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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sebago Maine USA
    Posts
    114

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

    go foundation less and use 4 mesh stainless hardware cloth over the comb when you spin it . I use it for wood pellet fire logs I make, reposenow.com I had the material so when I found my comb falling out I made some from the same wire and it worked great . I will try to post some pictures tomorrow of the mesh on frames

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Kingston, Jamaica
    Posts
    15

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

    Quote Originally Posted by K.E.N. View Post
    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!
    Interesting, very interesting indeed.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

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

    one of the keys here is TIME to make you own foundation, and then wire it in (which is pretty well a must) so that even partial drawn frames can be extracted. takes more time than popping a .70 piece of foundation. I run about 100 hives. all my supers are plastic, or plastic foundation. I started weth wax and foundationless in the deeps but have given up on them there also. that foundation is the key to your success. why do you think the old timers spent hours wiring it in?

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,983

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

    Someone mentioned that wax costs $16.00 a lb in honey for the bees to make.
    How much wax do they avoid making just because they started it on foundation? Don't they still make all the wax that forms the comb?
    How many sheets of foundation are there in a lb? Foundation is far from free in the first place.

    To me it seems frames are expensive either in cost or in labor no matter what you do. Sometimes it is a matter of what you can afford. Time/ labor, or money.

    My great grandfather kept bees for nearly 100 years and never heard of foundation. It would be nice to know more about how he did it.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Kingston, Jamaica
    Posts
    15

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Someone mentioned that wax costs $16.00 a lb in honey for the bees to make.
    How much wax do they avoid making just because they started it on foundation? Don't they still make all the wax that forms the comb?
    How many sheets of foundation are there in a lb? Foundation is far from free in the first place.

    To me it seems frames are expensive either in cost or in labor no matter what you do. Sometimes it is a matter of what you can afford. Time/ labor, or money.

    My great grandfather kept bees for nearly 100 years and never heard of foundation. It would be nice to know more about how he did it.
    Intriguing post, i find is fascinating how early modern-modern beeks find foundation a must while ole timers in the past didnt use them at all.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,594

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

    I would string-up the frames with single runs of monofilament and use starter strips. The bees will build the comb over the fishing line.

    I wouldn't want to babysit all those hives while the bees built out comb on foundationless frames.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

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

    how many old timers ran 100's of hives?? (very few) most made a lot of cut comb... and almost all used wires... Don't get me wrong, running foundationless is fine, but the value represented in a piece of plasticell is more than the 1.00 cost to me, want to save money great!... time is money in this business, if you want to run 1000 hives you don't have time to monkey around.....

  8. #28
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Rifle, Colorado
    Posts
    117

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

    So you want speed! Time is money and that jazz. Foundationless will outdraw any other foundation out there. The first 2 hives I tried going all foundationless was May 2011 of those 2 hives I split into 4 hives in June of the same year. This year being June again I have split those 4 into 8 more Keeping the same 2 original hives in single deeps to build up again. 10 strong hives in a year. Now if all goes as last year everybody will be ready for winter and I'll still be able to steal some honey from them. I do have a couple of week hives those that I insist on leaving plastic in though I don't know why. Plastic is way to slow and the bees just don't like. They will use it if that's all they've got but they have attitude problems with it. "It's plastic! I'll draw it out when I feel like it! Right now I'm busy looking for vacant tree so I can move!"
    "How do you expect to get by in life if you're not precision!"

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

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

    and just how do you extract them ken? keep in mind he is talking about 1000 hives? every time I extract foundationless, without wires it ends up in the bottom of the extractor. thats not faster in my book. its a pain. plugs stuff up.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,110

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

    Quote Originally Posted by gmcharlie View Post
    every time I extract foundationless, without wires it ends up in the bottom of the extractor.
    Put Wires in the frame and let them draw
    I had more than a few conversations with non-believers
    Plastic nor wax is not preferred by bees
    They will draw comb faster with nothing but Air in the frame

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,983

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

    I read a comment the other day that one member observed bees drew foundation twice as fast as Plastic, and drew empty frames twice as fast as foundation. I have also observed the difference between air and foundation in one of my hives.

    Assuming the above is the norm then speed cannot really be a top issue.

    Btu what other related factors are there? how about getting the bees to put the comb in the center of the frame where it is wanted. I have already found that foundation can cause the comb to be missed placed as often as it gets it int eh right place. so that one does not hold up. Let the sheet warp just a bit and you have a lot of useless shallow comb being drawn.

    The only advantage I see left is extracting and the durability of the frame. If bees will draw comb around wires. and if that results in reinforced comb just like foundation I don't see the reason for foundation at all.

    There is also a cell size issue for many. So far I don't pay any attention to that one. The bees tear up my foundation eventually any way and make what they want. they don't like the foundation and actually make great effort to remove it from the hive sooner or later. My first hive is all of about 2 months old and a lot of the foundation has already been removed. nearly 25% of the foundation caused the comb to be drawn out of place and the bees will draw comb pretty much anywhere and everywhere but on new sheets of foundation. I am thinking of trying the wires in empty frames to see what happens.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

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

    Mrnewbee; you can use foundationless frames and extract them. However, you need some foundation to get them started right or you'll spend all your time correcting wonky combs. Try alternating foundationless with foundation frames or drawn frames and they'll usually build it straight. For medium frames use crimp wired foundation, no wiring necessary. For deep frames, even using crimp wired foundation, you need to wire the 2 center holes if you're going to extract deep frames (2 wires). If only using the deeps for brood you don't need to wire them. You can place deep frames with a guide(thin sticks like tongue depressors glued into the top groove) in between drawn brood combs and they'll draw them out pretty fast to get more room for the queen to lay. To increase to the numbers you're talking about you need to minimize time spent in each hive or you'll never be able to get there so use guides and alternating foundation combs to minimize correcting bum combs. Once you have drawn mediums then alternate drawn combs with foundationless frames in your supers for minimum problems. Making your own foundation is labor intensive!

  13. #33
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Rifle, Colorado
    Posts
    117

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

    and just how do you extract them ken? keep in mind he is talking about 1000 hives? every time I extract foundationless, without wires it ends up in the bottom of the extractor. thats not faster in my book. its a pain. plugs stuff up.
    I use the crush and strain method myself! I just take a knife and cut the comb out all the way around the frame stick it in my crusher, the honey comes out the bottom (without heating mind you!) goes thru 1/8" screen and then 1/6" screen to get the big stuff. Then 600 mesh and 400 mesh screens and it's ready to bottle. I can cut and crush approximately 60 frames in less than hour, could be more. And I don't even Break a sweat. Of course I don't actually do the crushing, the machine does. All I do is come bak the next morning and collect the buckets of honey. I'm working on getting a patent for my crusher so no pics yet. It is very simple for me. After I cut the comb out the frames go right back in the hives they came out of and the bees get busy again. I love it! I'll never use foundation or wire again. The other benefit is cut comb honey, No wires, no special foundation and best of all since the bees do all the work it's basically free.
    "How do you expect to get by in life if you're not precision!"

  14. #34
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

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

    thats an okay plan Ken,there is a downside though, bees for the most part will not draw wax late in the year, and DEFINATLY not at the rate of spring wax building. so your out of drawn comb for them to fill. you will also find a lot of "math" that says wax is costly in honey (not accepting that math myself)......

    I know you can wire frames and let them draw,, I found wiring to be almost as costly, and definatly more time consuming.....

    In the end, its up to the user, just hopeing he considers all the factors before deciding. I work with a lot of large scale guys, and they all use fondation for there operations...... After doing some work in the field, and some math, foundation is not as expensive as you might think, and its certianly useful.

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