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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Geneva, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    172

    Default foundationless frames improve colony health ?

    I have research foundation and frames on the internet to see which would be the best to uses in a hive from what I read that Plastic is better than wax and foundationless is the best because it improve colony health is this true









    thanks allan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: foundationless frames improve colony health ?

    Debatable, and the answer is multifaceted. Firstly, the entire wax supply is saturated with chemicals that have a negative effect on bee health. Starting with plastic you can reduce that to a negligible degree, but that plastic is still coated with a tiny amount of wax from the commercial supply -if you are just starting out you probably dont have a stash to use yourself yet. Foundationless is great because you can reduce this contamination even more and if using crush and strain harvesting techniques you can build up your stash of clean wax. Foundationless also allows the bees to put drone cells where they want them. It has been proven that having a proper drone population reduces overall colony stress. This comes with a caveat. More drones will also mean more varroa which will have a severe negative effect on the colonies health. So, a slightly stressed out colony from lack of drones will not cause them to die out, whereas a varroa infestation will. So take that for what it is.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 02-16-2014 at 07:42 PM. Reason: UNQuote
    TF - Year Two, Eight Colonies
    http://www.honeydrunk.ca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Geneva, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: foundationless frames improve colony health ?

    ok I will keep that in mind

    thanks allan
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 02-16-2014 at 07:44 PM. Reason: UNQuote

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
    Posts
    603

    Default Re: foundationless frames improve colony health ?

    I agree with Honeydrunk (I assume when he speaks of the wax supply saturated with chemicals he is referring to purchased wax foundation). Michael Bush has opined about this, specifically about small cell size having a beneficial affect on reducing varroa, but do controlled studies affirm his belief? (I am still a skeptic) As Honeydrunk stated, in my experience I sometimes found one comb with a large portion of drone brood. I think the bees probably perform better with foundationless, compared with their having to deal with wax foundation and/or plastic frames.

    I went to a large degree to foundationless last year, with results that delighted me for the most part. Unfortunately in one super we put 9 frames in a 10-frame box, and separated the frames to allow for what we believed would be wider combs. The girls ran cross comb all over the place; it was not very funny during last summer's inspection, but it makes me chuckle now. However, in the deep brood chamber of another colony I squeezed an extra frame into the box. I had shaved the frames down to 1-1/4 inch; the resulting combs were orderly and straight, and beautiful.

    Hope my rambling helps.

    Phil
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 02-16-2014 at 07:46 PM. Reason: UNQuote

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: foundationless frames improve colony health ?

    >I have research foundation and frames on the internet to see which would be the best to uses in a hive from what I read that Plastic is better than wax and foundationless is the best because it improve colony health is this true

    There are certainly a lot of opinions on the topic. I found that natural cell size was necessary to handle Varroa. Clean wax is a bonus. Drones probably play a part in all of this as well. I would guess my typical hive has 25% drone comb.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Geneva, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: foundationless frames improve colony health ?

    if I may ask which foundation do you prefer Mr. Bush

    thanks allan
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 02-16-2014 at 07:47 PM. Reason: UNQuote

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Default Re: foundationless frames improve colony health ?

    >if I may ask which foundation do you prefer Mr. Bush

    None is the most appealing to me. I have a lot of PF120s which are plastic 4.9mm and a lot of foundationless and a fair amount of wax dipped PermaComb (fully drawn plastic) and a few hundred Honey Super Cell.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Novato, California, USA
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: foundationless frames improve colony health ?

    I prefer pure beewax foundation. My bees seem to love it more than plastic. It gives them room to build like everyone says, what they want. I have noticed a healthier and more productive bee.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: foundationless frames improve colony health ?

    I also prefer wax foundation, and in my experience the bees will simply chew holes in it and chew out the corners, so if they wanted more drone cells they certainly are capable of chewing a hole to put them in.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,056

    Default Re: foundationless frames improve colony health ?

    The chemical load of wax increases with each passing year. If you are hesitant to destroy the comb after four years there will be more chemicals than in commercially produced wax foundation, even on an organic farm unless it is 5 miles in diameter, and there are absolutely no chemical compounds used for any reason. We even find chemicals on analysis that have been off the market for many years. On and near the organic farms (which are numerous around the University) there are more than a dozen chemicals found in untreated hives.
    Foundationless cycled out every couple years or less is the best right now.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

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