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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Johnson County, Missouri
    Posts
    24

    Default Drawing Foundation

    I plan to start some new colonies next spring by packages or splits or both I'll have some empty frames of drawn foundation stored but not enough to fill all the new brood nests. My question is, what is the best way to use the drawn frames. If I have enough for about half a hive is it best to alternate them every other frame with undrawn foundation, or place them in a group adjacent to each other and put the empty frames beside them? Or doesn't it make any difference?
    Doc 180

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    696

    Default Re: Drawing Foundation

    Good Question because I am in the same boat.

    Is there anything we can do to encourage them to make comb faster.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,142

    Default Re: Drawing Foundation

    I would group them together until established brood nest and emerging brood, then add undrawn to edge of brood nest. Read the hive, some you can push, some you can't.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Drawing Foundation

    Group them as Saltybee said. That will give them a move-in ready brood nest. Then you have to read the bees and the weather forecast

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,142

    Default Re: Drawing Foundation

    Some say drop undrawn frames into the center of the brood nest, some say on the edges. You need about six frames of brood before the center works well. Less active bees will sometimes leave the center frame partially drawn and the queen will not use or cross. You end up with a smaller brood nest instead of a larger one.
    4 yrs, Peak 14, back to zip, T lite; godfather to brother's 3.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,505

    Default Re: Drawing Foundation

    If that drawn comb has been used for brood, the queen will lay in it first regardless of where it is in the hive, so I'd put all the drawn combs together in the center. The queen should lay as much as the bees can raise very quickly, but from a package you won't get more bees than you have for about a month -- the original bees are constantly dying off and it takes three weeks (at 500 eggs a day or so probably) to get new bees emerging.

    If you feed properly (hivetop feeder of some sort along with protein) the bees will draw out foundation around the frames with brood -- likely two full frames, not more from a package) and store syrup. As they cap the frames, you can move them out and put foundation between drawn combs which will speed things up a bit, but you aren't going to have great expansion for six weeks or so, at least I didn't. Once that first deep is full, things speed up quite a bit, but you need to keep feeding syrup and protein until they have a second deep or equivalent drawn and filled.

    Worst possible thing you can do is give them drawn comb scattered around so they cannot use it and fail to feed them up to strength. A package pretty much misses the early spring flow here since they don't arrive until it's about half done, and failure to feed enough (for instance, by using a Boardman feeder) will result in a weak hive during the summer dearth and a dead one in spring.

    I know the "natural beekeeping" movement doesn't like the idea of feeding bees, but if you want healthy hives and good honey production, you really don't have much choice around here.

    Peter

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