I have read, I have listened, I have asked questions and I still ended up in a quandary with regard to which foundation to purchase. So I bought a variety, not the smartest thing economically, but I should learn a lot!
To review, I am a newbee, I currently have one hive and expect to have two in the spring. I have purchased all mediums for the second hive and the supers. My dilemma is what foundations (if any) to purchase for the honey supers. I plan on doing just cut comb or squeezed honey for a while. So here is what I got:
Mann Lake FN-195 THIN SURPLUS 5 5/8 X 16 1/2" 10 SHT $8.50 3 $25.50
Walter T. Kelly 7/11, 103-A - 1 Lb. 0024 7.50 Size 5-5/8" x 16-3/4" Thin Super for Comb Honey
Dadant F32301 1 LB. CUT COMB 5 5/8 X 16 1/2" $7.70 1 LB. CUT COMB 5 5/8 X 16 1/2" 1 pound of Finest Comb Honey Foundation 100% Beeswax Slightly heavier than thin surplus for easier handling.
And - I also plan on putting in some starter strips to see what the bees will draw all by themselves.
I know this may be too many variables for an accurate "experiment", but I should have fun!
Hey, having fun is what it's about, right? Sounds like you'll have some first hand experience with the varieties and makes of comb honey foundation and you'll know which ones you like best for you and your bees. I caution you to make sure the thin surplus is held tightly in the frames you use. I remember having some sagging issues and some sheets that came loose when I first started working with the stuff. (Maybe others will have some obvious solutions that I missed.) Welcome to the beekeeper ranks and best of luck this spring!!!
IMO, use the thinest foundation you can get. I love WT Kellys wax foundation. Since you want to experiment, search the site on foundationless frames, lots of good ideas, I would recommened using Michael Bush's popcycle stick system.
I use thin surplus in my supers. I use it for comb honey, chunk honey,
extracting, and for starter strips for brood. It's cheap, it's easy, and I like it.
Just make sure with the thin surplus to only give it to the bees as they need it.
It will warp when when just sitting around in frames waiting to be added to a
colony. Maybe if you wire them it would not be as bad? Make sure that your
wedge is nailed very tight. It will slip out easily if there is too much weight on it
before it is properly glued to the top bar.
Now since you have the foundation for your supers covered, what type of
foundation for your brood chambers are you going to go with?
You could try a few foundationless frames also. I have had good luck stapling the wedge perpendicular to the top bar and rubbing beeswax along the exposed edge. The bees drew it out fine, it's easy, and cheap. I only do that for brood comb because it is quite fragile but for cut comb or crush and strain it would work well.