Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    668

    Smile foundationless frame test

    Hello, i wanted to see what one of my hives would do with a totally empty frame (no starter strip or wire , ect) and it seems in 7 days exactly they did a nice job, but i am woried about the cell size? the queen has actually laid eggs in some of the cells and they are putting honey in others : )

    Here is pictures of both sides of the frame after 7 days. please let me know what you think.

    Thanks
    Ben

    2012_0629june29th0064.jpg2012_0629june29th0065.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sarasota, fl
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: foundationless frame test

    Do you plan to destroy the capped brood to kill mites? Jim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,487

    Default Re: foundationless frame test

    Looks like drone on one side and workers on the other. Put it toward the outside of the brood nest, that way they can make drones if they want them and not put them in the honey supers or between boxes.

    peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Asheville, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: foundationless frame test

    They will just make more if you take it out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    668

    Default Re: foundationless frame test

    Quote Originally Posted by Jgabbert View Post
    Do you plan to destroy the capped brood to kill mites? Jim
    no i wanted to see what they would do with an empty frame. and to find out if keeping some of the bees extra busy building wax would keep their minds off swarming.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,794

    Default Re: foundationless frame test

    An empty frame between two good combs in the brood nest works great for foundationless. The drawn brood combs act as a guide. The same cannot be said for putting them between two open combs in the supers as they just fatted the open comb and ignore the empty frame... and you can't usually get away with just empty frames as foundationless without the brood combs on each side as a guide.

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Kingston Springs, TN
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: foundationless frame test

    I wanted to put foundationless frames in my hives as well a few months ago. I did and it turned out well. I asked about the best way to do it and got many different answers. I was told that they would only build drone comb (which is what you seem to be concerned with). I was also (correctly) told that they will build what they think they need at the time they are building the comb. If you have a hive full of frames that have standard foundation, and then you add foundationless frames, yes they will at first build mostly drone sized cells because they haven't hatched out as many drones as they think they need (because the foundation restricted them to a smaller cell size.) I alternated frames with foundation and foundationless and ended up with about 25% drone cells and the rest worker cells. On one of my frames they started out building drone cells and about half way through they switched to worker cells all on the same side ! Very cool. Based on what I have learned, let your bees do what they want, they know better than you and I do about what their needs are.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    668

    Default Re: foundationless frame test

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Johnson View Post
    I wanted to put foundationless frames in my hives as well a few months ago. I did and it turned out well. I asked about the best way to do it and got many different answers. I was told that they would only build drone comb (which is what you seem to be concerned with). I was also (correctly) told that they will build what they think they need at the time they are building the comb. If you have a hive full of frames that have standard foundation, and then you add foundationless frames, yes they will at first build mostly drone sized cells because they haven't hatched out as many drones as they think they need (because the foundation restricted them to a smaller cell size.) I alternated frames with foundation and foundationless and ended up with about 25% drone cells and the rest worker cells. On one of my frames they started out building drone cells and about half way through they switched to worker cells all on the same side ! Very cool. Based on what I have learned, let your bees do what they want, they know better than you and I do about what their needs are.
    that sounds good to me, i am trying to let them do their own thing, but i didn't want to mess them up by giving them an empty frame. i think they will do just fine
    Also i noticed that they seem to build foundationless FASTER than foundation, at least in this particular hive. when they work one side of a foundation, they seem to be less concerned about the other side until they completed one.

    Thanks
    Ben

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,794

    Default Re: foundationless frame test

    >Also i noticed that they seem to build foundationless FASTER than foundation

    Most everyone who tries it says the same.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,487

    Default Re: foundationless frame test

    Buliding on foundation is un-natural for bees, they have only empty space in the wild. Using foundation is more like fixing bad comb than making new. It does work well for the beekeeper, though, since it regulates the size of the cells better and usually results in better comb (not always). I'm sure the bees make their own comb much faster than "fixing" the cells to foundation.

    Foundationless works great with the oft stated caveats -- some bees have to be persuaded into making flat comb in frames. Probably something genetic, they want odd shapes, curves, and forks. Not a problem for them in the wild, but a huge mess in the hive. Those bees tend to make a mess of foundation too, particularly plastic where they sometimes decide to build the comb standing free of the foundation or off the edge of the top bar rather than on the patterned plastic. Just bees.

    The other drawback, expecially in the type of weather we've been having here, is that foundationless comb when newly drawn can be very fragile, and until it's attached on all four sides, be careful not to lay the frame over on it's side -- a soft, warm comb full of nectar or brood will simply drop off the frame. It will also likely be too soft to rubber band back in, too! Once it's been in use for a while, it will harden up and be quite sturdy, but the thickness of the cell bottoms is much less in foundationless comb.

    I'm using a mixture of foundation and foundationless this year -- last year I did about half and half, and the bees made about 1/3 of the foundationless frames drone brood, the rest worker size, but didn't fasten it to the bottom. Hive got sick, though, so that may have had an effect, too. This year I used mostly foundation for the two swarms I got, but left two empty but crosswired frames in the two mediums I put on. Should be working them about now, so I'll see what they do when they get to them. Last year they make a bunch of drones in late July, but it's so dry this year I don't know what will happen.

    peter

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads