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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Booneville, Mississippi
    Posts
    94

    Default Foundation question(Small Cell)

    When starting with a Bee Package this spring. Can I start out with small cell foundations? I don't not want to use plastic. I want wax foundation.
    Also can someone explain wired with hook, wired with No Hook, plain (no wire), thin (comb honey), .
    Also what type of frames do I need to use small cell wax foundations, Kelly list D,F,N,S,SG,SGX?

    I am new and right now ever thing seems like really hard math. I just ordered BK for dummies and am taking a class soon.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Bellflower, Montgomery,Mo,USA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: Foundation question(Small Cell)

    Welcome,

    I started out reading Walt Wright's? series on swarming. 26 installments that he did for ABJ a few years ago. That really seemed like hard math to me. Good luck with the class.

    I'm pretty new also. I've gotten lots of great info on this site. Here's what I think those terms refer to. Wired with hook, have wire imbedded in the short orientation with the top of the wire crimped at an angle to catch in the top split frame. No Hook, just straight wire, not crimped. Plain not embedded with wire in foundation. Thin specifically used to for creating honey comb for selling as chunks. Small cell foundation is usually imprinted wax with 4.9 mm? for a smaller bee. Lots of people use split frames where the top and bottom are removed and the foundation placed inbetween them, then the removed pieces are nailed or stapled back in holding the sheet in place. One other thing to consider is taking the top split, turning it 90 degrees so it protrudes below the top frame(bottom). Suggested by Michael Bush. This lets the bees choose their own cell size. If you go this route, you will still need to have some foundation in place to help guide the bees not building any direction they chose. I think his way of doing things isn't used much my most commercial guys on this site, more for us hobbyists. You can find links to his website here often as he comments often.

    Good Luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,903

    Default Re: Foundation question(Small Cell)

    >When starting with a Bee Package this spring. Can I start out with small cell foundations?

    Yes.

    > I don't not want to use plastic. I want wax foundation.

    The advantage to small cell plastic is that they draw it the size it is. The disadvantage to the wax is they might draw it 4.9mm or they might try to rework it and it gets a bit funky when they do. But they might draw it fine the first try.

    >I am new and right now ever thing seems like really hard math. I just ordered BK for dummies and am taking a class soon.

    If you want to do treatment free and small cell, I would read "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beekeeping" to start off.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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

    Default Re: Foundation question(Small Cell)

    You could forget the foundation all together and go foundationless. Bees can mess up anything from time to time and any kind of comb mess will be intimidating to newbie so why spend the $ on foundation when if you follow the proper rules on foundationless it has a good chance of working just fine. They will draw the foundationless larger than small cell to begin with, but you can just move those over to the side of box and feed in fresh frames. Natural cell size for your area will be different than northern beekeepers or mile high beekeepers. Video on foundationless on my youtube channel, link in my signature.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Mt Juliet TN USA
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: Foundation question(Small Cell)

    Starting out it is easier to use wired with hooks. wedge top bar- grooved bottom bar. Once you get um drawing comb you can if you want go foundationless. To me it is better to start a package with some foundation because they can get the queen a place to start laying a little sooner.

    BTW if you are going with the small cell type beekeeping get M Bush's book there is none better.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    891

    Default Re: Foundation question(Small Cell)

    Quote Originally Posted by sterling View Post
    Starting out it is easier to use wired with hooks. wedge top bar- grooved bottom bar. Once you get um drawing comb you can if you want go foundationless. To me it is better to start a package with some foundation because they can get the queen a place to start laying a little sooner.

    BTW if you are going with the small cell type beekeeping get M Bush's book there is none better.
    You might be surprised to see how fast they draw out foundationless. In my opinion they actually draw it out faster because you have 1 cluster of festooning bees working together to draw both sides of the comb at the same time. Very hard thing to measure because no 2 beehives are equal, but I am satisfied with having used foundationless for 10 years that it's fast enough.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Mt Juliet TN USA
    Posts
    135

    Default Re: Foundation question(Small Cell)

    Quote Originally Posted by rweakley View Post
    You might be surprised to see how fast they draw out foundationless. In my opinion they actually draw it out faster because you have 1 cluster of festooning bees working together to draw both sides of the comb at the same time. Very hard thing to measure because no 2 beehives are equal, but I am satisfied with having used foundationless for 10 years that it's fast enough.
    Yea, I know how bees draw foundationless frames. I use them also. I was replying to the original post which was asking about small cell foundation and the frames to use with it. I just think for some one starting their first package it will be a little easier to deal with the bees and the comb if they start with a few foundations of small cell to help with the bees starting small and keeping it straight.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,209

    Default Re: Foundation question(Small Cell)

    Presuming Booneville MS is your location, you are about 50 miles NW of me here in Hamilton, AL. My first suggestion would be to visit a local beekeeper and ask them if they will take time to show you a colony and show you the difference between the various frame types.

    For your first colony, I would suggest using the wedge top bar divided bottom bar frames. This will be shown as "D Style" on Kelleybees.com. You will have a choice of deep, medium, or shallow boxes. I would suggest getting medium hive bodies to start with because it simplifies most hive manipulations and they are not excessively heavy when full of honey. You will need 5 medium boxes for each colony. Here is a shopping list:

    2 - #53 plastic bottom board
    2 - #49A plastic cover
    2 - #15A inner cover
    2 - #55P entrance reducer
    10 - #38 medium Illinois supers, cypress or pine available, get them unassembled to save a lot of money. Specify 5/8 inch rabbets!!!
    100 - #17-DC medium frames wedge top, divided bottom unassembled.
    1 quart - #31B epoxy glue, glue the boxes and especially glue the frames, they will last many years longer. Use LOTS of glue.
    2 lbs - #174-1 nails 1 1/4 inch for frames, use 1 1/4 inch nails in your frames to save a lot of hassle later
    1 lbs - #168-1 nails 3/4 inch nails for wedges to hold foundation (These should really be 5/8 inch nails, not 3/4, but Kelley does not show the 5/8)
    100 sheets - #124-SC-B small cell foundation with wires
    20 sheets - #140-A thin wax foundation for cut comb honey, use this as starter strips and let the bees build most of the comb
    300 - #79 support pins, used to hold the foundation straight until the bees draw it out.

    Purchase locally 10 pounds of 2.5 inch galvanized spiral deck nails to assemble the hive bodies. Do NOT use the standard steel nails that Kelley will gladly sell you. Galvanized nails are much more durable in our climate. I pulled some galvanized nails from rotted out 30 year old hive bodies a few days ago and the nails were still as good as new.

    Purchase locally 1 gallon of semi-gloss exterior latex paint, white is best for beehives, but you can paint them any color you like. Dark colors absorb too much heat so I would suggest light colors. When the medium boxes are fully assembled, paint them with 3 coats of white paint and be sure to paint the upper and lower rims and frame rabbets of the boxes. Do not paint the interior. You will see a lot of discussion about using primer before the latex paint. In tests 30 years ago, it was found that primers tend to seal the boxes too tight to let moisture escape which leads to premature decay of the wood and/or blistering of the paint. In a dry climate, primer may be a good idea, but here in the Southeast, it does more harm than good.

    If you do not have a beginners kit including smoker, veil, suit, hive tool, etc, I can give you part numbers to purchase from Kelley or if you are willing to drive to Hamilton, AL, I have a spare set that I will sell you at a very reasonable price. I would be willing to show you how to assemble your wooden ware if needed.

    Some might argue to put in the metal frame rests, but in my experience, this is wasted time. If properly cared for, the wood in the frame rests will last 30 years or more, so long as the box is maintained and painted every 5 to 10 years.

    I don't really like support pins and would suggest not using them if you were going to get an extractor. The frames have to be wired to stand up to the stresses of spinning out honey. But for a beginning setup, you can easily produce comb honey or squeezed out honey with the above hardware. If you choose to get an extractor in the future, it is easy to add frame wiring at that time.

    Last but not least, call in your order, you will get personal service and they will assist with ensuring everything is to your satisfaction.
    Last edited by Fusion_power; 12-25-2013 at 08:40 PM.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,209

    Default Re: Foundation question(Small Cell)

    I just put the above list into Kelley to see how much it would cost. Their cart says $489.20 for the hardware in the list above. Presume $80 shipping plus $18 for paint and $25 for galvanized nails and you wind up with about $612 to set up 2 colonies of bees without even adding the cost of the bees. The only "extra" in the list is that I put in cypress mediums instead of pine. Bees and all you are looking at $400 per colony not including queen excluders. There would be another $100 for smoker, hive tool, suit, veil, and hat. It is very expensive to set up a colony of bees folks!
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

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