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  1. #121
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    My bees need more space. The horizontal hive got another deep box - yes, oldtimer, they DO expand vertically when they wanted and have a chance! Horizontal part of the hive, which is not under the top boxes contains nectar and honey with some 1/2 done combs. The part, which was under the top box and top box itself were all brood! Now they got another deep box on top of the first one. These two deep boxes were checker-boarded with my new-design top bars (with the sides). Bees behaved extremely well, no head bumps at all! Another vertical hive just got another box with checker-boarding again. These girls were quite protective, which is great - it was a weak hive for while and now they feel more confident! I am posting some pictures of the frames from the deep horizontal hive. Mediums-vertical - beautiful comb, but we have already million of similar pictures above.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by cerezha; 04-07-2013 at 12:00 AM.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  2. #122
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    Hey Sergey,

    my bees in the long hive seem to be doing well. They've drawn out several frames, and seem to be raising a lot of brood. I'm waiting for a package of small cell bees to get here for the second hive.

    twohives.jpg

    newcomb2013apr7.jpg

    freshcomb.jpg

    I have to say that beekeepers who use foundation are missing out on a great pleasure. It's truly fascinating to see the bees doing exactly what bees do.

  3. #123
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    ... I have to say that beekeepers who use foundation are missing out on a great pleasure. It's truly fascinating to see the bees doing exactly what bees do.
    Look at this! Absolutely beautiful comb and frames! I absolutely agree that foundationless is so fascinating! It is such pleasure to see literally a "stick" with beautiful full-size comb full of bees attached! Every time I do it - I feel, I am very proud of my bees!
    Well, as always with my bees, the horizontal hive is not horizontal anymore... I was tried "scientifically" split my horizontal hive into deep box sitting on top of the horizontal hive... Idea was that these two were separated by double-screen... it was suggested that it's easiest and gentle way of splitting... it did not work at all. I do not know what was happening, but first time ever I saw dead bees at the entrance... so I removed the double-screen and top box become the part of the "house". Girls very enthusiastically filled top box with nectar. I was waiting, when they capped it to remove the box and restore "horizontality"... well - last time I open the hive - they moved nest into this box. I do not know what they did with nectar, but top box now contains brood squeezed between honey - thus, the brood pattern is not such nice as yours - I am jealous! As I posted above, I checker-board top box and now I have two deeps horizontally and two deeps vertically!

    I really like your horizontal hives!

    Sergey
    Серёжа, Sergey

  4. #124
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    Thanks, Sergey

    Bees are almost as complicated as beekeepers, aren't they?

    I really think the long hives are a good idea for beginners like me. It's so simple to work them, since the top boards under the tin roofing are in 8-frame-sized sections, so you never have to open the whole hive to get at one frame. There's always a place to lay your hive tool and smoker. Little danger of rolling the queen, because until the box fills up completely, you can just slide frames down a ways and get plenty of room around the frame you want to pull. It may be my imagination, but I think they're calmer as well-- at least they seem calmer than they did in the yard the nuc came from. No one has offered to sting me yet, though to be fair, I haven't given them much opportunity-- I suit up like a spaceman every time. My wife, who took these snapshots, isn't suited up when I open the hive, and hasn't been bothered at all. Up on legs as these are, there's no bending over to speak of, which makes it easier to be slow and graceful with your movements, so you are less likely to annoy the bees.

    I have to admit, before I got my first bees, I was fascinated with them in theory, but now I'm completely smitten. It's relaxing to just sit and watch them at their work, in the same way that watching a tank of tropical fish is relaxing... but better. You don't get honey from fish.

  5. #125
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    Well, as always with my bees, the horizontal hive is not horizontal anymore... I was tried "scientifically" split my horizontal hive into deep box ........top box become the part of the "house". Girls very enthusiastically filled top box with nectar. I was waiting, when they capped it to remove the box and restore "horizontality"... well - last time I open the hive - they moved nest into this box.
    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Thanks, Sergey
    Bees are almost as complicated as beekeepers, aren't they?.
    I don't think this is very complicated. Bees prefer moving the nest etc vertically, rather than sideways. Cereza is gaining experience, and the bees are teaching him how they like to do things.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  6. #126
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    Another brood pic from long hive:

    nicebrood.jpg

    The new hive has bees now, and they're building comb pretty fast:

    combbuilding.jpg

    I really like my long hives. I think they may make for calmer bees. The second hive, which is completely unrelated to the first, is just as sweet. I installed the package in a 6 frame space, with a bit of comb from the first hive to give the new bees an encouraging start. There were lots of eggs in the new comb just 4 days after installation.

  7. #127
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I don't think this is very complicated. Bees prefer moving the nest etc vertically, rather than sideways. Cereza is gaining experience, and the bees are teaching him how they like to do things.
    Hi Oldtimer. Many thanks for our post. Yes, I am learning from my bees all time. Interestingly, this particular hive originally refused to expand vertically and this is why I build for them the horizontal hive. When I tried to split the colony, I placed a deep box with double-screen at the bottom on top of horizontal hive... split did not work at all and eventually, I just removed the double-screen. So, essentially, bees were forced to use the box on top of their horizontal hive... At this point, they just remembered oldtimer's advise to expand vertically. So, they did! I personally,have no problem with ether horizontal or vertical expansion as long as my bees are happy.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  8. #128
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    Another brood pic from long hive... I think they may make for calmer bees. ...
    Beautiful pictures! I absolutely agree that horizontal design when all frames available is much less invasive and thus - bees are less agitated. Interesting observation- since my bees are expanding vertically now in my horizontal beehive - they are actually more protective/aggressive.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  9. #129
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    Interestingly, this particular hive originally refused to expand vertically and this is why I build for them the horizontal hive.
    I think when you told me about that a while back, the mistake was adding a foundationless box on top without enough comb built in it. So you would not expect the bees to move into it as they would have to start comb building at the top of the box away from the cluster, something they would only do if really forced.

    You haven't said, but I would assume that when you did your "scientific split", you put combs in the box as part of the split. So, when the split failed and you removed the screen, the bees had a bridge of comb available to move onto and work their way to the top of the box, and then start building more combs. That is exactly how to get bees to move into a foundationless box and why it worked so well for you this time.

    When what bees do seems complicated, it really isn't. It's more if we think they will do something but they do something different. Then, it's complicated for us. But to them, it makes sense.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  10. #130
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    Welll
    Yes and no. I did try many things with that hive- yes, I put an empty box on top, than at the bottom (poor bees),than back on top and put a few deep-size drawn frames in to create the bridge... did not help at all!!! Than,as soon as I moved them in the horizontal hive - they filled up 20 deep "frames" (TBs) within few weeks! The reason I decided to split, because they rich the capacity of the long hive in few weeks and needed more space. Split was pathetic: I chekerboard the broodnest into another deep, which was placed on top with double-screen. After few days, I noticed dead bees - first time ever. Top deep was empty of bees... I removed the double-screen and it become the part of original hive. Few weeks later, I did an inspection and top deep was full of uncapped honey (nectar?) I decided to wait and when it capped - remove it and restore the normal configuration of the hive - horizontal. .. Two weeks later, I discovered the brood in the top box and honey. I could not remove the honey because of brood... I do not use queen-excluder. I just chekerboard the top one - now 2 deeps on the top. As a result, I have two-deep tall and two deep-long beehive in L shape (total 4 deeps!) I am sure, it is very special! Bees are not very happy with this... I am looking for the opportunity to shrink this monster. On top of this - all "frames" are actually top bars - it is scary to move these humongous frames attached only to the top! So far no one broke and all of them perfectly straight, but I want to add some support to the sides of the bars. Since it is hobby - I have a lot of fun with my girls. I am not sure if they agree on this - they are deadly serious and all about business!
    Серёжа, Sergey

  11. #131
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    Sounds like it's going well, and exactly shows the advantage of being able to add supers.

    Shrinking it at this time of year? Be better to add some more supers. Especially as you describe them fitting nectar in among the brood cells, a sign the bees may be thinking about swarming, if you do not add some more room they may shrink themselves for you.
    Last edited by Oldtimer; 04-15-2013 at 12:50 AM.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  12. #132
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    I checkerboard them just 2 (?) weeks ago - hopefully they will not swarm now... I am going to check them this week weather permitted (last 2 days were very gloomy). Adding another super scares me - I had last season 6-meds tall monster and I had a nightmares what if earthquake happened... we are expecting a big earthquake ...sometime...
    As for flexibility to add supers to the horizontal beehive - yes, I agree that this was good idea. I incorporated this possibility when made the long hive. It is really a lot of fun to keep bees, made own equipment... eat honey
    Серёжа, Sergey

  13. #133
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    Well checkerboarding a split is probably the wrong thing and could have contributed to it failing, best if making a split to keep everything together. However when you pulled the divider it would have been just right for the bees to move into the super.

    However just that you checkerboarded that box does not mean they will not swarm, going by what you describe.

    Don't worry about the hive being 6 mediums tall, that's only the equivalent of around 4 deeps, not a big hive, my honey producing hives go 5 to 6 deeps tall, no worries, even in an earthquake. There has been beekeepers in my country having hives knocked over in an earthquake but it has to be a big one that can also demolish buildings. None of mine have ever been knocked over in an earthquake.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  14. #134
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Well checkerboarding a split is probably the wrong thing and could have contributed to it failing, best if making a split to keep everything together. ..
    Yes, I agree, it was mistake.
    As for earthquake - my bees are on the narrow terrace and could easily flip over... I really have nightmares how all boxes with bees roll down to the street and cloud of angry bees... very visual. 5-6 deeps - WOW!!!! Than, I need to make more hardware - I am running out of deeps. How big earthquakes you have? We suppose to have 7 or 9 (forgot) within 30-years time-frame.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  15. #135
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    You can't restrict your hive just incase there's a monster earthquake, live like that you'll never do anything!

    How big earthquakes we have? We have everything from small to big, last extra big one was couple years ago, really tore the ground up and killed (from memory) roughly 200 people (should be able to google Christchurch earthquake)

    Yes my honey making hives go 5 or 6 deeps high, earthquakes or not. A Beesource member from Canada just came over & helped me harvest around 2 months ago the hives were choca, really heavy, I'm getting older & very much appreciated the help.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  16. #136
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    Is any particular reason, you prefer deeps for supers? It looks like, there in US commercial people use mostly mediums. It is really sweet that beesource member helped you to collect the honey-crop. You are heading into the winter now, right? Beekeepers are really nice people (if not talking about neonics ) I wish to have an opportunity to work bees with real expert - unfortunately, it is unlikely until I've retired. At that time, I probably will made all my mistakes and mentor would not be necessary... but who knows... I wish your bees sleep well in winter and wake up in spring full of energy!
    Серёжа, Sergey

  17. #137
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by cerezha View Post
    Is any particular reason, you prefer deeps for supers?
    Just economy, plus less work/handling. And, it's easier on the bees than having small combs with lots of breaks in the hive.

    I would be surprised if most US commercials used mediums.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  18. #138
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    ... it's easier on the bees than having small combs with lots of breaks in the hive.
    Make sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    I would be surprised if most US commercials used mediums.
    I do not know... I saw beehives in commercial apiary when they did bee-classes. They used one deep for brood and the rest was mediums. But, who knows, may be it was migratory setup? It was relatively small commercial operation (500 hives?). Also, it was SoCal.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  19. #139
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless bees in Santa Monica, April 6, 2013

    Ha Ha well one apiary does not mean most commercial hives LOL.

    There is a commercial guy in my country uses mediums, but he's small, and one of those guys who likes to do everything different.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  20. #140
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    Default Re: Foundationless and frameless in Santa Monica, April 16, 2013

    Did some inspection today. There are few pictures from the vertical hive. I did not dig into horizontal - they have plenty of space. Vertical got another box, they are booming.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Серёжа, Sergey

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