they get off they will keep making bad comb until its fixed.

    What did you use form comb guides? I'm going all foundationless this year and Its good to see what works and what doesn't.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Port Murray, NJ
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Foundationless

    I used popsicle sticks. It's possible they did not protrude far enough for the bees to properly festoon and build comb from that point rather than along side it. Fortunately the combs are mostly parallel with the bars, so if I were to "fix" them, it would simply be a matter of shifting them into the frame.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

    Default Re: Foundationless

    Bees build parallel combs. One bad comb leads to another. One good comb leads to another. Fix it now before they build another bad one. cut it loose and rubber band it or tie it into the frame straight. Make all of them straight. Then the next one will be straight.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm#messup
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pacifica California, San Mateo County
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Foundationless

    Well, I run both foundation-less and with foundation and I have to confirm Michael Bush, the bees prefer the foundation-less frames. If there are both frame in a hive
    they will build comb in the empty frame before they draw out the foundation. I have only a few hives but I already saw that some are just building perfect comb in the
    frames and others can not build straight comb at all. With this hive I use now much more foundation because they produce a smaller mess.

    The comb they build it is much wider the brood comb. In the honey supers I only use 9 frames.

    Cheers
    Stefan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Chickamauga, Walker County, Georgia
    Posts
    364

    Default Re: Foundationless

    Perhaps slightly in the bees' "defense," I have also read that by creating slightly curved or "wavy" combs, the resulting structure is much stronger. A force exerted sideways against the comb, that might otherwise snap it off, is now resisted. Interesting.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Foundationless

    Next time use some starter strips. That usually helps quite a bit.

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