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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    656

    Default My experiment with foundationless

    Last Saturday, I decided to test the claim that bees will draw out foundationless frames faster than foundation frames. I really didn't know what I was doing, so I just heated some wax and painted two coats on the top bar of two plain old medium frames.

    Here are the four day results:

    file-11.jpg

    file-13.jpg

    Both of these are of the same frame. The other frame is being drawn out very nicely as well...not quite like this, but still strong.

    These bees were a swarm I got from a town over. They were hived 2 weeks ago and are beasts.

    Even caught a glimpse of her majesty:

    file-12.jpg

    I added another medium above them. In that I placed 5 foundationless frames with triangular strips for guides. Also, staggered between these I put 5 frames with foundation.

    They also have a deep box on the bottom. They don't like it as much as the medium. I might remove it soon. I'm switching to all mediums anyway.
    Try it. What could happen?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    St. Clair County, MI
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    It sure is incredible. Thanks for the pics. I am going to give this a try, after I get some experience under my belt. I purchased frames with the rite-cell foundation from mannlake. I'm going to see how that goes, but am really liking the idea of comb honey and allowing the bees to go more natural. I just don't think I want to take on all of the wiring that seemed to be par for the course. But what you have here is wireless, right? No wires, no pins? Sorry, still learning

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,288

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    In one of the pics it appears there is fishing line in an X pattern through the frame. I use fishing line with foundationless to provide extra support. It's not necessary, but helps if the comb is not attached well on the sides and bottom.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmombo View Post
    No wires, no pins?
    To everything there is a season....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    St. Clair County, MI
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    @Acebird, I have gone with all mediums. Definitely going to give this a try!
    @Mike Gillmore, the fishing line does sound helpful... but I am, admittedly, just too darn lazy for the extra step! I suppose that the biggest risk comes into play during the dog days of summer when the wax is most soft.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,288

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    Yes, in the heat of the summer you should use caution when handling the frames. If the comb is not attached well on the sides and bottom, and the summer heat has the wax softened up, don't hold the frame parallel to the ground when inspecting or the whole comb could break off and fall right out of the frame. I learned this the hard way. The frame must be held perpendicular to the ground at all times.
    To everything there is a season....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,432

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    Which is why people use wire.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,191

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    I've really enjoyed my foundationless hives so far. Of course, I've been lucky and my bees have drawn beautiful comb.

    I have long hives that are a bit more than the volume of 3 deeps. A nuc I installed a little over a month ago has expanded to 14 frames, though all aren't completely filled out yet.

    This frame was empty a couple weeks before this picture was taken:

    nicebrood.jpg

    Here's some comb several days old:

    newcombmar29hive1.jpg

    You can see the monolfilament fishing line I ran through the middle holes of the deep frame.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pickens County, South Carolina, US
    Posts
    828

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    Awesome! I have to try this!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,419

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    jmombo, if you go to mediums you don't have to wire them.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Delevan, NY USA
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    excellent i am definetly trying it this yr

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