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  1. #81
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    Oooo, so sad with video, but I understand. I have problems even with photos. If you noticed, there is a gap in postings - just forgot the camera, batteries happened to be dead just "in time" (spare ones as well), bees were too "active" and block the view (literally)... In general, this horizontal hive is full of bees - when I open it, they just "overflow", not because aggressive, but because too many... very difficult to use the camera. Also, full deep frames are very heavy - I could not securely hold them by one hand to take a picture. Thus - most spectacular images from horizontal hive are lost! I completely switched to the top-bars in the horizontal hive - it is quite impressive - huge perfect combs! But, difficult to manipulate because of the weight and no support on the sides and at the bottom. I am thinking to do one step back and provide some sort of support for the comb. There is no way I will return back to the classical frames - I will add support to my existing top-bars.

    I am glad to hear that your bees are doing well. I am looking forward to watch your movie! Sergey
    Серёжа, Sergey

  2. #82
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    if you are not going back to frames, would your support descend from the middle of the top bar?

  3. #83
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    Quote Originally Posted by BayHighlandBees View Post
    if you are not going back to frames, would your support descend from the middle of the top bar?
    Hi BayHighlandBees

    No, I do not think so. My bees normally start a new comb from the center of the bar/frame, so I would imagine that obstacle in the center may discourage them to start the comb. Currently,I am thinking about making actual frame but based on my top bar design. I am thinking about a sheet metal thin strip (or aluminum) running on sides and bottom in the place of the frame. The advantage (to me) would be that it's easy to make and attach to existing top bar with the screw; it is easy to cut the comb for crush-and-strain; it is more elegant than a typical frame. Alternatively, I could add just metal strip sides to the top. I would do it only for full-size deep "frames" and mainly for the nest area. I am perfectly happy with my top-bars in the mediums.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  4. #84

    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season


  5. #85
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    Yes, but instead the rod, I will try to use a strip and no foundation. It is really difficult to invent anything in beekeeping. Many thanks for the references. By the way,the second reference is not interesting, it's just a frame with foundation.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  6. #86

    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    Nay, the second reference has a frame with rod bottom "bar". Check out all the references at the end of the first link.

    The rod frame doesn't need full foundation. It works alright with a beveled topbar or starter strip and with a follower or something.

    Yey, virtually everything in beekeeping has been seen and invented before. In an old German beekeeping book, dating back to the year 1568, the author reports about an observation hive with windows the Romans used and described in books. Also the management of a hive including splits with brood combs, raising queens from cells and all was standard in 1568. Despite using fixed comb in log hives.

    For longer combs one may use half length side bars. (in not ao wide hives.) See Tim Malfroy, Australia:







    See his website:
    http://www.malfroysgold.com.au


    Thanks for sharing your comb pictures! May I show them to others outside beesource? Quite some people are interested in fozndation free here in Germany but don't speak or read English.

    Bernhard

  7. #87
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    Bernhard
    Many thanks for sharing all these beautiful ideas! Based on my "experiments", the bottom bar is not essential. Thus, "bottom rod" probably is not essential as well. I would imagine, it was used more for mechanical stability of the frame, not comb. The side bars (all way or half) may help to prevent the attachment of the comb to the walls. But in my hands, in medium boxes, side attachment is very small and is not an issue (to me). From another hands, right now, we (me and bees) are migrating towards bigger frames (old story, right?!). I really like Tim Malfroy's approach. In fact, I am planning to do something very similar. If you saw my horizontal hive with "super" on top - what I wanted to do is to remove frames under the "super" from the lower part of the hive (horizontal part) and let bees to extend honeycomb from the "super" all way down into the horizontal part. The beauty of my current design is that I could use a different size boxes (supers). Instead two (as now), I could use one, for instance. But, I am not sure I can do it with my current top bars; at least 1/2 sides is needed.

    As for pictures - sure, please, feel free to show them to any bee-enthusiast. Many thanks for visiting this thread and for valuable information! Sergey
    Серёжа, Sergey

  8. #88
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    Jun 2012
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    Winthrop, WA
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    You are inspiring me,...I have two nucs coming and have a 10 frame and 8 frame hive. I am seriously contemplating going the foundationless route in my 8 frame hive..the only thing is that I have 2 deeps and several mediums. I have been corresponding with a guy on the LetMeBee blog who uses deep frames and no wires..anyone else do this? Also I understand that you have to use some kind of guide(popsicle sticks, piece of foundation....)..what have people used here? I so love your pictures. Thanks, Halley

  9. #89

    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season


  10. #90
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    Sergey,
    I'm confused here on what your goal is here. Is there a disadvantage to a foundationless frame that you are trying to solve with a top bar with sides?

  11. #91
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Halley L. Hart View Post
    You are inspiring me,...I have two nucs coming and have a 10 frame and 8 frame hive. I am seriously contemplating going the foundationless route in my 8 frame hive..the only thing is that I have 2 deeps and several mediums. I have been corresponding with a guy on the LetMeBee blog who uses deep frames and no wires..anyone else do this? Also I understand that you have to use some kind of guide(popsicle sticks, piece of foundation....)..what have people used here? I so love your pictures. Thanks, Halley
    Hey Halley, thanks for visiting! There are few deep-size frames without any wires in this thread somewhere above. In fact the picture in post #73 is full deep top bar, not even frame. You need wires, foundation etc. if you plan to extract using centrifugal extractor. If you are using crush-and-strain - you do not need wires. I meant, it is my experience - others could think differently. The first few pictures in #75 are from my nuc, it's 5 "frames" deep. I am using foundationless because I feel that it is more natural and better for my bees. It does not necessary mean that it's easy - foundationless requires little bit more work and probably is not feasible for large-scale production.
    Last edited by cerezha; 03-24-2013 at 02:52 AM. Reason: correct post numbers
    Серёжа, Sergey

  12. #92
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    Quote Originally Posted by BayHighlandBees View Post
    Sergey,
    I'm confused here on what your goal is here. Is there a disadvantage to a foundationless frame that you are trying to solve with a top bar with sides?
    Hi Bay-bees
    I am not happy with Lang's design. In particular, I do not like standard frames - too complicated, many small parts, easy to break, difficult to remove from the box especially if propolized, difficult toclean... Top bars to me have obvious advantages - easy to make, simple, one single part. Since a single part - there is not much to propolize. I am using top bars and truncated frames in Lang medium boxes without any problems - most pictures in this thread are from mediums. BUT! One of my beehive do not want to go vertical so we switched to horizontal... In horizontal beehive, we have deep-size frames... well top-bars. The whole hive was designed for top-bars. Now, I "discovered" that deep-size comb is difficult to manipulate without additional support - I am stepping back in my minimalistic top-bar design - I am adding sides to top bars. I think, Bernhard's idea about 1/2 sides are great - I definitely will try and report here. I am reluctant to return back to classical frames for reasons, I explained above.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  13. #93
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    Yes, AND -no foundation! The only problem - they have brood in all shown frames. Is this common? How they harvest honey, from the side?
    Серёжа, Sergey

  14. #94

    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    ...brood in all shown frames. Is this common?
    Yes. The bigger the comb, the less the division of brood and honey. The reason why I personally don't like huge combs. I don't see an advantage for the bees but lots of disadvantages dor the beekeeper.

    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    ...How they harvest honey, from the side?
    Yes. On the sides. Some do use shallows frames supered, with no foundation. But the honey dome above the brood sometimes prevents honey storing in the supers. Also the broad combs does attract the bees to store honey there, on the sides, so supers are empty and broodnest backfilled.

    What they do is reduce the combs of the broodnest to about seven combs, all other combs go behind a follower board. That creates sort of a "pressure" which makes the bees go up into the supers. Actually this method creates quite a good harvest. The first supering is done ith drawn honey combs, shallows, and all other supers are with empty frames only. This produces the finest quality of honey I know of. No brood has been in those combs. So you taste less bees but the specific nectar. Timing is essential with this method.

    Spring buildup is known to be rapid on big combs.

  15. #95
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    >Yes. The bigger the comb, the less the division of brood and honey. The reason why I personally don't like huge combs. I don't see an advantage for the bees but lots of disadvantages dor the beekeeper.

    I am slowly abandoning the double deep frames that I made. Two mistakes, too wide a brood chamber, 12 frames, no way to extract the frames, will not fit in any extractor. Too much honey is unobtainable in the brood chamber. I moved six of these frames to double stacked boxes with 9 1/8" frames on the sides. I might try some of them foundationless so that I can crush and strain them. But clearly the very deep frames prevent the honey from being pushed up into the honey supers. Lucky for me, I suffer die off problems so I can re-tool every winter.


  16. #96
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    Has anyone tried foundationless in the deeps and frames in the mediums? Just curious.
    Last edited by Halley L. Hart; 03-24-2013 at 09:57 AM.

  17. #97
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    Sergey or anyone who would like to answer,
    I am going to use standard deep frames in the deeps..taking out the plastic foundation. So if I put popsicle sticks/foundation strips across the top do I have to put them all the way across? Thanks, Halley

  18. #98
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    >...I am slowly abandoning the double deep frames that I made. Two mistakes, too wide a brood chamber, 12 frames, no way to extract the frames, will not fit in any extractor. Too much honey is unobtainable in the brood chamber. I moved six of these frames to double stacked boxes with 9 1/8" frames on the sides. I might try some of them foundationless so that I can crush and strain them. But clearly the very deep frames prevent the honey from being pushed up into the honey supers. Lucky for me, I suffer die off problems so I can re-tool every winter.

    ....
    Gorgeous pictures! Many thanks for sharing OdFrank! I guess, the conclusion would be that biggest manageable frames are about deep-size. There is no advantage to make frames bigger. All agree?
    Серёжа, Sergey

  19. #99
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    Quote Originally Posted by Halley L. Hart View Post
    Sergey or anyone who would like to answer,
    I am going to use standard deep frames in the deeps..taking out the plastic foundation. So if I put popsicle sticks/foundation strips across the top do I have to put them all the way across? Thanks, Halley
    Halley, in my experience it does not matter what kind of guide you provide to the bees. It might be popsicle sticks, or just 90o rotated wedge, or waxed rope or just wax strip. )n the new frames, I personally do the latest - I just filled the groove (from foundation) with melted wax, so it creates sort of "strip". It is not better, but easier to me. If you do the "guide", it should be from side-to-side, but not exactly -mine usually ended 1" from the ends of the frame. When cut comb out of the frame - leave a small strip of comb on top bar to give bees an idea. When started, it is always beneficial to put empty frame between straight comb in the hive. If start fresh - give them at least one frame with straight comb and surround it with foundationless frames - check periodicallyand if necessary correct the direction of the comb.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  20. #100
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    Default Re: Foundationless and (some) frameless honey in Santa Monica, 2013 season

    >I guess, the conclusion would be that biggest manageable frames are about deep-size.

    I use a lot of 11 1/4" frames. After 42 years just starting to test 8 frame hives with all medium supers. In my climate a double deep traps too much honey and has to be cleaned out in early spring, same goes for the 11 1/4" frames.

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