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  1. #1
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    May 2012
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    Default Strange findings

    I have one hive that is doing amazing work. I have gotten all of the frames out of the hive that had foundation except one. Strange thing is, I needed to help with crowding and supplement another hive on Saturday...so I inspected the hive and removed four frames of brood and bees.
    During the inspection, I found he usual honey and pollen frames in both upper and lower HB's with six frames that they use for brood. Anyway, all of the frames had brood in them other than one...It was the last frame with foundation!?? Go figure?

    I am just wondering if I happened to catch it at the time when all of the bees had emerged, or is the queen not liking the size of the cells.

    My next inspection...if it is still empty, I will remove it for good and use it in a nuc or something.
    "You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot

  2. #2
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    Dec 2002
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    Default Re: Strange findings

    Interesting information, you didn't say what kind of foundation....

    I wouldn't be led to believe that the queen has anything to do with it. She is not the queen of anything, she's merely a sexually mature honeybee, the lone member of a caste, one of three such castes in a colony.

    I would be more interested to hear in what position this frame was in. Was it in the center of the broodnest, or at the outer edge? If it is in the center, you may be on to something, however, if it is at the edge, it's not abnormal.

    Also, your bees in your area may have largely shut down brooding this time of year, it would depend on the breed and the conditions. Many of mine shut the broodnest down to the size of a soccer ball or less during the hottest part of the summer. Your bees may be in the process, or they may be building back up, again, I don't know your conditions.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Strange findings

    FYI, the frame was in the top HB, it was 4th from the right while standing behind the hive. There was brood in the frames both sides of the frames with foundation.
    The foundation type was from Dadant...It is called "Medium Brood" Here is the add description: The Original 100% Pure Beeswax Foundation. Our lowest priced Foundation. Unre-inforced, precision milled, pure beeswax sheet. Precise Even Milled Worker Sized Deep Walled Cells. I still use this foundation as starter strips (about 1/2 inch hanging below the top bar)

    As far as shutting down brood nest, there were 11 other frames of brood...completely full. All of my hives are still making bees. They are capping brood like there is no tomorrow. This particular hive has made bees like crazy...check out this description in another forum http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-My-poor-queen

    I just am not sure about the foundation versus natural cell size..It does seem odd that this is the only frame without brood.
    "You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Strange findings

    That is interesting, how old is this frame? In what condition is it? Has it been in the hive when the hive was treated previously?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #5
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    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,695

    Default Re: Strange findings

    someone stole your bees....

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Strange findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    That is interesting, how old is this frame? In what condition is it? Has it been in the hive when the hive was treated previously?
    The frame was bought new in March of 2012 from Miller Bee Supply. I Assembled the frame a few days before installing the package on Mar 17. This hive nor any other hive I have ever owned has ever been treated with anything. The wax is now a medium brown color...As stated, it was drawn out from foundation in Mar of this year. The wax does not look unhealthy or have any visible signs of anything wrong with it.

    I was just hoping that since all of the frames in the hive are now of natural size...Maybe the queen just did not like the feel of it any longer.
    "You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Strange findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldprospector View Post
    I was just hoping that since all of the frames in the hive are now of natural size...Maybe the queen just did not like the feel of it any longer.
    What is natural size in your area? Have you measured? Just because they built it doesn't mean it's natural size. Furthermore, natural size encompasses such a range that no single size can be said to be 'natural size.'

    The queen didn't have anything to do with it. She lays eggs where cells are prepared. She is not the queen of anything. She does not make decisions.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Strange findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    What is natural size in your area? Have you measured? Just because they built it doesn't mean it's natural size. Furthermore, natural size encompasses such a range that no single size can be said to be 'natural size.'

    The queen didn't have anything to do with it. She lays eggs where cells are prepared. She is not the queen of anything. She does not make decisions.
    Not measured anything...but correct me if I am wrong....If the bees make it from scratch, then isn't it natural sizes?
    The upper part of the frames are all larger for honey and pollen storage, the lower part where the brood is usually always placed is definitely smaller. The queen has not laid eggs in the upper section where the cells are larger for storage...but she has laid in the smaller section.

    I really can't debate small cell or large cell...but natural versus not seems to be debatable, since I only provided a 1/2 inch starter strip. But that may have influenced them in some manner.
    "You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot

  9. #9
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    Sep 2011
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    Santa Rosa County, Florida
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    391

    Default Re: Strange findings

    I think what the op is talking about is a drawn empty frame even though he is calling it foundation.I could be wrong of course.There is a first time for everything ;>)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Strange findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldprospector View Post
    If the bees make it from scratch, then isn't it natural sizes?
    Not necessarily. But isn't worth having an argument over. I've probably spread my propaganda enough.

    What would be helpful though is knowing what the cell sizes actually are and whether are larger or smaller than the empty frame. There was one guy on here talking about how he had natural sized comb and his hives were dying anyway. Turns out all his 'natural' comb was just about large enough to be drone comb when he actually measured. It's always good to know exactly what you're dealing with no matter what name it goes by. Maybe that's the engineer speaking.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Strange findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Not necessarily. But isn't worth having an argument over. I've probably spread my propaganda enough.

    What would be helpful though is knowing what the cell sizes actually are and whether are larger or smaller than the empty frame.
    I agree, I can't intelligently argue the fact of natural versus not... I apologize if it seems that I was being argumentative. I can't say as that I have a way to measure the cell sizes, but I can visually see a difference in the size of the foundation comb and the foundationless comb. The comb in the frame that HAS foundation is visibly larger than all of the frames that has no foundation. And yes, there are about 3 different size cells on the foundationless frames, but the area where the brood is being laid is noticeably smaller than the honey storage area and the pollen storage area. It is definitely the smaller cells of the "Rainbow"
    "You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Strange findings

    BTW, I don't think conversation about untreated bees is propaganda in any way. I am still learning new terminology ad such stuff.

    I just remember 20 some years ago, we always gave the bees a starter strip of foundation for no other reason than we could not afford a lot of foundation. We would cut the foundation into 7 pieces. We did not consider it "natural" or anything else...We just did it to make a dollar stretch. The bees did the rest.
    But as I said in a different thread, we did NOT EVER treat bees. We just did not see any problems. But I don't know if the problems did not exist, or if we were helping the bees by letting them make what size they needed versus what size we wanted them to make.

    Hope that makes sense.
    "You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Strange findings

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldprospector View Post
    BTW, I don't think conversation about untreated bees is propaganda in any way.
    It's not that, it's just that there's so much shady info going around about cell size and people calling things natural which are in no way natural and it's not just natural cell size.

    I have my own views, and I cannot honestly say I do not use my position of authority to advance my views. It is unfortunate that so many new beekeepers see people like me being treatment-free and think it's as easy as not treating. In truth, it is, if you're ready for several years of near total death of your colonies. But when it's done, it works. Cell size is all good and fine, but in my experience, to get real treatment-free bees, you gotta let natural selection take its course.

    Natural is a good word, but there's little about a modern beehive that's natural. That's why I don't use the word. In the case of frames, I call them foundationless. Because there's no argument, that's what they are. You can't get embroiled in an argument over whether or not they're foundationless, they are foundationless. The same cannot be said for 'natural.' Trust me, there's been plenty of arguing over that. Between 'natural treatments,' 'natural cell comb,' and every little thing that's 'more natural,' it gets to be taxing. Everybody needs a rationalization so they can sleep at night about the way they do things.

    I don't like rationalizations. My father always said "Excuses are patches of failure."

    I digress. I feel like an old timer. I'm too young for that.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Strange findings

    Now we get to something that we are in total agreement on. Natural selection makes the strongest bees. We've all had colonies to die...but making new hives out of the survivors is the way we did it i the past...Must be something to it. I just think it is too easy for people to get bees today, so they don't really worry about whether they live or die (some people). Anyway, I like that train of thought.
    I just gotta see what comes out of this years stock.
    "You have to put down the ducky if you wanna play the Saxophone!" Mr .Hoot

  15. #15
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    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: Strange findings

    Not to bee too off subject, I put a frame of plastic pierco drone comb in each of my hives and several hives drew it out then packed it full of honey. Not what I expected The drone comb is part of my ipm plan.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Strange findings

    Not as strange as you think, and not a curse on the foundation. The queen has decided what size cells she likes and if it doesn't fit her agenda she will not lay in it. seen it a lot in foundation expiriments. Take HSC for example some queens will NEVER lay in it, some will be spotty, and some just love the stuff. I have also noticed the same issue when moving frames from one hive to another. sometimes one frame in the brood nest will get skipped, and if you look closely it usualy has a slightly different cell size. not all queens are super particular, but seen it enough times I don't fret over it.

  17. #17
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    May 2012
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    Moyock, NC, USA
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    Default Re: Strange findings

    The bees are their own best advocate. They will do what they need when they need it. We can try to control every aspect of the hive but we would just dork it up. Like Solomon said the man-made hive is not their "natural" environment. We do get hung up on definitions of words and classifying things with those words.
    I believe that for hobbyists, foundationless is the easiest since then the bees can decide what to do. (for the overall health of the hive) Whether it is brood or honey or drone, they know what they need better than we do. In my TBH I use all 1 1/2" wide bars and they build whatever, wherever, whenever they want.

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