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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Rockford, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Starting a package foundationless.

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    Hi,
    I'm a new beekeeper that has been lurking and absorbing all of the relevant info I can. I decided to start two hives (one Italians, one Carniolans) with medium supers and nine frames (shaved them down to fit in the 8 frame super per M. Bush's recommendations).

    I also decided to go foundationless. I had a little trepidation as it seemed unusual dumping the packages into an empty box with just frames. However I went for it - including releasing the queens directly (no candy plug option on the supplied cages - so the decision was easy). I opened the end of the queen cage, put my finger over the opening and set it on the bottom of the hive, released and then replaced the frames above.
    I don't believe the queens have flown away (I did retrieve the cages three days later). After two weeks the frames are largely filled with comb, honey, pollen, and I believe brood (I haven't pulled out every frame for inspection).

    When I was considering all this, I was eager for any information about starting packages foundationless and didn't find too much. So if anyone else is considering doing the same - so far it's worked well for me.

    Bill in Rockford, MI

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    412

    Default Re: Starting a package foundationless.

    Glad your having a good time with it. I would straighten out the comb in the second photo while its still soft. I have learned the hard way that the longer you let them go a little crooked the worse it gets. As Michael Bush says, one good comb leads to another.

    Best of luck,
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Rockford, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Starting a package foundationless.

    Quote Originally Posted by zhiv9 View Post
    Glad your having a good time with it. I would straighten out the comb in the second photo while its still soft. I have learned the hard way that the longer you let them go a little crooked the worse it gets. As Michael Bush says, one good comb leads to another.

    Best of luck,
    Thanks Adam.
    I was a little torn about straightening the comb. It is still malleable enough for me to shape - but when I press the one side in to straighten - the opposing side then also protrudes too much. It seems like I have to crush both sides for better alignment (across all of the frames - since the wave carries through the super). My rationalization for leaving it was this is the brood box - I don't plan on extracting honey from here - does it need to be straight? I can still pull the frames - it would just be more difficult to swap out a different frame.

    Wishful thinking?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    891

    Default Re: Starting a package foundationless.

    I would recommend doing what you can to get it straightened out early on. Even though it's in the brood nest you still want those combs as near to centered on the frame as you can get them. Take a look at my video on youtube about foundationless frames you might see a thing or 2 that might help (link to my channel in my signature). As you get a little further along and the bees start having capped brood that looks as though it's about to emerge, that's where I would put another foundationless frame (between 2 frames of capped brood). Feel free to PM with any questions or thru this thread I've been foundationless for 9 years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Rockford, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Starting a package foundationless.

    Quote Originally Posted by rweakley View Post
    I would recommend doing what you can to get it straightened out early on. Even though it's in the brood nest you still want those combs as near to centered on the frame as you can get them. Take a look at my video on youtube about foundationless frames you might see a thing or 2 that might help (link to my channel in my signature). As you get a little further along and the bees start having capped brood that looks as though it's about to emerge, that's where I would put another foundationless frame (between 2 frames of capped brood). Feel free to PM with any questions or thru this thread I've been foundationless for 9 years.
    Thanks for the advice. I'll take a look at your videos.

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