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  1. #1
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    Jun 2012
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    Default Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

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    so i'm viciously embarking on a 500-1000 hive business venture, by means of rapidly growing into in from rearing and splitting and drastically cut cost by building my own hives i an effort to make this as profitable as possible. the cost of foundation is going to cost me aprx 33us$ (live in jamaica) at a total of around 15000us$ per 500 hives.
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    I was pondering a method of saving on initial cost of foundation by (for a short period) using foundation-less frames, then after the first harvest use the wax garnered to make foundation yourself by melting sheeting and embossing the harvested wax and installing for comb building for the next flow. any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Jun 2008
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    Sacramento,California,USA
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    It just sounds counter productive, to me, to be melting down comb the bees have already made, in order to make foundation for them to have to draw out all over again. ???

    Why not just stay with foundationless beekeeping, especially since you are starting out that way in the beginning?
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  3. #3
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    Feb 2010
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    Oakland, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    Indeed. If you go with all mediums you don't need to worry about wiring particularly, though you can. If you do go with wiring, just use fishing wire which is cheap supply. The main thing to worry about with foundationless is excessive drone cells, and you can address that by just cutting out the parts of the comb that are drone cells and letting them remake it. Once you've got a good solid stock of worker comb, you can put in empty frames and they'll likely make drone in it.

    The main other issue hits at first which are things like crosscombing, but take care of that early and get your comb to start straight and they'll draw the neighboring comb straight (usually.)

  4. #4
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    Jun 2012
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    Kingston, Jamaica
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    well all foundation is recycled bees wax, and the reason i dont want to go foundationless full time is the difficulty in extracting the come, 500+ hive is too much for crush and strain, and besides the experts say that foundation is better for commercial stints. since 1st year is usually loest anyway why not save 13000$ on foundation. the idea is to save on startup, is there anything that i'm missing that could make this counter productive?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Rifle, Colorado
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    How about the cost of the embossing machine about $2600.00. Sounds like a lot of foundation to me! How about the cost of melting and sheeting. I'm guessing your time is free and you don't have to take care of those 500 hives that often! Just a thought!
    "How do you expect to get by in life if you're not precision!"

  6. #6
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    May 2012
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    McDonough, NY United States
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    Sounds like running all mediums would be ideal. Especially with the warmer weather there. I would guess you could winter over with 2 mediums (That's a very ill-informed guess, I will admit).

    So, run all foundationless mediums and only buy 1/2 to 2/3 of your goal hives this year. Let the bees build up and super them fast. Next year, use all of your drawn comb from the supers as brood comb, and let them rebuild all the super comb. Then you would have enough drawn comb for brood boxes to finish your total number of hives. Force them to build their own super comb again.

    It would take 2 years to get up and running, and your 3rd year would be your first crop from all 1500 hives, but you may not have to buy any foundation.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2012
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    Kingston, Jamaica
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    isnt there a cheaper machine? i havent sourced one yet but i hope i can get a better deal than 2.8k, but even still id be saving around 10K on foundation. and by what i hear o these forums i should be able to make them in time with a little help. if anyone knows where i can purchase a cheaper embosser pls do tell

  8. #8
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    Jun 2012
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    Kingston, Jamaica
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    in term of over wintering its basically spring/summer where i live, so here is reasonable forage all year round, while we have 1-3 really heavy flows depending on the area. that idea is interesting too, and look easy enough to work

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Grayson, KY
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by mr.newbee View Post
    isnt there a cheaper machine? i havent sourced one yet but i hope i can get a better deal than 2.8k, but even still id be saving around 10K on foundation. and by what i hear o these forums i should be able to make them in time with a little help. if anyone knows where i can purchase a cheaper embosser pls do tell
    Saw an embosser on eBay for 600 bucks or so.

  10. #10
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    Issaquah,WA,USA
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    what about this one http://www.dhgate.com/beeswax-founda...e72b0464a.html

    500-700 sure makes me think I need to check into one also. Let me know which one you decided on and why.

    This one must be made of gold http://www.legaitaly.com/index.php?p...hk=1&Itemid=68 4500 euro's.
    Last edited by EastSideBuzz; 07-07-2012 at 11:48 PM.

  11. #11
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    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by mr.newbee View Post
    if anyone knows where i can purchase a cheaper embosser pls do tell
    Beesource member Skinner Apiaries has one offered for sale for $1000 in the For Sale forum here:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...e-aka-Embosser
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 07-08-2012 at 05:51 AM.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    what about this one http://www.dhgate.com/beeswax-founda...e72b0464a.html

    500-700 sure makes me think I need to check into one also.
    Click the Shipping Time and Cost tab and check out the shipping cost of this item: US $1446.03 !!

    Also note the page says the item is sold out.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  13. #13
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    Aug 2010
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    Pinellass County, Florida
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    1,110

    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Click the Shipping Time and Cost tab and check out the shipping cost of this item: US $1446.03 !!

    Also note the page says the item is sold out.
    When I'm sold out
    I run 50% off

  14. #14
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    Nov 2006
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    central mn
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    I don't feel your going to come out any cheaper ,, as remember it takes around 8 pounds of honey to make a pound of wax so if you sell honey for $2.00 a pound each pound of wax is costing you $16.00 a pound ,, then you say you want to go with foundation later ,, now add the cost of your foundation to your first ,, I would go with foundation ,, a lot cheaper , it will hurt ,, but cheaper

  15. #15
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    Mar 2005
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    El Dorado County, CA
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    the comment that you must crush and strain foundationless is wrong.
    are you at 100 hives at this time?
    if not getting there will answer many of your questions.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    has anyone ever ran commercial large scale on sole foundationless? how does one extract 10,000 supers of foundationless frames?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by mr.newbee View Post
    has anyone ever ran commercial large scale on sole foundationless? how does one extract 10,000 supers of foundationless frames?
    With a large extractor. So if I do your math right you are talking 90,000-100,000 frames. If that is your goal I would say you need to go work for a big guy first for a stint to see how it is done. I went from 10-50-200 in 3 years and it is a stuff load of work and a costly way to get there and my losses have been exacerbated my my lack of experience. It is tough to listen to the old timers when they say go slow and grow slow and dont take out loans and let the bee's pay for them selves etc. But, they are correct.

    Now all that said you could just go buy out an existing operation and get to where you want to go with out all the fuss and muss. You probably could get out yards etc. Where are you going to house that operation you look to build etc.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by EastSideBuzz View Post
    With a large extractor. So if I do your math right you are talking 90,000-100,000 frames. If that is your goal I would say you need to go work for a big guy first for a stint to see how it is done. I went from 10-50-200 in 3 years and it is a stuff load of work and a costly way to get there and my losses have been exacerbated my my lack of experience. It is tough to listen to the old timers when they say go slow and grow slow and dont take out loans and let the bee's pay for them selves etc. But, they are correct.

    Now all that said you could just go buy out an existing operation and get to where you want to go with out all the fuss and muss. You probably could get out yards etc. Where are you going to house that operation you look to build etc.
    Can foundationless frames be put into a regular Extractor?

    i want to grow into it quickly and then sell it, the bee industry is just begining to boom here and and there are endless contracts from EU countries that are too large for small local holdings to fill. if i can cheaply grow into a large scale it would be worth a lot more than the start up.

  19. #19
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    Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    Quote Originally Posted by DamSutt1986 View Post
    So, run all foundationless mediums and only buy 1/2 to 2/3 of your goal hives this year. Let the bees build up and super them fast. Next year, use all of your drawn comb from the supers as brood comb, and let them rebuild all the super comb. Then you would have enough drawn comb for brood boxes to finish your total number of hives. Force them to build their own super comb again.

    It would take 2 years to get up and running, and your 3rd year would be your first crop from all 1500 hives, but you may not have to buy any foundation.
    Comb drawn in supers is likely to be useless as brood comb. For honey storage, left to their own devices, they will tend to draw the largest cells - drone at least - it's just more efficient to build. Introducing that comb into a brood nest is only going to cause grief.

    If you want good brood comb drawn, it is best done in the centre of the brood nest. Which means establishing a good supply of worker comb tends to be intensive and invasive.

    Natural comb is not necessarily the cheap and easy alternative to foundation it is often assumed to be.

  20. #20
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    May 2011
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    Rifle, Colorado
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    Default Re: Here's a crazy idea to save on foundation cost?!?

    Maybe you can use this info! I've done a study using my 15 hives. I started with 2 hives with wired foundation. After ther were good and strong I split them into 6 more hives. Now, 2 hives I used wax plastic foundation, 2 hives were foundationless and 2 were again wired foundation. What I found is the hives with plastic were extremely slow to build, about 2 months to fill up 10 frames. The wired foundation took about half that time and the foundationless was about half of that time. The only problem I ran into was that I had to straighten a couple of frames where the bees went crazy with there own foundation. I now only use foundationless frames in all of my hives.

    Keeping the foundation straight is no longer a problem as I put a 1" stip of wax in the upper groove of the frames for the bees to start on. I drip beeswax on the strips of wax to hold them firm and I no longer have foundation falling out in the hive and making a mess. I also melt a little wax on the sides of the frames so they will attach their comb to the sides. This helps to keep the foundation a little more rigid so when you flip your frame sideways looking for your royal highness the foundation doesn't break off and fall on the ground just to make you mad. Using this method does create a lot of drone comb but that's OK to because if you need to make a new queen you can more than likely be sure your queen will mate with one of your strains so she should be a good quality queen. That is if you start with good queens. drone larvae is also good for mite control too. As far as drone comb goes the bees just fill it up with pollen and honey when they don't need drones, pretty awesome! Good Luck!
    "How do you expect to get by in life if you're not precision!"

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