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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Venango, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    119

    Default Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    I am going to try cut comb honey this year on the summer flow. I am curious as to others experiences with doing this. Do you prefer thin foundation or letting the bees draw out the frames with no foundation. I will be using medium frames just in case they do not fill out the edges entirely there will still be room to cut the pcs.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,120

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    I prefer thin foundation, installed with a 3/8" space between bottom edge of foundation and bottom bar of frame. You can use a starter strip and allow the bees to finish off the comb. Success with comb honey depends on the strength of the colony and the strength of the flow. When both are strong, it doesn't matter if you use a full sheet or a starter. On a slower flow or if the flow ends halfway through, your cut comb honey will be drone rearing comb....no matter how much drone brood the bees have down below in the broodnest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,487

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    I have tried it both ways and prefer the foundation for cut comb. Now for just chunk honey foundationless frames are ok. Here is a pic from this year. http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php...=photo_comment

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Birmingham, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    I've been experimenting with foundationless frames, with a total of 10 frames spread between two hives.

    The bees drew out the first four frames magnificently from nothing more than a paint stirrer stick glued into the slot. Today I will check my hives and see how they have done on the next 6 frames.

    My plan is to use some of this for chunk honey, so it doesn't have to be perfectly straight, but so far it is anyway.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Medford, Oregon
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    johng that is beautiful! We are trying the ross rounds this year, we've had lots of interest in the comb honey. We have two wickedly strong hives so we thought one of those would be good for that little experiment. We shall see!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Wilkes County, NC
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    I also did a super of cut comb this spring. I had so many people asking for it. Is there anyway to prevent them from leaving cells with pollen in them? Is this a normal thing? It doesn't bother me, but I don't know about my customers. I used a thin comb foundation and it was all beautiful except for a little pollen cells here and there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Orange County, Indiana
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    I don't want to chew on commercial wax even if it is "thin foundation". Foundationless comb honey is the best!

    Natural Comb Honey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,626

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    I use a 1 in, starter strip of thin foundation, they drew out 12 supers (10 frames each) of almost full frames (most were full frames) of beautiful white capped comb honey, sold all of it at the farmers market.The supers came off of 9 hives. I've got 15 supers ready to go for next spring.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Orange County, Indiana
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by brooksbeefarm View Post
    I use a 1 in, starter strip of thin foundation, they drew out 12 supers (10 frames each) of almost full frames (most were full frames) of beautiful white capped comb honey, sold all of it at the farmers market.
    I used to use a starter strip but decided it wasn't necessary. Now I just turn down the top-bar wedge on new frames or use an old empty frame and they draw the comb just fine.

    Capped Foundationless Frame

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,626

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    FLA, either way works, but i found that a starter strip will get them drawing comb quicker and straighter. The starter strip doesn't have to be 1 in. it can be less, it gives them a guideline to draw comb straight in the frames. I sell comb honey in the clear plastic sandwich boxes, so it has to be drawn straight. I tried pouring melted cappings in the gap of the frame and wedge, but they still drew comb in every direction which was alright because i sell chunk honey also.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Nicholasville, Ky USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    I just bought a hive from a country bee keeper. It has two deep bodies with frames but no foundation. the bees have done their own thing. I didn't inspect the bottom as I didn't want to rile them up. They are hanging out at the entrance. There is a queen excluder between the bodies. I am worried they might swarm. I am a new keeper. Should I take the top body and excluder off and put another box in the middle and then return the excluder and other box?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,649

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    The worker size cell cappings on foundation look more uniform and attractive than the drone/honey storage cell cappings of foundationless frames. Foundationless is of course more "natural" and less work. I place one foundatonless or thin foundation frame between each drawn comb in nine frame spacing honey supers or thin foundation frames ten to a box.

    The 3 3/4" cutters make four tight cuts from shallow frames and fit the clam shell boxes Mann Lake sells with little comb wasted. The 4 1/8" cutters make three full cuts and one smaller cut from medium frames with some top and bottom comb lost. The uncut comb goes into the capping spinner so is it not wasted. They fit the hard plastic boxes sold by Kelley and Dadant.

    Does anyone know where to buy a 4/14" inside clamshell box that fits the 4 1/4" cuts well? The hard plastic boxes are very pricy with freight but sure look nice and are reuseable.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,626

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    I don't understand? If the frames don't have foundation, are they empty or do they have drawn comb? I would break the hive down and see what is going on in the bottom box (brood chamber) to see how strong it is, is there brood, is the queen laying, and if all looked good? I would take the excluder out,put foundation in the frames (if their empty) set it back on top and feed. feed, feed.( and leave the excluder off) I don't know your weather pattern in Ky. and if you have a good fall flow or not,here in SW Mo. we usually don't.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Nicholasville, Ky USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    They have foundation just not the manufacturered kind. They are doing it au natural.
    Will the natural comb hold as much brood and honey as the other manufacturered.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,626

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    Yes , if they draw the whole frame out, the foundation gives them a head start and something to work with.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,570

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    >Is there anyway to prevent them from leaving cells with pollen in them? Is this a normal thing? It doesn't bother me, but I don't know about my customers

    I sort those out and charge extra for the ones with pollen.

    > Do you prefer thin foundation or letting the bees draw out the frames with no foundation.

    I prefer foundationless. First and foremost because it won't have contaminated wax in it. But also because thin surplus on a hot day tends to collapse.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,195

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    The worker size cell cappings on foundation look more uniform and attractive than the drone/honey storage cell cappings of foundationless frames..
    I've had pretty good luck getting pretty comb from foundationless.

    newcomb2.jpg

    I've found that my colonies seemed to go through a period of building some drone comb in swarm season, but after that was over, they went back to drawing regular worker-sized comb.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,195

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    Sorry, double posted.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Nicholasville, Ky USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Cut Comb Honey. Foundation Vs. No Foundation

    Looks fabulous. Thanks for all the help.

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