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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: New beek wanting to go foundationless...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Franklin View Post
    When you go foundationless,,do you put a starter peice of foundation on the top of the bar, or do you just put in empty frames??
    we do the melted wax down the top bar method. that works awesome i must say. the only NON foundationless frames in all of our hives is the 5 that we got when we bought nucs. we are dead set on foundationless. and the bees are starting to be tiny plump girls. the feral colonies we have been blessed with this year are the best. i do have to admit that our top bar hives bees draw much faster than our lang bees. im working on a system to have them draw our frames then add them to our langs .

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: New beek wanting to go foundationless...

    Quote Originally Posted by Harley Craig View Post
    Not sure about ditching the deep I started off all med so I have no experience with that sorry when all else fails there is always chop and crop but I'm sure there is a better way somebody with more experience will surely come along and help you

    i would recommend phasing them out. it takes time but its less stress on the girls and if ur not planning on moving them take it slow. its not like u need to be in a hurry.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: New beek wanting to go foundationless...

    Quote Originally Posted by huskyseehuskydo View Post
    Yeah, I'm really kicking myself for not listening to my gut and just starting out with mediums. That had been my original plan, but being new to all of this, I listened to all of the beekeepers around here tell me that my broods needed to be deeps, so I quickly ordered some before my bees came home.

    I had my mediums all ready to go with every other frame having foundation and the foundationless in between with a guide glued in. I posted here just to see if there was a better way to get started with foundationless. Will they naturally fill in the foundationless space first? I'm hoping that they'll start there and I can move frames around accordingly and be able to take the foundation frames out without too much waste involved.


    uhhhh the major thing u need to worry about is splitting up the brood chamber too much. reust me i found out how bad it is this year. just search for my thread entitled "never checkerboarding again" . it really slowed them down for weeks and they are just starting to build population now.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Benedict, Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: New beek wanting to go foundationless...

    Hmmm... Since this is my first year, I just don't have any drawn comb to put the foundationless frames between. I haven't even added another box to the first deep brood box yet. Its time now, but I wanted to get an idea of what others would do before I added the medium on top of the deep brood box. I gotta say, I'm more confused than ever now...

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: New beek wanting to go foundationless...

    Quote Originally Posted by huskyseehuskydo View Post
    Okay, that's good to know. Hmm... I ordered Rite Cell, maybe that's not what I received. Like I said, I'm a complete beginner. All I know, is that the natural comb they drew is bigger than the foundation I'm giving them.

    So, down to brass tacks, because I don't necessarily like to talk something to death. I like to make decisions and go with them.

    With the info I've given you. Would you just continue on with the equipment I have and NOT go foundationless at this stage? With me being a beginner, I don't want to throw all sorts of variables into this and make it harder than it is, but I do want to go as natural as possible. Being mostly treatment free and having healthy bees is more important to me than than going foundationless at this stage. I had originally thought that the two went hand in hand, but now after talking with you fine folks, I'm realizing that's not always the case.

    my 2 cents with only 2 1/2-3 years of beekeeping is :
    -we run one deep on the bottom. and run mediums the rest of the way up.
    we pretty much have plenty of brood for any occasion whenever we need it.
    -foundationless. of course saves alot of money in work. no wiring,no worries of the chems in the foundation,no pre sized/aligned cells so
    the girls d as they need.
    -never treated for anything. we DO feed though early spring.
    -we also keep top bar hives as well and they draw like crazy in our experience. we have this year cutout brood from a top bar hive and banded into a medium frame for a queenless hive and today we are making nucs with extra queen cells.

    that is how we are running our apiary. everything changes yearly and it should because they are always chellenges when dealing with keeping livestock. but we are pretty much setting up our apiary the way we like it now.

    we also like to over winter in deeps.

    basically u have to figure out what works for u. we are treatment free but if we ever come under attack from something we would probably take necessary action if there is no other way to defend the hives.

    we also run all screen bottom boards as of this year ..... and we are sold on them. it made a huge difference with our bees this year.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: New beek wanting to go foundationless...

    Quote Originally Posted by honeydrunk View Post
    I stuck a medium foundationless into the deep broodnest, it is getting filled out just fine, might go out and take a pic, maybe measure it as well. It is possible, just takes time, some head scratching and lots of question asking.
    what we do to draw out medium foundationless frames in a deep brood box...with them drawing it out on the bottom bar is leave the bottom bar off. them when it is drawn down well we put the bottom bar on. they seem to finish filling it faster TO the bar that way. minimal comb removal of extra comb off the bottom bar. did it by accident once hahaha. sticking with it ever since.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Lincoln County, Maine, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: New beek wanting to go foundationless...

    I'm in the process of switching from two ten-frame deeps to three eight-frame mediums for brood boxes. Here's what I'm doing, which (so far) seems to be working:

    At the end of the winter, the bees were in the upper ten-frame deep. So I took the bottom box off, moved the top box to the bottom position, and added an eight-frame medium on top. I added the eight-frame box on one side of the hive, over the cluster, and used a small board with a couple of bricks on top of it to close the gap.

    In the eight-frame medium, I put six foundationless frames (F) and two frames of drawn comb (C) from an old honey super, like so: FFCFFCFF. That way the queen could use the comb as a ladder to get up into the box, and the comb would hopefully help the bees draw out the other combs straight. For foundationless frames, I used standard wedge frames, with the wedge broken out and nailed/glued back in on edge. No wax starter strip.

    Right at the beginning, the bees made one misstep (from my point of view; from their point of view, I'm sure it was the right thing to do). They build a sphere of comb up from the top of the frames in the bottom box, incorporating the bottom rails of two of the frames in the top box. I scraped it out, and they rebuilt it, so I scraped it out again. By then others had started building nice, straight comb down from the top of the frames in the top box, and they have been doing beautifully since then (knock on wood).

    At some point, perhaps next spring, when there are no bees left in the bottom ten-frame deep box, I will remove it. And then I will have a brood box consisting of three eight-frame mediums. In the meantime, I'm planning to cut the deep combs down to mediums to use as ladders in future medium boxes.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Winthrop, WA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: New beek wanting to go foundationless...

    Currently I have one hive that I am experimenting with foundationless...8 frame deeps..I am on the 3rd deep..I placed foundationless in between some drawn out frames(tried to do every other frame, but some I just put a couple of foundationless together) in each box and they have done great! I used wooden dowels as guides and they have had no problem..I found one on the end that was crooked but they were just beginning and so I took it off and let them start again. This hive is booming! At some point I would like to take out all the ones with foundation and put in foundationless so that all the deeps will be foundationless. I didn't wire any of these. I say just start and see how they do!

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