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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    21

    Default Small Cell Foundation

    I am a new beekeeper. I just picked up my first 5 Frame Nuc yesterday. I have 10 frame deeps, and small cell foundation. I purchased the equipment before I was able to get my bees. The nuc that I received is a shallow nuc on normal foundation. I hived it and put the nuc frames in the center of my brood box. Along with my deep small cell foundation to the sides. Will the bees be ok drawing out and using the small cell foundation? How will I rotate out the shallow frames as well to make them deeps?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default Re: Small Cell Foundation

    Since it's already hived your options are more limited. They
    will likely build comb down from the shallows first. Once that
    is done they'll move outward.

    After they've settled in and are building comb you can rotate a
    frame of small cell into the center of the brood nest to encourage
    building. And continue that process.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Southern Connecticut
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: Small Cell Foundation

    I had a similar situation when I started. I just left them to draw out comb below the shallows (mine was a medium nuc and I put it into a deep box) and then you can just switch it out next year in the spring when they're up in the second brood box. I wouldn't bother swapping them out in the first year, they already have to draw out new comb to fill their boxes so just let them keep what they've already got going.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,288

    Default Re: Small Cell Foundation

    > Will the bees be ok drawing out and using the small cell foundation?

    Large cell bees will often build it kind of funky. Or they might draw it fine.

    >How will I rotate out the shallow frames as well to make them deeps?

    I doubt they are shallows. Probably mediums. Why not buy a medium box and leave them? Or swap them out over time? I would put the mediums in a medium box above and the deeps in the deep box below. Mixing frame sizes can be done, but I would not do it without a specific purpose for it in mind. It causes too many issues.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: Small Cell Foundation

    I have a couple of medium frames that I put in a deep box when I needed frames and had no deeps on hand.

    The bees drew out the extra few inches below the bottom bar.

    It's never caused any issues, but i was mindful to be careful how i handled them until the soft white comb hardened up a bit.

    Now I treat them much the same as the deeps when handling them.

    As mentioned above, rotating them out to the sides of the box and out of the active brood area will facilitate roating them out.
    Or, you can leave them in place next to the hive wall where they are likely to be used for storage and/or drone brood rather than worker brood.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Small Cell Foundation

    Thanks for the quick replies. They are definitely shallow frames. If the bees successfully draw out the small cell foundation, then the queen should have no problem laying in it correct? If they don't then would it be ok for me to just go foundationless? Foundationless is where I would like to be, but I wasn't sure if that would be ok in deep frames?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: Small Cell Foundation

    Your fine with the small cell frames. I would feed at least until mid September until the second wave of golden rod starts blooming. Our flow has ended and they will need a little extra to get those frames filled out before then.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: Small Cell Foundation

    If the bees successfully draw out the small cell foundation, then the queen should have no problem laying in it correct?
    Correct.

    If they don't then would it be ok for me to just go foundationless?
    They will, but foundationless isn't a bad idea.

    but I wasn't sure if that would be ok in deep frames?
    It's fine in deep frames. You will just need to be careful when you handle them. Don't tilt them to the side or the comb will break. You might consider wiring the frame for extra support. It's really not necessary on mediums, but deeps it might be.

    A shallow nuc? That's a tiny little hive.
    Try it. What could happen?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    55

    Default Re: Small Cell Foundation

    You can find many answers on the treatment free forum about this. I have had to do similar manipulations but for different reasons. You do not want to break up the broodnest, but the queen will be naturally inclined to lay in the centre. So either you can get a medium box (or shallow) as previously mentioned and put them in there, then leave the deep all small cell. In Ontario 1 1/2 story (ie one deep, one super) brood nests are pretty common. Or if you are going foundationless what I would do is take the extra comb the bees draw on the bottom bar of the medium and tie it into a foundationless like a cut out. In either case getting the right size frames in the right size boxes is probably a good idea. Be patient.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Small Cell Foundation

    if its truly a shallow, I'd put the frames in a shallow, put it on the bottom and then add a deep on top for them to grow into. then next year flip the boxes, it minimizes the lost comb from having to trim it off the shallow frames.

    also don't ever buy a nuc from them again, shallow nucs just do not prove to be cost effective or very strong.

    Enjoy the bees!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,209

    Default Re: Small Cell Foundation

    You have large bees on large frames 5.4, you gave them small cell foundation 4.9, which they will build medium cell size around 5.1. As long as you have the large cells in the brood nest you will get large bees. The bees in the 5.1 cell can build 4.9 on small cell foundation. You won’t have small cell bees until you rotate the 5.4 and 5.1 frames out. Search "regressing to small cell"

    If you use small cell plastic frames like Mann Lake PF frames you can skip the 5.1 regression stage. Large bees will draw small cell plastic frame to 4.9, large bees will not draw small cell foundation to 4.9

    I would put the shallow frames in a deep box with plastic small cell PF frames, put a few between the brood nest, feed the heck out of them, once they are using 5 or more deep as brood nest, shake the bees off the shallow frames then move above a queen excluder in a shallow box, continue to put a few PF frames in the brood next.

    I have found if you add a little extra wax to the Mann Lake PF frame the bees will work them quicker. I use a small foam roller.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Small Cell Foundation

    Thank you guys so much. This shallow nuc was bought as a last resort to get bees. I had ordered a deep nuc from this guy, but he said the deeps that he had were not as quality as this shallow. He also advised me not to feed. That the bees would get honey bound and the queen would not lay much. I assumed that I would need to feed. Would it be advisable to put my feeder on?

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

    Default Re: Small Cell Foundation

    Would it be advisable to put my feeder on?
    If the bees have some capped honey in the nuc, then I wouldn't. Note how much honey they have. Check on them once a week or so and see what happens to that supply. If it stays the same or grows, don't feed. If it diminishes, feed.
    Try it. What could happen?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Cumberland Va.
    Posts
    1,090

    Default Re: Small Cell Foundation

    Can someone please tell me how to post a new post on this site............I am a newbeekeeper, have a hive in jeapordy, and am seeking answers. I log in but cant find anywhere I can start a post. Please.....thank you for your help...........G

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    914

    Default Re: Small Cell Foundation

    biggraham610, go to http://www.beesource.com/forums/foru...Beekeeping-101 and just above the list of threads, there is a black button marked "Post New Thread" in white lettering. Click on that and away you go.

    HTH

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Small Cell Foundation

    Cool, thank you.

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