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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Denton, NC USA
    Posts
    94

    Default Installing a package of bees using drawn foundation

    I have a two part question: 1) I have drawn foundation on deep frames as well as a limited supply of frames of pollen and honey/sugar water that are drawn and capped from a have that failed to survive the winter. All frames have been frozen for several days. I am using 8 frame deeps for the brood box and was wondering how you would arrange the frames when installing a package? 2) or would it be better to use new, undrawn foundation? Thanks for any comments or experience(s) with this issue.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
    Posts
    460

    Default Re: Installing a package of bees using drawn foundation

    I would be tempted to checkerboard (alternate un-drawn foundation/frames with the ones you have frozen). If your frozen ones have empty cells I would put the ones with more empty cells in the middle and the honey full ones on the outside. Make sure that the frozen ones are at room temperature and not still cold when you install.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,544

    Default Re: Installing a package of bees using drawn foundation

    I like to install a package with one frame of honey and one drawn comb in the center of the deep with foundation filling out the rest of the box and after they got going good I rotate some of the foundation in "NOT" breaking the cluster untill the hive is strong.
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,764

    Default Re: Installing a package of bees using drawn foundation

    I just installed 10 packages on mostly drawn comb. Here is how I did it. Each package got at least 3-4 drawn frames. I put them all in the middle. I don't like to mix the frames undrawn with drawn because I have had problems with the bees just making the drawn out frame fatter over into the space of the undrawn frame. Once they start on the foundation everything is fine. So by putting all the drawn frames together I only have to worry about that on two frames instead of several.

    If I was you I would try and split the frames up as evenly as you can for each hive honey pollen and such. Put them in the middle of the hive body and just let the bees move it around as they see fit. They will use up a lot of that honey building up and drawing new comb. I don't think there is a wrong way to do it. By using the drawn comb you will give them a head start either way. I would still feed them just as you would any other new package and you should be fine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,582

    Default Re: Installing a package of bees using drawn foundation

    Wherever you put the empty drawn comb, the queen will lay in that first, so empty comb should go in the center -- I had my first hive "chimney" up only one side of the deep because I didn't know that and put an old drawn brood comb off center. Took forever to get them to use the other side of the boxes.

    Bees love old brood comb. Put the stores on the outside and the comb with the most empty cells in the center, the blacker the better. You can leave empty foundation to the outside if you don't have all drawn comb in each initial deep, just rotate it in as they draw and fill the outer frames with honey/syrup and pollen.

    With drawn comb your hives should expand very rapidly as they will not have to draw comb to raise brood, the queen can lay a whole comb to start with as mine did last year. Quite a nice surprise to pull that frame a couple weeks in and have the entire frame capped brood!

    Peter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    4,315

    Default Re: Installing a package of bees using drawn foundation

    I have known commercial beeks who start large numbers of packages every spring and Everyone of them that I know of always figures that a frame of honey and pollen will turn into a frame of bees and a crop that summer. If you have the assets to give them a fully stocked broodnest with a couple frames with empty cells for the queen to start laying in, the bees have a really great chance of succeeding and producing a crop. Why would you make them draw foundation until they have a brood cyle or two to build up? Be sure to let that frozen frame reach room temperature before shaking bees onto it. Life doesn't need to be so difficult!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,158

    Default Re: Installing a package of bees using drawn foundation

    I'm in the same position. How about giving them mostly empty brood comb plus a frame of fresh pollen - for max egg space - and then feeding them like usual? I don't really need new comb, but getting my april 1 packages to build up as fast as possible, and with a little luck they might make enough honey to pay for theirselves. Sure would be nice anyway.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

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