Foundationless Gone wrong
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    37

    Embarrassed Foundationless Gone wrong

    So i caught a swarm and hived it in a medium super. I broke the wedge off the top bar and turned it sideways to serve as a guide and today i was startled to see all 10 frames with drawn comb but they were all attached to each other. Since 90% of the hive has drawn comb i was thinking of just adding another super with strips of foundation for guides and hope they dont attach them as well. Would do you guys think?
    Last edited by MoisesFromL.A; 04-07-2012 at 06:27 PM.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    I think you should have used foundation to begin with. That's what I think.
    Mark Berninghausen

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Forsyth county, GA
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    Is your hive level side to side...they will draw the foundation plum so if you are leaning they will make a mess.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,866

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    I would have used foundation to start for several reasons. One reason is two frames of drawn comb on either side of a foundationless frame makes it straight as an arrow.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,845

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I think you should have used foundation to begin with. That's what I think.
    Another grumpy old man failing to climb aboard the leading edge of current beekeeping practices. Small cell, natural cell, foundationless, all mediums, treatment free, topbar, Warre...get with it Mark. Why stick with those tried and true century plus old methods of getting perfect comb when you have the hassles all these new age thinkers are enjoying?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    3,388

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    Putting a swarm of bees in a box with bare frames is asking for a mess -- bees don't normally draw perfectly straight, flat comb perpendicular to the walls of square boxes!

    There is a reason foundation was invented, after all!

    That said, foundationless works fine IF you control where the bees start it and where they build it. By far a better choice with a swarm, since they are going to make comb like crazy, is to use at least one, preferably several, frames with foundation or of drawn comb to start them off right. You could put empty frames between drawn combs with good results, but an empty box, well, you will likely get a mess.

    After all, bees will sometimes make a mess in a box of foundation -- double comb, chew out the bottoms, bridge comb everywhere, etc.

    Even in the early days of removable frames, before foundation existed, beekeepers had to help the bees get the comb right. Left to their own devices, they make comb easy to defend and easy to control ventilation in, not nice straight even sized comb.

    Peter

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    So can I just add a super with strips of foundation or try to fix the mess?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Papaikou, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    Moises, I am new as well but I know that the beekeeper I work with would advise not using all foundationless frames in new setup, even with strips of foundation in place along the top. If you want to go foundationless a compromise would be to alternate foundationless frames that have the guide strip with frames with a full sheet of foundation.

    Is that possible in your situation?

    This will give them a guide and make them less likely repeat the same situation.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    3,388

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    Given that they made a mess of the initial box, I'd expect them to do the same with another box.

    Use foundation, and either plan to remove that messed up comb next spring when there is no brood in it or do a cut-out on it now and fix it.

    One messed up frame leads to another....

    Peter

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    34,541

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    Another grumpy old man failing to climb aboard the leading edge of current beekeeping practices. Small cell, natural cell, foundationless, all mediums, treatment free, topbar, Warre...get with it Mark. Why stick with those tried and true century plus old methods of getting perfect comb when you have the hassles all these new age thinkers are enjoying?
    Let's not get too personal now, Frank. Got another jar of nyour honey from Pat. Still enjoying it. California Sunshine.
    Mark Berninghausen

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Morgan, Utah, USA
    Posts
    254

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    Bees from a swarm will often orient their comb in the same cardinal (north, east, etc.) direction as their previous home. I would take the time to fix the comb. It's a big hassle (speaking from experience) but well worth it. Fix it early, and then you can relax. You might consider rotating the hive to line up with the comb and be sure when you make your starter strips that they have some beeswax on them: either strips of foundation an inch or so deep, or brushing melted wax on your wooden guides. All my hives are foundationless--I love it!
    If I'm neither sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric, nor melancholy, does that mean I'm out of humour?

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,300

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by psfred View Post
    Given that they made a mess of the initial box, I'd expect them to do the same with another box.
    That's pretty likely....the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing the same way multiple times and expecting different results" according to many. That said, all we have to do now is figure out how to do the same thing a different way to get the results we want.

    Use foundation, and either plan to remove that messed up comb next spring when there is no brood in it or do a cut-out on it now and fix it.
    If you want to stay foundationless (which there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, despite some anti-foundationless sentiment around here), then your'e going to have to find a way to get the girls back on-track without putting sheets of foundation in there to force 'em to "start over" with each comb... Since you now have a full box of drawn comb, I'd recommend doing a cut-out on your box, then just attaching strips of their own comb to each frame to serve as comb guides to make 'em build straight. Another possible method would be to move to a more "rigid" comb guide in your frames, such as cutting a 1" wide by 1/2" (or so) tall triangle to attach to the bottom of each top bar, makes it a bit harder (though NOT impossible) for them to build cross-comb, and gives 'em a great "edge" to start the combs on.

    If you want more information on how to get nice, straight, even combs without having to resort to foundation, there's tons of great information in the "Top Bar Hives" forum, as almost ALL TBH hives are foundationless, and they've been used successfully since Ancient Greece (what was that about "New Aged"....guess he must've been referring to the "new" age of doing everything artificially)!

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,527

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    I had a hive that I forgot about that did the exact same thing, cross combed across the frames instead of down the middle of them so I did a cutout on it a a month or so ago and now its doing great. The biggest problems are straightening the wavy sections of comb but the comb should actually be longer than your frames so you'll have plenty of comb to work with. Just try to line the brood back up the way the bees had it lined up and keep the comb in the order you cut it out in. They should have it all re-attached within the week and everything should be peachy after that. My comb was so long that it collapsed and rolled the queen. They made another queen that is the hugest bee I have ever seen and she has been laying so much in the past 2 weeks that the hive in question could easily be split.

    You should be fine cutting the comb out and straightening it though, its fun Don't forget to buy lots of rubber bands lol
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by rwurster View Post
    You should be fine cutting the comb out and straightening it though, its fun Don't forget to buy lots of rubber bands lol
    What's the standard method of doing the cut out? Rubber bands?

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    609

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    yes rubber bands. size 64 is good. remove one of the more complete frames and replace it with an empty. cut the removed comb enough to center it in the frame and use three rubber bands to hold it in. put the fixed comb in the center of a second super and fill out with nine more frames with starter strips. put on top of existing super. inspect more often and fix combs before they get out of hand if you must have straight comb.
    when given star thistle make honey

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,300

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by stangardener View Post
    Put the fixed comb in the center of a second super and fill out with nine more frames with starter strips. put on top of existing super.
    Is there any reason why you suggest using only 1 "fixed" frame in the super? I'd have recommended going something more like FEFEFEFEFE (F=Fixed E=Empty) would give the bees a better start...good BROOD combs on either side of each starter-strip frame. I'm really not trying to argue symantics here, just curious why you recommend only 1 frame be from the cut-out, unless it's just to conserve work?

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,527

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    look up jpthebeeman on youtube and watch how he cuts comb out and then rubber bands it into frames. Its pretty easy but watching him will show you a few tricks i just cant think of right now. After you watch a few cut outs, you should have a feel for how to cut out the comb, cut it to height/width and how to x the rubber bands to hold the cut comb straight in the frame.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7bT...5dFAAAAAAAAAAA

    The cutout starts at 3:45 and you can see how the comb is placed in frames and x with rubber bands. Have fun and good luck, try not to smash the queen

    edit: a bread knife really works well for cutting comb and keep a bucket of water close to wash your hands
    Last edited by rwurster; 04-07-2012 at 11:25 PM.
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    609

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    unless it's just to conserve work?[/QUOTE]
    ya just to conserve work. i also don't think it's necessary to completely break up an entire hive that's just a single medium.
    if i was to go through all the combs i would cut them out one at a time band them and put them back in the same order and bring up just one brood comb into the next super. there's plenty of time to straighten the combs when the bees have a bit more infrastructure. get enough extra comb and you can crush and strain it if it's honey.
    in the efefefefef thing if any of those consecutive f's are honey the bees will just make the combs very wide and not make new comb in between.
    when given star thistle make honey

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,300

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by robherc View Post
    give the bees a better start...good BROOD combs on either side of each starter-strip frame.
    Quote Originally Posted by stangardener View Post
    in the efefefefef thing if any of those consecutive f's are honey the bees will just make the combs very wide and not make new comb in between.
    Looks like we agree there; and I just wanted to repeat both of those statements once more just to highlight the importance of using brood, and not honey, comb for "guide combs" on either side of the new foundationless frames/bars; otherwise you'll 98% likely have an even BIGGER mess to clean up after the bees mess that up!

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    609

    Default Re: Foundationless Gone wrong

    i'm blessed in that i've never seen the bees do anything wrong or make any mess.
    when given star thistle make honey

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •