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  1. #181
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    Default Re: Small inspection, July 16, 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    ...This was the prettiest comb yet, I think.
    Hey
    How you train your bees to do such perfect comb? Mine are on the "rustic" side, functional but not perfect and I even do not want to think what is happened right now in my Lang - I guess, they had a few free moments for creativity: one comb has been split in three festoons. Festoons nicely attached to the bottom of the box and side frames (bars) like a flower ... I would need to remove the entire super.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  2. #182
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    Jun 2012
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    Houston, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: Small inspection, July 16, 2013

    Sergey,
    I seriously owe you some pictures! I did my first harvest on 5 July and I need to edit the video. I did crush and strain, but got 65 lbs. of fantastic honey, kind of spicy citrus overtones from 2 hives. I sold a bunch of my hunting gear, got off the lease, and have a Maxant 3100P on order, maybe 3-4 more weeks for delivery.... My 3 new hives, Buckfest started 6 Apr., are outstanding producers. They have filled 3 med. supers as their brood chambers, and each has a filled honey super (all foundationless). I added a second super to hive 6 two weeks ago and will add one to hives 4 & 5 this weekend. However we have started our summer derth about 2 weeks ago so do not expect any more until mid Sept. with last harvest mid Nov. Our first freeze is early Dec.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  3. #183
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    Default Re: Small inspection, July 16, 2013

    Mike, it is great news! Yes, you owe some pictures of your honey, hives, foundationless frames!!! It is so exiting to have bees! Take care,
    Серёжа, Sergey

  4. #184
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    Default end of October-November 2013

    Well
    I sort of abandon the beesource. There is short update:
    My bees are doing great. All beehives are completely foundationless and "frameless" - instead frames, I am using top bars of my own design. Officially, I am permitted to have only two beehives (city requirement). These are my production hives. I am collecting in average 10 kilos of honey per 2-3 month "Sunny California" cycle. One hive is vertical design and another - horizontal. I am trying to compare them side-by-side.
    It seems to me that vertical one is a winner (as many of you predicted).
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by cerezha; 11-04-2013 at 05:07 AM.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  5. #185
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Small inspection, July 16, 2013

    What is the red thing between each super? And why are the entrances so small?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #186
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    Default end of October-November 2013

    O, hi Oldtimer!
    You were right that vertical design is more efficient!
    As for your questions. Red thing are my top-bars, which now completely replace the classical frames. Now - I am frameless. On the picture, you could see how it works for horizontal hive.

    As for entrances - originally, I had some problem with robbing in the horizontal hive (suspecting vertical as a robber). As a result, all entrances were reduced to minimal as on the pictures above. I noticed that bees with small entrances were much calmer (make sense) in all hives. So, when robbing faded away, I increase the entrance but not too much - it is ~3" now. Bees are very calm and there are no bees at the porch at night. I did experiment - open entrance to normal and immediately got bees on the porch and they were agitated. I guess, for my situation, this entrance size is optimal.

    How is your bees? Wintered well?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by cerezha; 11-04-2013 at 05:07 AM. Reason: robbing entrance on pictures #184
    Серёжа, Sergey

  7. #187
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    Default Re: end of October-November 2013

    Hmm well those entrances might be OK for winter but next season when you see them getting a bit crowded they'll do better if you open them up some more, small entrances also make them more inclined to swarm. The long hive might be OK how it is, but the tall hive will better handle a bigger front door.

    Yes my own bees doing well although had major swarming problems due to extended dearth after early flow. But very pleased with things over all, selling bees flat out, just done the accounts made record money in October.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  8. #188
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    May 2012
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    Roanoke, VA
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    1,526

    Default Re: end of October-November 2013

    What is the depth of the supers? They look pretty deep, are you having any problems with comb collapse or attachment to the side of the box?

  9. #189
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    Default Re: end of October-November 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Hmm well those entrances might be OK for winter but next season when you see them getting a bit crowded they'll do better if you open them up some more, small entrances also make them more inclined to swarm. The long hive might be OK how it is, but the tall hive will better handle a bigger front door...
    Many thanks for advise - I did not think about swarming. In fact, they did not swarm at all this year. I shall monitor them more carefully. For now, they seems OK - I do not see much traffic jam at the entrance. When I opened up entrances completely - bees actively used only 3-4" length of the entrance. Thus, I revert to smaller entrance.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  10. #190
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    Default Re: end of October-November 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by shannonswyatt View Post
    What is the depth of the supers? They look pretty deep, are you having any problems with comb collapse or attachment to the side of the box?
    Yes, I had a huge problem with collapsing (what a mess)! Problem has been solved by adding thin metal sides to the top bars. The bar on the picture above in fact has sides. It is necessary only for deep-frame format. For mediums, sides are not necessary. As for comb attachments - it depends. In most cases bees obey "bee-space". They attached deep-size honeycomb in horizontal hive when I was using only top-bars. It has perfect sense, because comb was heavy and bees were smarter than me. When I start using sides for deep-format, bees stop attachments - it is so easy to work with long hive! For medium bars - they do attachments rarely. The general rule - completed honey-comb should not stay in the hive for longer than a month. After that, bees could do all kinds of art on the comb. I have a special tool to cut comb from the sides. Usually, if it cut once, they did not attach again (have no idea why).
    Серёжа, Sergey

  11. #191
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    Aug 2013
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    Quezon City, Philippines
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    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; 11-05-2013 at 12:13 AM.

  12. #192
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    Aug 2013
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    Quezon City, Philippines
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    Default Re: Small inspection, July 16, 2013

    Anyone tried having their bees draw comb on a wired foundationless frame? Would the wire help hold the comb on the frame better enough that you could actually harvest the honey on the extractor without it falling off the frame since it's foundationless?

  13. #193
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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

  14. #194
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    Default Re: Small inspection, July 16, 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson View Post
    Anyone tried having their bees draw comb on a wired foundationless frame? ...
    I used to have foundationless frames with wires (leftovers from normal Langs). Since I crush-and-strain, it was difficult to use them. I know that Michael Bush from this forum extracts foundationless frames on the regular basis. I doubt he is using a wire. If comb is attached to all 4 sides of the frame - it is amazingly strong! When foundationless, bees have a tendency to build very thick honeycomb - it may be a problem with centrifugal extraction - uneven thickness of the comb. But look at the pictures above in this thread - many people posted pictures of the wonderful absolutely straight honeycomb!
    Серёжа, Sergey

  15. #195
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    Default Re: Small inspection, July 16, 2013

    thanks for the quick reply, i just started with beekeeping and was thinking of foundationless frames for better varroa mites control, I got very inspired reading your thread when you switched to foundationless
    Did the bees built on the wired frames just as it did on the unwired? I mean did it have any effect as to the comb shape and size?
    From your experiment, how did you encourage bees to build on all sides of the frame or did they just do so as long as the frame is 4 cornered?
    Did they build a lot of drone cells on the brood frame and did it had any effect on your hive? But I read though that you didn't encounter any swarming problems
    Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    I used to have foundationless frames with wires (leftovers from normal Langs). Since I crush-and-strain, it was difficult to use them. I know that Michael Bush from this forum extracts foundationless frames on the regular basis. I doubt he is using a wire. If comb is attached to all 4 sides of the frame - it is amazingly strong! When foundationless, bees have a tendency to build very thick honeycomb - it may be a problem with centrifugal extraction - uneven thickness of the comb. But look at the pictures above in this thread - many people posted pictures of the wonderful absolutely straight honeycomb!

  16. #196
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, July 16, 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    ...... All these true only for honey-part of the hive. The nest part - is a mess!
    Hi Sergey, does it mean using foundationless, your brood frames are always or almost always sitcking to each other or cross combs?

  17. #197
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    Default Re: Small inspection, July 16, 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson View Post
    thanks for the quick reply, i just started with beekeeping and was thinking of foundationless frames for better varroa mites control, I got very inspired reading your thread when you switched to foundationless
    Hi Jackson
    Foundationless is tricky. I do not know how much experience with normal beekeeping you have. For novice, I would suggest to start from typical for your area way of beekeeping and than once your bees established you could evolve into foundationless. My theory is that bees actually learned how to use foundationless frame as a guide. They would learn quicker if you could give them an example what is good (a few frames with foundation or pre-made straight comb). At the beginning, it is always advisable to place foundationless between two straight combs. There is really good web-site by Michael Bush - you could learn a lot from this:
    http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson View Post
    Did the bees built on the wired frames just as it did on the unwired? I mean did it have any effect as to the comb shape and size?
    From your experiment, how did you encourage bees to build on all sides of the frame or did they just do so as long as the frame is 4 cornered?
    I did not notice any problems with wired frames. As for attachments - look on the pictures above posted by the people who uses foundationless frames - you could notice that comb often is not attached to the bottom bar and only partially attached to the sides. This is how bees build naturally. Thus - I figured out that bottom bar is not essential, remove it! Sides - so-so, you could leave them or remove, bees do not care - it is more for your convenience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson View Post
    Did they build a lot of drone cells on the brood frame and did it had any effect on your hive? But I read though that you didn't encounter any swarming problems
    Thank you
    This is really controversial topic. Many believes that bees built comb exclusively for drones on empty foundationless frame(s). It is weird. Yes, first comb they do build on my top bars always has a huge cells, but it is not for drones - it is used for nectar ... than some magic (really) happened - with time, the comb on the same bar is transformed into smaller cells, which is used for honey or brood, not for drones. I was never able to observe this transition - I often see freshly made large cells comb with nectar in it and later the same frame/bar has normal cells. In all my hives drones always occupy just 10-20 cells on the periphery of the brood (sometime honey) frames/bars. Bees did not swarm this year at all. Last year, two hives swarmed once each giving to me two powerful new beehives! As a swarm control measure, I am using "checkerboarding method" developed by WALT WRIGHT Elkton.
    Last edited by cerezha; 11-05-2013 at 10:01 PM.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  18. #198
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, July 16, 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson View Post
    Hi Sergey, does it mean using foundationless, your brood frames are always or almost always sitcking to each other or cross combs?
    Oooo, it was at the beginning of my bee keeping. It was the original box where bees lived wild for 2 years. I tried to fix it but it was too messy and disturbing to the bees - I leave it as it was Later, bees moved upstairs and I just removed empty box with completely black combs. Now, my bees have very ordered headquarters. I think, they really learn how to use top-bars as a guide. Honestly, I do not know what is going on in the bottom box of my vertical hive - it is too invasive to disassemble the entire house just to see a couple of frames. Upper nest box (#3) is well ordered. Horizontal hive: since sides addition to the bars - no problem at all. I just checked entire hive today and it was so easy! I could not do the same to my vertical hive - too disturbing.
    Last edited by cerezha; 11-05-2013 at 07:19 PM.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  19. #199
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    Default it is time to get ready for Californian "winter", November 5th, 2013

    I did full inspection today. It looks like my bees are ready for the "winter" - they compacted the nest and have enough honey storage. Storage was slightly dispersed in the hive(s) - I consolidated honey frames and reduced empty space. Each hive has 2-3 frames of nectar and quite a bit of brood. On the pictures - some random frames from my today's inspection.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Серёжа, Sergey

  20. #200
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    Default My new top-bar design in deep-format

    It looks like bees love these metal sides I added to the top bars for my long hive
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Серёжа, Sergey

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