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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Bloomington, Indiana
    Posts
    23

    Default New hives-switching to small cell foundation

    I have two hives from nucs that I got about three weeks ago. I have two brood boxes each, the top boxes have about three frames drawn out. I want to go to small cell foundation but don't know how to go about it. Do I switch the undrawn first, or the really old dark frames in the bottom that I got from the nucs, and also does it matter what cell size are in the honey supers?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,122

    Default Re: New hives-switching to small cell foundation

    This page from Michael Bush's site may give you the information you need on regression.

    HTH

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper and Rusty's Bees

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,822

    Default Re: New hives-switching to small cell foundation

    The simplest way to go to small cell is with plastic frames PF100s from mann lake.
    Once your there you can also use foundationless.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Bloomington, Indiana
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: New hives-switching to small cell foundation

    Thanks! If I am reading this right, I can switch my undrawn frames in my second deep, and start to switch out the old brood frames in the original deep? Amd does it matter what cell size is in the super, or does it all need to be consistent?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Shelby County Al
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: New hives-switching to small cell foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Deucebland View Post
    Thanks! If I am reading this right, I can switch my undrawn frames in my second deep, and start to switch out the old brood frames in the original deep? Amd does it matter what cell size is in the super, or does it all need to be consistent?
    What matters is the size of the cells in the brood nest. Huber found that bee size is not determined by genetics but by the size of the cell from which the bee emerged. Therefore you want SC for any brood frame. For the sake of convenience, you may want to use only 4.9 anywhere in the hive.

    yes, immediately replace all undrawn brood frames. No need marching forward on something you will replace in the future. Wasted effort.

    You don't mention it but are you shaving your frames down to 1.25"?

    Rusty Hills gave good advise. Hang out at the Bush website.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Bloomington, Indiana
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: New hives-switching to small cell foundation

    Yes! Thank you all for the info! I have read the practical beekeeper, as well as excerpts on the web page,but to be honest, I have read the section a time or two, (or four!) and with all the other millions of bits of info I have been loading in my brain the last few months, I think it's saturated because I can't seem to get it!
    Also, huh, wha, crap! Shaving frames down? What's that for, and how?
    Though this doesn't reflect it, I am a fairly educated person with some smarts or two �� maybe I am trying too much too soon? I'm obviously ignoring the part of The book that essentially says there are no perfect hives or ways and that you have to make mistakes to learn. I want my girls hives to be perfect...now! ����
    Thanks again everyone for your input.

    ***update*** I just finished a cup of coffee and read more...I think it just clicked! Small cell=Small cell foundation, and natural is foundationles...Regression is for going from regular foundation to small cell foundation, then to foundationles!! So I can just use small cell foundation all I want! If I want to go foundationles, I can, I just would need to wait about 8 weeks or so. Ahhhhh! Now...shaving the frames down...that is only for foundationles, right?
    Last edited by Deucebland; 06-04-2015 at 05:39 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Shelby County Al
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: New hives-switching to small cell foundation

    << Also, huh, wha, crap! Shaving frames down? What's that for, and how?>>

    Wanting to go SC shows you want to shrink your bees back to a natural size. Using 4.9 or SC foundation shrinks one dimension, the diameter of the cell. By shaving your frames you shrink the other dimension, the length of the cell. Factory made frame end pieces are 1.375" wide. This makes the comb 1.375" on center. Natural brood comb is 1.25" on center. The bees will adjust the thickness of the comb to maintain beespace.

    If you have access to a table saw, shave 1/16" off each side of the end bar. This will make it 1.25" wide. I also shave 1/16" off each side of the top bar to maintain the beespace between them. The most time efficient method is to set the saw up and run 100 pieces thru then set it up for the next operation,etc.


    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesframewidth.htm

    When you call to order the frames that you will shave down, always ask for 1.25" wide end bars. They wont have them but they wont get them until they perceive a demand. It is a lot of work shaving a 100 frames so everybody should always ask.

    ************************************************** **************************
    edit: narrow or shaved frames are for either foundationless or small cell foundation. The objective is natural bee size. In order to get it you must use dimensions found in nature. Factory made frames do not have natural dimensions. Thats why they are modified.
    Last edited by ToeOfDog; 06-04-2015 at 06:13 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Bloomington, Indiana
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: New hives-switching to small cell foundation

    Thank you!!

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