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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Lewis county, Washington, USA

    Default Newbee converting from deeps to all mediums and plasticell to foundationless frames

    everyone, I'm pretty green or as you might say a newbee so bear with
    I am trying to go with all mediums and at the same time go
    My question is:
    what kind of split should I do if any and when. Also can I cut down
    already drawn plasticell foundation from a deep to medium frames and how
    do you do this. It is my understanding that the bees need drawn
    foundation between the empty foundationless frames to use as a guide.
    I don't have a lot of drawn foundation yet to work with and the drawn
    deep foundation might work if it can be cut down.
    A little about my setup.
    I am just going into my second year
    I only have one 2nd year hive that I replaced the queen in last summer
    for a SMR wild russian survivor queen from our area.
    Coming into spring I seem to have a strong colony and a pretty standard
    setup, meaning a
    screened bottom board and 2 deeps, inner and outer covers and plasticell
    the 2 medium honey supers were off the top for the winter. I was able
    to remove the bottom deep in March since I want to go all medium and
    added back the two medium honey supers on top of the only remaining deep
    with foundationless frames checkerboarded with drawn plasticell
    foundation from last years honey supers to start my conversion to
    foundationless. I took off the screened bottom board to clean and
    replaced with a slatted rack. shook the bees from the empty bottom deep
    back into the top of the two mediums. It felt like the hive was light on
    stores so I added a top feeder filled with a thick sugar slurry and
    some pollen substitute, hopeful that this would help them to fill out
    the foundationless frames early. checked yesterday and all the slurry
    was gone and no drowned bees. I am hoping that this will be enough sugar
    and took off the feeder. really don't like feeding sugar but with only
    one hive I did not want to chance starvation at this point.
    I have a experienced mentor from our local beekeepers assoc. however
    foundationless and all mediums he has not tried yet. he is willing to
    come and help me do a split but I do not know which kind would be best
    at this point or if I should be doing one at all.
    reading these posts have been wonderful for me through the winter. I
    have learned so much. any suggestions Beeks?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    West Bath, Maine, United States

    Default Re: Newbee converting from deeps to all mediums and plasticell to foundationless fram

    Splits most of all require bees. I would not worry about getting rid of the deeps yet, that is drawn comb and that is what you need to make bees. Make bees and they will make wax and brood. If you remove the deeps next spring when they are in the mediums that is a good plan.
    Feed, they should have a least some stored honey and pollen frames. Feeding sugar will let them haul more pollen. feeding the sub will let them store real pollen.
    How much open comb do they have and how much brood in the pipeline?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Medford, Oregon

    Default Re: Newbee converting from deeps to all mediums and plasticell to foundationless fram

    Definitely ask your mentor. You are pretty far north so it's hard to make any strong determinations. As Saltybee said, splits require bees. How many bees and brood do you have? A good walkaway split will happen just as they are starting to expand rapidly as the weather gets warmer.


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