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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    713

    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
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pickens County, South Carolina, US
    Posts
    823

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    Awesome! I have to try this!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,038

    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

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

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    excellent i am definetly trying it this yr

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,380

    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....

  7. #7
    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,380

    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....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,728

    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).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,251

    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.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    In one of the pics it appears there is fishing line in an X pattern through the frame.
    Quite a set of eyes you have, Mike. Yes, this frame is wired. Like I said, I really don't have any experience with this and don't know what to expect as far as extraction goes. My extractor has a heavy screen that the frames press up against when it's spinning. I'm hoping that will prevent blowout, I dunno. The other foundationless frames in this box are not wired. I'll just have to experiment to see.

    Acebird, you say you don't need wire for mediums. Do you mean that they will hold up during extraction or just inspection?
    Try it. What could happen?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,728

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    I don't think you have seen Acebirds famous extractor LOL!

    I'm sure he must just mean inspection. And even that would have to be careful.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    Hmm, ok then. Guess I'll have to break out the fishing line from here on.
    Try it. What could happen?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    877

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    I've posted this before, but sounds like many reading this thread are going to be new to foundationless and might benefit from information on my video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38SPvuWvVkc

    Foundationless works you just have to follow the rules.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,251

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    Quote Originally Posted by JStinson View Post
    Acebird, you say you don't need wire for mediums. Do you mean that they will hold up during extraction or just inspection?
    Michael Bush has a very good page on foundationless frames:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm

    He says you can extract them, as long as the comb isn't brand new and is attached on all 4 sides.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Grass Valley, California, USA
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    I was going to say what is posted above. Mr Bush's web site states a lot about foundationless comb... the good, bad and ugly. I say ugly because somtimes your bees suck at building comb w/o foundation help.
    By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    havana fl
    Posts
    1,352

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    You can extract mediums with no cross bracing BUT ya have to spin VERY slowly and ya will get some blowouts and if there not trashed ya can reposition the comb and the bees will fix the rest.
    Im really not that serious

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,728

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    Which is why people use wire LOL

    Except for the time it takes during assembly, just wondering if there is one good reason to NOT use wire?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,245

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    I find wires to be a major PITA in the extracting room and are like so many needles when trying to get them out of broken combs.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ka'u Hawaii
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: My experiment with foundationless

    Except for the time it takes during assembly, just wondering if there is one good reason to NOT use wire?[/QUOTE]

    Well, in the past I wired thousands of frames. This was a task task that I never enjoyed.

    So I have tried not wiring and no foundation for the last 3 years. It sure is a lot easier prep; however, I've found that the bees raise huge numbers of drones in foundationless frames. Also I need to keep working the new frames in between combs already built to prevent them from 'doing their own thing', shall we say.

    For me the more frequent inspections weren't too bad due to the fact that I have also been doing battle against mites AND the d@$!##d hive beetles.

    FWIW, I think the index fingers have gotten bigger as I have often used them to smash the beetles that I have encountered on the top bars and hive cover.

    Also, many combs get destroyed when I extract. Often the combs just fall out of the frames when turned sideways. The honey is there and needs to be harvested; however, many of them are not attached at the sides and bottom and therein lies the problem with extracting foundationless combs.

    I have also leanred that honey squeezed from the combs is superior in quality to extracted honey. I am quite sure that this is the case.

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