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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Laurens SC
    Posts
    74

    Default Starting some packages with Small Cell and foudationless?

    Dear Beesource Forum,

    We have had a very interesting year with our bees. Last year we started with 4, poor quality NUCs and had some major struggles to get them this far. Even with poor NUCs we ended up with them making it. I can say that we were really blessed to have all the problems we did because I think it will make us better want-a-beekeepers.

    I want to try something different this year.... I hope to catch some swarms and I have also decided to try some bee packages. I have read a bit on small cell and still not sure I have a solid game plan for these new packages and any swarms I may catch. I have read so much, I think I am just a bit overwhelmed.

    ok.. All my stuff is 8 frame and I like to use deeps for hive body and meds for the honey supers.

    I want to setup maybe an 8 frame deep with 4 small cell frames of foundation and 4 frames no foundation. I plan to of course, place them every other frame so that they have a guide and the option to build on the foundation less. Then if I ever get to add honey supers to these hives... Can I just use regular old large, 5.1 (whatever size) foundation in the super? I will use a queen excluder to keep brood out of the supers.

    Can you small cell experts suggest please? Any help is so much appreciate. God bless..

    Our bees..
    http://www.dadschevy.com/bee/
    Last edited by Michael1964; 01-10-2013 at 12:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Starting some packages with Small Cell and foudationless?

    I would use Mann Lake pf100's at first to get the packages or swarms regressed. Bees tend to draw these frames out easily and well. I would not give them a foundationless option until you have had a couple rounds of brood and have plenty of small cells for your queens to lay worker brood in.

    When the bees have drawn out the core of the broodnest then I would offer foundationless frames on the periphery.

    I would choose either all deeps or all mediums so all frames can be interchangeable unless you are treating in which it would be better to have them not intermingle.

    We extract honey from both foundationless and pf 100s with little trouble. If bees have not attached the foundationless comb enough to the frames or if the combs are fresh and tender extracting can be more difficult. But those frames are perfect for cut comb and they will be more tender and delicious for chewing and eating as they will be lacking the foundation mid-rib.

    Good luck with your new bees!

    Ramona

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Starting some packages with Small Cell and foudationless?

    +1 on the PF100

    +1 on using all the same size frame

    If you use a foundationless frame without a guide on each side the bees may mess it up. Aso large bees will build larger cell in the foundationless. If you force them with PF100 the will be small bees first generation, then after they are brooding in the small cell you can use the foundationless frames between the drawn frames.

    If you mix foundationless frames with PF100 they will not touch the plastic till all the foundationless is filled. They will also bridge between the two.

    Feral bees will draw small cell on foundationless frame from the start. But they still should have good comb on each side.

    I use small cell just for the chance it might work on mites. If it does nothing against mite I will still use it because my feral bees are small celled.

    My swarm traps have one brood comb and 4 empty foundationless frames in them. I can tell if the bees are some ones else’s or feral by the size comb they make.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Laurens SC
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Starting some packages with Small Cell and foudationless?

    Thank you... The use of the PF100 is just for because you like the plastic frames and these have small cell plastic foundation? I have been using wood frames in everything so far and just using small cell foundation in the hives I have gotten from a cut-out.

    thank you guys again..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Starting some packages with Small Cell and foudationless?

    Good thread thanks all !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,123

    Default Re: Starting some packages with Small Cell and foudationless?

    I would put all the plastic together and all the foundationless together. Every other frame will work IF (and only if) they are using that box for brood and you keep them tightly together in the center. Brood is a consistent thickness. Honey is not. So once they are building storage for honey and you have every other frame like that they will (depending on their enthusiasm for plastic) either build the plastic until it meets in the middle of the foundationless frame next door, or they will ignor the plastic and build the foundationless out until it's a beespace from the plastic.

    I GREATLY prefer all the same size frames...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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