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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Berwick, Maine, USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: First Hives - Foundation-less from Scratch

    I also started from scratch with foundationless frames and a package. I also used MB's flipped wedge approach. All combs were nice and straight. My only issue was amount of comb. They didn't fill out the frames completely. Most better than 50% in two deep boxes. I think 5 frames were drawn 75% or more. 1 and 10 were nearly blank in the bottom deep. This year I am going to 8 frames and starting with a box of foundation hoping they draw more wax. I'll checkerboard foundationless from there.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: First Hives - Foundation-less from Scratch

    Quote Originally Posted by Beregondo View Post
    Don't just put a foundationless frame in every other slot though.
    Put in one or two at a time so that the brood nest isn't split up the the point that it hinders brood rearing. (Make sure the two frames with the most brood on them stay next to each other until the brood nest is expanded to a few other frames).
    Great advice! Plus, you end up with extra drawn comb to use in a nuc. I put my empty frames in slots 2 or 3, and 8 or 9 in my 10-frame deeps.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,742

    Default Re: First Hives - Foundation-less from Scratch

    1. Don't paint wax on your comb guides...you cannot attach it as well as the bees do, and their comb will be effectively "glued to a layer of paint".

    2. Consider how you will deal with the package queen. If you hang the cage between frames it will affect how they build comb.

    3. Don't spread the brood more than the bees can cover.

    Deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: First Hives - Foundation-less from Scratch

    I'm planning on starting my first two hives come spring as well. Just to see, I have one that is going to be plastic, and the other is going to be foundationless. Will it help if I put two frames of my plastic foundation in the foundationless hive?

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: First Hives - Foundation-less from Scratch

    In my experience, use one or the other. My preference is to use plastic (or wax) and when combs are drawn, add a foundationless frame in between two finished frames. Otherwise, it seems it is just to tempting and the bees will not follow my intentions which are for straight comb not attached to the next frame.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: First Hives - Foundation-less from Scratch

    Is there any difference in technique for those using deep hive bodies? Do I need to wire the frames, or simple invert the wedge and proceed like those using mediums?

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    903

    Default Re: First Hives - Foundation-less from Scratch

    I use deeps and mediums foundationless. I don't treat them any differently. Either one you need to keep from putting the comb horozontal to the ground or it will fall out if it's too new and full of honey or brood. I don't wire either one, but then again I am especially cheap and lazy so a case can be made for wiring or using fishing line. I use NO foundation in any of my hives. You just need to keep an eye on them early on to make sure they are headed in the right direction. After you have some brood combs going and put your empties between there you should have near 0 issues. If you place them between open honey comb then you will have a problem more than likely that they will draw the comb with honey out extra fat instead of using the space for another comb, but I'm guessing that can happen with foundation also.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,178

    Default Re: First Hives - Foundation-less from Scratch

    I put fishing line on some of my foundation last year. the bees ate the line out. and much of it after they had drawn comb. There could be some reasons for this other than just having some foreign object in there comb though. They where slow to get to some of the foundation and it sagged due to heat. the chewing away of the foundation may have been there way of getting comb that was the right depth for them. They did eventually get all their comb sorted out and straight but the fishing line is gone weather I like it or not.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Berwick, Maine, USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: First Hives - Foundation-less from Scratch

    Quote Originally Posted by rweakley View Post
    I use deeps and mediums foundationless. I don't treat them any differently. Either one you need to keep from putting the comb horozontal to the ground or it will fall out if it's too new and full of honey or brood. I don't wire either one, but then again I am especially cheap and lazy so a case can be made for wiring or using fishing line. I use NO foundation in any of my hives. You just need to keep an eye on them early on to make sure they are headed in the right direction. After you have some brood combs going and put your empties between there you should have near 0 issues. If you place them between open honey comb then you will have a problem more than likely that they will draw the comb with honey out extra fat instead of using the space for another comb, but I'm guessing that can happen with foundation also.
    I'm guessing you use mediums for honey? Ever extract a deep that was not wired? I'm in all 8 frame deeps and have been wiring. This year I'm considering only wiring what goes in the third box. But I feel like I'm asking for trouble.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,742

    Default Re: First Hives - Foundation-less from Scratch

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    I put fishing line on some of my foundation last year. the bees ate the line out. and much of it after they had drawn comb. There could be some reasons for this other than just having some foreign object in there comb though. They where slow to get to some of the foundation and it sagged due to heat. the chewing away of the foundation may have been there way of getting comb that was the right depth for them. They did eventually get all their comb sorted out and straight but the fishing line is gone weather I like it or not.
    Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it.

    You have now.learned why the wiring of foundation was done in the first place....not to reinforce comb....but to keep the foundation from sagging as it is drawn.

    Most of our frames are foundationless deeps, united, and we extract.

    The most fun we've ever had with foundationless frames was watching Mike Palmer inspect them....wax swaying this way and that: )
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,178

    Default Re: First Hives - Foundation-less from Scratch

    I woudl start them on as few frames as possible say a package in a 5 frame nuc or even smaller. and then stay on top of there progress as they build those first few frames. if you check often enough you can catch comb that is heading in the wrong direction and correct it. no need to cut it out. You can separate comb form the frames and push it to the location you want it if it is out of place by just a bit. I got my TBH started this way and they are now building 14 nice straight combs. New bars get added between drawn comb from now on which serves as pre guided comb building. works pretty good.

    From what I can tell bees hate that empty space in there comb when you add a new bar or frame and will get very busy about filling it.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Pisgah Forest, NC, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: First Hives - Foundation-less from Scratch

    In my limited experience, if you are going to start with a nuc and go foundationless, make sure the frames in the nuc you start with are nice and straight and more importantly of the same thickness. In the nucs I got last year, combs were not of the same thickness, (normal in the brood area, but very thick around the top corners of the frames where honey was stored.) Needless to say, the bees adjusted accordingly, but I had a devil of a time straightening it all out. It only takes one bad frame to throw all the future drawn comb out of alignment.

    Now for my question: Who has had success running foundationless frames through a honey extractor? Is the process any different?

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: First Hives - Foundation-less from Scratch

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger Cody View Post
    Now for my question: Who has had success running foundationless frames through a honey extractor? Is the process any different?
    I extracted for the first time with both wired foundation and wireless foundationless frames. A mentor said I was headed for disaster. I had one comb barely crack on me in the center, just one, in my junior bench extractor. I simple followed Michael Bush's advice and went nice and slow, slowly picking up speed as the honey spun out. Just for kicks, when I saw that one cracked frame, I put it in two more times and cranked as hard and fast as I could. The thing would NOT blow out.

    As long as the comb has had a chance to harden, it's just as fine as foundation frames has been my happy experience so far.

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