Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 31
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Vernonia Or
    Posts
    87

    Default Small cell foundation / bees

    This is our first year – we’ll be installing 2 packages in a week or two (might add a third), and are using all 8 frame deep boxes. Although we have wax foundation we have that needs to be installed in frames soon, it’s “standard” 5.4mm cell. I’ve heard a lot of the yeas and nays but I think I’d rather start with natural "small" cell from the get go. Can I start with 4.9mm cell foundation or should I use 5.1 which I'd be stuck with for some time? If/when I need new packages in the future am I compromising the packages with small cell comb? In the unlikely event we provided small cell bees to anyone with standard 5.4mm cell combs, what are the problems with that? Thanks for any help.

    Joel T

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Freeland, MI, USA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    I bought the fully drawn out small cell "Honey Super Cell" frames. So, yes, you can start with 4.9 on a new package. They aren't exactly cheap though.

    I don't think there are any issues moving bees raised on small cell up to larger cells. I'm thinking that is what they did the first time they created foundation of that size =)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    You can start them on the HSC, but some queens will not lay in them at all.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Freeland, MI, USA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    I had heard that might happen too. Not sure if it made any difference but I took a utility knife and trimmed up a lot of the plastic "tags" hanging off the cells and I also melted down some beeswax and brushed it onto the frames. My packages didn't seem to have any trouble with them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,691

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    Mann Lake, small cell foundation available or their pf series.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Big Stone Gap, VA
    Posts
    914

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    This will be a bit off topic, but why not start foundationless?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    Packages or colonies shaken on to 4.9 get with the program pretty fast. Some colonies make a mess no matter what foundation you put them on, so it is not neccessarily the foundation causing the problem. Going the other way is not a problem. IMHO starting out foundationless is a disaster about half the time for new beekeepers. If you start out foundationless, you have to be in there straightening comb often and know how to straighten that comb. It is easy to get good foundationless combs after you can put the frames between two capped frames of brood.

    No matter how you draw frames of comb, it is best to keep them tight together with any left over space at the outsides. Less burr comb and bridgecomb that way in my experience

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,691

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    Foundationless does not mean small cell either.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    Yes foundationless cells are of different sizes. Usually in the middle between 4.9 and 5.4 If the bees are regressed on 4.9 the foundationless comb tends to be drawn smaller, at least in my boxes. That is after they build several frames of pure drone comb so they can fill the pent up demand.
    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Foundationless does not mean small cell either.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    237

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    Foundationless does not always turn into a mess. I started with mostly foundationless. I gave my original two packages a few frames of foundation, once they were drawn, I kept putting foundationless between the drawn foundation. I'm using all mediums, so that probably helped keep straighter comb as they were not working on deeps. I did have one here and there that they started from each end and overlaped crooked in the middle, but that was few and far between. I expanded to 4 full hives, and probably don't have more than 20 sheets of foundation used. I'm sure there are plenty of examples the other way, but my experience has been good.

    Key is to level the hives side to side. Introduce new frames between drawn brood frames, or capped honey frames.

    I also extracted full speed with a Maxant 3100P electric extractor and did not have any blow outs. It can work, but you do probably need to look in on them more.

    Good luck.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,691

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    Thanks Vance, I just wanted to point that out, some people assume foundationless automatically = small cell bees but it does not.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,366

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Mann Lake, small cell foundation available or their pf series.
    Amen, and than you can put foundationless frames between them if you wish. (I did and most of the foundationless frames are good.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    Quote Originally Posted by tsmullins View Post
    This will be a bit off topic, but why not start foundationless?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Vernonia Or
    Posts
    87

    Big Grin Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    Quote Originally Posted by tsmullins View Post
    This will be a bit off topic, but why not start foundationless?
    Quote Originally Posted by tommysnare View Post
    Well, I'm chicken for starters

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    I started my packages completly foundationless and got completly lucky. No cross combs but a few were fatter up towards the top where they store honey which made the ones next to them blank in that area. They drew them out mostly 5.1, this spring I put PF 100 foundation in and around the brood nest and they drew it out no problems at all.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,541

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    Without a doubt, the pf100 series plastic frames are the way to go.
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,691

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    As much as I dislike plastic (haven't found a hive that likes it...) I do think the frames are easier to work with.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,366

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    As much as I dislike plastic (haven't found a hive that likes it...) I do think the frames are easier to work with.
    If that is all you give them they draw it out pretty well. Without drawn comb I have them draw all the plastic I want in the hive and than add the foundationless frames. I would love to have plastic sc foundation in a wood frame, but am to lazy to cut down the pf frames.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Vernonia Or
    Posts
    87

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    Thanks for the responses. I already have 50 wood frames wired so will load them with SC wax - 4.9 I guess. I have another 50 built, not wired and since Checkerboarding interests me, I may use them in that way to mess with foundationless as things progress. I'm a little leary of moving too far to one side or the other of "mainstream", whatever that is, until I have some hands on experience. I just don't want to create methods that are hard to change from - like the small cell or standard cell thing.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,379

    Default Re: Small cell foundation / bees

    >Can I start with 4.9mm cell foundation

    Yes.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnatural...m#HowToRegress

    I have had excellent luck with the PF100 series (PF100 is deep, PF120 is medium). They draw it quickly and correctly. You can use wax if you find the plastic offensive, but it's hard to beat the results of the PF100 series...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads