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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Jacksonville FL

    Default building foundationless honey supers

    I have a nuc I installed that I am converting to foundationless. I am about half way through the process in the brood box here in NE Florida. I am wondering what to do when I have to add the honey super on? Put an all foundationless super on? Or leave a foundation in the center frame? Most of the info I have found is on converting a hive and this is a new hive, so I don't have any honey foundation frames to rotate out...???? Can anyone suggest what I need to do for the new honey super?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Re: building foundationless honey supers

    I guess the first question would be what do you want to do? If you are in town you still have a flow and will have on and off all summer. you could add a feeder with sugar water to supplement the wax building is one option. You will get some drone brood this time of year. If you need a few frames of capped honey plenty around now and will trade you the drawn frames you are cycling out.You could try to go to a bee club meeting and find out if anyone else is using natural comb and trade them a few frames.You might try the foundation in the middle and see if they draw things out and if not you have the other options.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Sullivan, MO

    Default Re: building foundationless honey supers

    Just put the whole box of empty frames on (10 frames in 10 frame box, 8 in 8 frame box). Make sure the hive is level side to side and keep an eye on them, They will tend to build some of the comb really fat the first time and you can trim them back to try to stop it, or worry about it at harvest time. If you run all the same size boxes you could move a couple frames of capped brood up into the super and start with one empty between those 2. If there is a good flow I wouldn't worry about feeding especially if you want to harvest anything.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Yuba County, California, USA

    Default Re: building foundationless honey supers

    I am assuming you have a deep box on the bottom now for a brood box. I'm also assuming the super you want to add is not a deep box.

    Here is what I've done in your situation:
    When adding the super, I move a deep frame from the bottom box up into the super, near the middle. The deep frame hangs down into the deep bottom box from the upper super, with a space under it. The rest of the frames in the super were medium frames. The bees use that deep frame as a ladder into the added super, and draw out the foundationless frames fine. They also draw out comb off the bottom bar of that deep frame with the space under it. After the super has started being drawn well, I remove the deep frame, cut off the comb under it, and put it back in place in the bottom box. I then tie in the drawn comb I cut off that deep frame into another super frame, and put it in place in the space now created for it in the super.

    As they start drawing the foundation frames in the super, I keep watch and rotate the frames towards center where they've started drawing, to help keep the combs drawing out straight. As they get a comb drawn or mostly so, I'll rotate a frame in from the outside edges in a checkerboard fashion, it helps to get nice straight combs in the super. I do this for cut comb honey, it has worked very well for me.

    Best of luck!

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