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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    Default Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, July 16, 2012

    I am in the process of switching to all foundationless in my two Lang hives permitted in Santa Monica, CA.

    To me,the foundationless approach has many advantages:
    (a) easy to build, no special care required (waxing, wiring, foundation installation etc);
    (b) in combination with mediums - it is universal for all bee-hive related tasks (brood chamber, honey supers etc);
    (c) freshly made wax, no "drawn comb" worries, no old comb issues;
    (d) easy to extract honey especially at the small scale (hobbyist type), crush-and-strain, no special equipment required; shape of the comb is not important; there are byproducts of extraction - honey-vine and wax.
    (e) bees choose proper (for them!) size for the comb cells; they maintain proper bee-space in accordance to their needs.

    I am harvesting a few totally foundationless "frames" every few weeks. Note that there is only a top bar from the standard frame has been shown in one picture.

    Disclaimer: Welcome to this thread. This post has no intention to discuss comparison between foundation and foundationless, frame or frameless approaches. It is for pictures of your foundationless/frameless achevements in Lang hive! Please, feel free to post pictures of your foundationless/frameless latest honey crop here. Sergey
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    Last edited by cerezha; 07-16-2012 at 05:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    1,693

    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, July 16, 2012

    Looks great! I really like your suit.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, July 16, 2012

    ooooo
    Thank you! It is expensive one. I got it for Christmas. Very well vented, well suited for California weather (also -fresh from the washer...). In our bee-class, I felt, I am a "star" in this bee-suit, first time in my life! Sergey

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, July 16, 2012

    The final product - 5 kilos of honey out of 4 foundationless frames. Also, I got 3 kg honey-wax mixture - honey will be used for mead, wax - for candles. Sergey
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, July 16, 2012

    Another beautiful "frame" (top bar) collected today. No foundation, no sides and bottom of the frame.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Pole, Alaska
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    145

    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, July 16, 2012

    first post 3rd pic is that just different nectar sources getting the different colored cappings? Looks great, its something I'm considering doing for next summer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    4,879

    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, July 16, 2012

    >they are short in storage space. But, I do not feel comfortable adding 7th(!) medium...

    There is a manipulation called "harvest crop and extract." Maybe you should read up on it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, July 16, 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    There is a manipulation called "harvest crop and extract." Maybe you should read up on it.
    Hi Frank, many thanks for suggestion. Quick search did not give me a good answer what you meant "harvest crop and extract"... Since I have only two hives permitted and I am foundationless, my flexibility is limited. My bees are also quite protective of their storage and especially nest. What I used to do - I left upper box full of hone to the bees. Periodically, I took 4 frames with honey from the next box (#2 from the top) and replace them with new frames. No drawn comb since I an foundationless and crush-and-strain... It is sort of checker boarding... It worked quite well for entire year. But recently, I discovered the brood in box #2 (from the top) - girls effectively screwed up my approach... So, by all my logic, I should add empty box between #1&2, but then - I'll have 7 medium store monster standing on unstable slope literally 20 feet from my garden and house... All my attempts to reduce the nest cause them to expand! The whole hive is boiled with bees now. I would really appreciate any suggestions. Many thanks for visiting. Sergey

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, July 16, 2012

    Let me try again..."harvest the crop and crush and strain". Three mediums of honey and brood with an empty on top should be a good winter size for your climate.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Quezon City, Philippines
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, July 16, 2012

    that's very good harvest ! what brand of suit is that you're using? might be good for us too.
    Do you have to level your hive to make sure the combs come off straight down?
    Last edited by Jackson; 11-04-2013 at 11:13 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default November 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson View Post
    what brand of suit is that you're using? might be good for us too.
    Hi Jackson! I am using Pigeons Mnt. ventilated beesuit, but I am not very happy with it. It starts deteriorating after second season. From another hand, I was looking for suit to my wife and probably will buy another PM ventilated suit because could not find better option.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson View Post
    Do you have to level your hive to make sure the combs come off straight down?
    When I installed beehives, yes, I leveled them, but not so precise. I would imagine that soil may move and level is off now. Nevertheless, there is no problem with comb unless it is really huge comb.
    Серёжа, Sergey

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