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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    missouri
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    151

    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    just because you add foundation the bees still have to make wax so your loss isnt that much, having fully drawn out comb is much better for production than either foundationless or foundation either one, the hives you give comb to will produce alot more honey than the hives that just have foundation.
    so 50 sheets of wired deep foundation is about 1 dollar a sheet for plastic probably more.

    http://www.dadant.com/catalog/produc...products_id=69

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Westchester NY
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    231

    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    bejay--it is at least that much--my calculations were just for the weight of the foundation brand new (at around .95 cents a sheet) not the drawn out frames--that would require considerably more wax and consequently honey.

  3. #63
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    missouri
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    151

    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    why dont you do a test take 10 hives and only super with foundation on 5 and foundationless on the other 5 and see what you end up with in average honey production the difference isnt going to be very much in my opinion.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Calvert, Md,USA
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    1,709

    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Understood, we are good to go My point, I guess, and what I perceived, was the cost analysis, of honey needed to generate comb for foundation less vs. savings, in honey, by using a foundation, thus requiring less honey/resources, and therefore more for the bee keeper to harvest. It is they way some folks look at things. (as I have seen) Just an opinion

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    Can someone quantifiably show that foundation less is cheaper?... that is 230 dollars lost money.
    Xcugat, I do not understand how you count. I would do estimate as following:
    - you save $1-1.5 on each new frame; you could re-use old frames with little effort.
    - you probably do not save on labor since new technique will require some learning/optimization;
    - you do not need an extractor - $100?? savings;
    - you do not need the space to keep unused frames with comb - you save on space.
    - if you fill up the box with foundationless frames you shall have approximately the same amount of honey (or more) at the end, no loses.
    - major reason to go framless is the believe that bees are doing better with this approach, so your tremendous gain is healthier bees!
    - in addition you have a wax, which you could sell.
    - for those who Russians - additional benefit is honey-vine!

    P.S. I do not think that it is easy to translate a new wax into how much honey has been lost. It is much more complex than that.
    Sergey
    Last edited by cerezha; 06-08-2012 at 05:56 PM.

  6. #66
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,425

    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    Can someone quantifiably show that foundation less is cheaper?
    A flow.is.a.temporal event...it has a limited duration. When the flow is strong, the bees are very unlikely to be collecting all the nectar available....especially if they dont have drawn comb to store it in.

    In.such a case, the bees use.some.of the flow to make wax. But, given the same number of bees, they draw the foundationless.and.fill it faster than they do with foundation. The issue is how.much can be stored.in the limited time the flow.is on, not how much nectar it takes. Within this limited time frame, the amount of nectar available is, for.practical purposes unlimited.

    If you had an unlimited amount of.money for a short period.of.time, what would.you save by looking for the lowest price?
    deknow

  7. #67
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    Mar 2008
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    Westchester NY
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Sergey The math is based on the generally agreed figure that it takes approximately 8 pounds of wax for one pound of bee wax. In regards to your post I take issue with is

    major reason to go framless is believe that bees are doing better with this approach, so your tremendous gain is healthier bees!

    How are the bees demonstrably doing better with foundationless? People keep spouting this but I have yet to see some real evidence. That and I got an old extractor given to me for free

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Arlee MT USA
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    548

    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    2.85 pounds of wax, which translates at 8 pounds of honey per pound of wax 23 pounds of honey.
    I know this is generally accepted but so are an awful lot of things that aren't true. Has anyone ever proved this or is it something that someone said a hundred years ago that everyone has taken on faith ever since? I don't have any reason to think that its not true but I also don't accept things just because they are generally accepted. I'd like to see the write up for a reproducible experiment that shows how much honey wax production consumes.

    Not to mention you can sell bee's wax for $8 a pound or more so wax isn't a completely lost product in any case.

    Here is an interesting calculation. Honey is about 17% water so out of your 8 pounds of honey 6.64 lbs of it is the actual honey molecules. Now if it takes 6.64 lbs of honey "solids" to make 1 pound of wax then that means that the bees are throwing away or loosing thermodynamically 5.64 pounds of solid matter for each lb of wax produced. This seems extraordinarily inefficient considering that unlike most animal feeds honey is composed almost entirely of easily digestible high energy components.

    And here is yet another interesting question that I have no answer for, is that bees need eight pounds of honey to produce a lb of wax or is it they consume eight lbs of honey in the time that it takes them to build a lb of wax? Do they have to eat extra honey to produce wax or is it a by product of the honey/nectar they normally consume?
    Last edited by Aerindel; 06-08-2012 at 07:31 PM.

  9. #69
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    Jul 2011
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    Evansville, IN
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    2,222

    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    The 8 lbs of honey for a pound of wax is derived more or less from the difference in energy content and the metabolic energy used do reduce the carbohydrate to lipid. Simple thermodynamics and metabolic energy transfer.

    This is why you want to keep as much drawn comb as possible, it really does take quite a bit of nectar that would otherwise be honey to make comb.

    Drawing foundation into comb is not the way bees evolved, they normally build comb by festooning in empty spaces, so foundatinless comb is easier and more natural for them to draw out. Better is a matter of opinion, but foundationless is what's normal. Drawing foundation is more like doing repairs.

    Peter

  10. #70
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    Oct 2011
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    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Well
    This wax/honey equation is a strong argument... I am not knowledgeable enough to discuss thermodynamic of the conversion... Besides the science, couple of things come to mind:
    - first, it is not honey but nectar, which fuels worker bees during the flow.
    - bees who deliver nectar and who made a wax - are different.
    - I do not know what eat wax-making bees, nectar?
    - the assumption that all delivered nectar will be converted into the honey - I do not think it is a case. It is like if all food one consumes will be immediately converted (and stored) into the fat... It is possible that for example only 50% of nectar converts into the honey by bees. So, another 20-30-50% may be used to create the wax. If so, these two processes may go in parallel. Since, making wax is natural process to the bees, I would not be surprised if my assumption is close to the reality. In another words, wax-bees may consume the energy, which is not dedicated to be converted into the honey... thus, creating the wax does not affect amount of honey stored...

    As for bees well-being - I already explained in my previous posts that bees are stressed out when forced to work on the foundation. Opposite is also true. You know that stress affected immune system. Weak immune system means - weak beehive ... eventually decease and death. It is from the physiology textbook, I am sorry, nothing personal.

    In all these arguments pro and contra, I could see only one, which is not really clear to me since I am in SoCal - if nectar flow period is so short that bees may not have time to make a comb. This is I really do not know. But,this argument is in the area of business and profit... I guess, one should not have industrial honey production in the area where nectar flow is so short that bees have no time to build the comb... It is my understanding that there are "waves" of nectar flow - bees could build comb between the waves... Sergey
    Last edited by cerezha; 06-09-2012 at 01:18 AM.

  11. #71
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    4,643

    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    [QUOTE=cerezha;As for bees well-being - I already explained in my previous posts that bees are stressed out when forced to work on the foundation. Opposite is also true. You know that stress affected immune system.[/QUOTE]

    The two tall hives behind me in this picture had both drawn out several deep and JUMBO supers of foundation put on to slow them down so that they would not get too tall. If drawing out foundation stresses bees out I have very stressed out bees. THAT must be why so many die during the winter - stess. Or maybe all those contaminants in the foundation.


  12. #72
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    I believe the issue is creating a new paradigm of operation which does not involve the past large scale or migratory operations and practices. Unfortunately, new paradigms lie outside the mainstream to most involved. This whole thing reminds me of the argument by Western ranchers that the elk eat all the grass that their cows should have and should be re-imbursed by the government for the loss of graze. How do you quantify that? Wax/Nectar? Isn't that how we got into trouble?

    PS; Those are some tall hives! very nice!
    Last edited by Paul McCarty; 06-09-2012 at 10:20 AM.

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Wakefield, MA, USA
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    225

    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Foundationless is great -- if you like drone comb, and breeding lots of drones. Foundation gives you a maximum of worker cells in the brood nest, and so a stronger work force. In the honey supers I have used strips many times, resulting in natural comb -- virtually all drone or storage sized cells -- and then either reused the comb for honey storage year after year (extracting) or selected nice "virgin" capped combs for cutting for comb honey. It works okay with medium or shallow supers. Just don't let the queen go up there.

  14. #74
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    Oct 2011
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    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    OdFrank
    Spectacular but looks dangerous... My hive is 6 boxes tall and it needs extra box(ex) - I could not add more because I just afraid it will flip over from the steep terrace... So, I just remove frames with honey every 2-3 weeks to keep it under control. The whole hive is fondationless and treatment-free. It is at least 3 years old colony(same boxes). Again - if your bees are doing well and you have 95+% surviving rate - than, why bother and change anything? The whole story began when people discovered that nearly 50% of bees in US die every year. If it is not a problem for you,than - it is really great and I am so happy for you! Sergey

    PS I really do not think that over-production of honey is a good criteria for determining if bees are happy. In recent history, slaves produced a lot of goods for Americans, but it does not mean they were happy and healthy...
    Sergey

  15. #75
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    Mar 2011
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    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    That is an impressively tall hive, but it would blow over in New Mexico. It would need guy wires.

  16. #76
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Clifford Township, PA
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    1,660

    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWG View Post
    Foundationless is great -- if you like drone comb, and breeding lots of drones....
    I must be doing something wrong because I almost never see a super-abundance of drone cells in foundationless comb mixed with small cell foundation.

    Quote Originally Posted by JWG View Post
    In the honey supers I have used strips many times, resulting in natural comb -- virtually all drone or storage sized cells....
    Which works out well for me because in the honey supers, that's where I want the larger cells. Seems the bees know what to do.

    Some disparage foundationless because of all the work involved at the beginning, checking it and keeping the hives level and the frames spaced correctly... All things I would be doing anyway in my large-cell foundation-based yards. Foundationless is great in that I do not have to spend all that money on something the bees have shown me I do not absolutely need. Another year or two of sm. cell experience and I'll likely be be converting all my hives to sm. cell/foundationless.

  17. #77
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    Mar 2011
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    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Drone comb hasn't been much of an issue for me either.

  18. #78
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
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    827

    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by JWG View Post
    Foundationless is great -- if you like drone comb, and breeding lots of drones. Foundation gives you a maximum of worker cells in the brood nest, and so a stronger work force. In the honey supers I have used strips many times, resulting in natural comb -- virtually all drone or storage sized cells -- and then either reused the comb for honey storage year after year (extracting) or selected nice "virgin" capped combs for cutting for comb honey. It works okay with medium or shallow supers. Just don't let the queen go up there.
    I do like drone comb, for honey storage. If you move the drone comb to the outside positions 1,2 and 9,10 where they normally store honey and pollen anyway it doesn't really mater does it. When the hive needs drones they will have the queen lay eggs in these frames. As far as having lots of drones, First bees try to keep a certain percentage around anyway, (healthy, queen right hive). Second, let me think about this, I like the genetics of my bees, which genetics do I want spread in the surrounding area, mine or joe shmo around the corner or perhaps africanized bees.

    Also on a different part of this that is being discussed the whole 8 lbs of honey for 1 lb of wax thing. That is a straw dog, because how much wax do you really think it saves the bees to start with foundation VS foundationless. Now if the argument was drawn comb VS foundationless that would be a valid argument, but I am willing to bet that the difference between the Given wax (foundation) VS the fact it actually gets in their way of building a new comb (festooning) is a wash.

  19. #79
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
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    548

    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    A lot of the "hype" could be from Bush's site. It is among the topic results of any search about beekeeping and his stuff is much better written and current than most of the other information on bees. Its a very inviting and easy to use site, especially for a newbee and as part of his site he makes a very logical and compelling argument for foundationless which is hard to ignore.

  20. #80
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Munfordville, Ky. U.S.A.
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    1,245

    Default Re: Can someone please explain the Foundationless hype to me?

    I have not read most of the posts on this thread, because as with most I have my own opinion, and here it is. First, I don't think you can spin and extract frames of foundationless without damaging some. I'm convinced that some use foundationless to keep from buying foundation. I've never tried foundationless, never will. I've used wax foundation, duragilt, and differient brands of plastic foundation. The duragilt is not even worth putting in a hive. It will not be drawn out well in most cases, and I've noticed that the queen will be hesitant to lay on frames that are drawn out. I hate the wax because they will always chew the bottom of the foundation so that they can travel back and forth from one side to the other, making it very difficult to locate a queen. My bees, differient genetics, will always draw out the extra wax coated plastic before they do the wax or anything else. While some treehuggers and elcheapos want to go foundationless, I will use what works, by far the best for me. Plastic with extra wax brushed on from a cheap crock pot, with a cheap 4" chip brush from Dollar General or Harbor Freight. I know the whole argument that we are going against the nature of the bees, but if that is what you want to do why not hollow out some trees so they can build in them. I want to be able to examine a frame for queens, queen cells, pollen, honey/nectar, eggs, larvae, and type of cell. Again plastic is far superior in my opinion. Especially in the supers for extracting. To each his own. Good Luck!!
    So much to learn, so little time!!

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