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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
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    1,169

    Default Re: foundationless options

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    If you have grooved top bars, put a wood strip in. If you have a "wedge" top bar (actually a cleat), rotate the "wedge" (cleat) on it's long axis 90 degrees and nail it back in.
    I'll have to use the cleat next time. I usually don't order the wedge, but apparently that was what my box was. I put in a paint stir and used two 5/8" nails to hold it in place. I would have preferred 3/4", but gotta go with what you can get at the time.

    Michael, Do you have blow out problems with mediums that only have a starter strip and no wires?

    c-bees, I find wisdom in your method and suspect a hand crank gives more time to remove the honey before putting full force on it. I watched a video on a larger scale, 70+ extractor that they run for 10 minutes a go. I have to wonder what type of forces that thing produces.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: foundationless options

    >Michael, Do you have blow out problems with mediums that only have a starter strip and no wires?

    No more than wired wax. If the wax has a yellow tint (the bees have hardened it) and it's attached some on all four sides and you start slow it extracts fine. If it's new white wax, I cut it for cut comb honey.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Frankston, Victoria, AU
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: foundationless options

    If you wish to spin the frames in a honey extractor they will probably disintegrate. If you only have a few hives you might like to run foundation less, you can cut and crush your honey leaving 1/4" to 1/2" wax at the top of the frames I do this frequently when people want honey comb. The left over comb at the top of the frames works exactly as a starter strip does.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Izard County, AR, USA
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: foundationless options

    Quote Originally Posted by crankhandl View Post
    If you wish to spin the frames in a honey extractor they will probably disintegrate. If you only have a few hives you might like to run foundation less, you can cut and crush your honey leaving 1/4" to 1/2" wax at the top of the frames I do this frequently when people want honey comb. The left over comb at the top of the frames works exactly as a starter strip does.
    As mentioned already in this thread by people with actual experience, foundationless frames can easily be extracted (in an extractor) without disintegrating. That's just a silly thing to say and should be ignored.
    8 years, 30 colonies, no chemical treatments

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    1,169

    Default Re: foundationless options

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Michael, Do you have blow out problems with mediums that only have a starter strip and no wires?

    No more than wired wax. If the wax has a yellow tint (the bees have hardened it) and it's attached some on all four sides and you start slow it extracts fine. If it's new white wax, I cut it for cut comb honey.
    Good point on the wax. I'm going for it. If I have a ton of blow outs, I can always add foundation later.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Sawyer County,WI USA
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: foundationless options

    Most of the methods we've used for creating foundationless frames have been discussed above, sometimes in rather unpleasant or at least presumptuous ways

    Although we mostly do 'crush and strain' for ourselves and some comb honey for a few customers, we've been using a hand crank extractor for many years and as said, as long as sides, top and bottom have wax attached we've never had a blow out.

    Also; If Mann Lake made the error they should/would/could likely correct it. I've sent stuff back before, 'usually' with no questions asked......either for a refund or a different item.



    We've been foundationless, TF, and using mostly all mediums since 2007

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,839

    Default Re: foundationless options

    If you want more info on using skewers in frames Lauri Miller did this and posted her findings here on BS (with pictures). She tried cutting plastic foundation and put it in the middle of a frame with skewers on each side; also let them draw all out without the foundation just using the skewers. Personally, I tried it, and always got drone comb somewhere, which was ok but couldn’t be used for cut comb.
    Proverbs 16:24

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Stevens Point, WI
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: foundationless options

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Never cut them for the purpose of harvesting queen cells, other reasons I needed pieces and found tin snips worked well. I would take it out of the frame first, trying to disassemble the bottom bar to slide the foundation out..

    I used a dremel tool with a drywall bit to cut out a queen cell out of plastic foundtion. Worked slick. Took the bees about 2 days to close up the hole. I call her my earthquake queen. She is one of my most prolific hives and if she makes it thru winter will become my breeder queen this year.
    Help is here to never misplace that hive tool again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvwlSiOzgOU

  10. #29
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Izard County, AR, USA
    Posts
    142

    Default Re: foundationless options

    Quote Originally Posted by Cloverdale View Post
    Personally, I tried it, and always got drone comb somewhere, which was ok but couldn’t be used for cut comb.
    Hey, it's been a while since I read Lauri's posts about that....but if I remember correctly, letting them put drone comb on the foundationless sides was the point, or at least an advantage. Because after they were done raising drones, there was nothing to do but put honey in those cells. So the foundation in the middle third could have worker brood, and the foundationless wings on either side were filled with honey, close to the brood.

    She supposed that was a better way to get through Winter than having the feed up above somewhere where the cluster may or may not be able to reach. I don't think she was trying to do cut comb with it. In any case, if you wanted cut comb, wouldn't you have those frames above a queen excluder where the queen couldn't lay any eggs in it at all? I've never tried to do cut comb so I don't know.....
    8 years, 30 colonies, no chemical treatments

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,527

    Default Re: foundationless options

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinWI View Post
    I used a dremel tool with a drywall bit to cut out a queen cell out of plastic foundtion. Worked slick. Took the bees about 2 days to close up the hole. I call her my earthquake queen. She is one of my most prolific hives and if she makes it thru winter will become my breeder queen this year.
    Wow. Great idea. Never thought about using a zip bit. Probably has good control too on the Dremel.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,839

    Default Re: foundationless options

    Quote Originally Posted by c-bees View Post
    Hey, it's been a while since I read Lauri's posts about that....but if I remember correctly, letting them put drone comb on the foundationless sides was the point, or at least an advantage. Because after they were done raising drones, there was nothing to do but put honey in those cells. So the foundation in the middle third could have worker brood, and the foundationless wings on either side were filled with honey, close to the brood.

    She supposed that was a better way to get through Winter than having the feed up above somewhere where the cluster may or may not be able to reach. I don't think she was trying to do cut comb with it. In any case, if you wanted cut comb, wouldn't you have those frames above a queen excluder where the queen couldn't lay any eggs in it at all? I've never tried to do cut comb so I don't know.....
    Yes, you are right about Lauris goal of doing that, at least I think that’s what she was doing. She is such an incredible beekeeper, she did everything including the carpentry. At that time when I tried it I didn’t know much about anything not that I know that much now: but at that time the wax on those frames were so nice and light I wanted to use them for something, so I kept the comb for myself and teaching about bees at markets. It’s a great tool when you bring an ob. hive and have comb honey. Sheesh, I can’t wait for Spring, we’re supposed to get another storm in a few days.
    Proverbs 16:24

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,839

    Default Re: foundationless options

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Wow. Great idea. Never thought about using a zip bit. Probably has good control too on the Dremel.

    Agree great idea!
    Proverbs 16:24

  14. #33
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Central Alabama, Shelby County
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: foundationless options

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< . Personally, I don't think a foundationless frame will hold up in the extractor,>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    It's all in the technique. All of my honey supers are medium, foundationless and unwired.

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ka'u Hawaii
    Posts
    287

    Default Re: foundationless options

    Quote Originally Posted by ToeOfDog View Post
    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< . Personally, I don't think a foundationless frame will hold up in the extractor,>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    It's all in the technique. All of my honey supers are medium, foundationless and unwired.
    Technique, yes, start slowly with the spin; however, if the bees have not built and attached the comb to the bottom bar it will not hold up.

    I break some combs because of this but it is more important for me to get the honey removed than to preserve every comb.

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Albany NY
    Posts
    224

    Default

    We don't use starter strip on nf frames. I would if I did not have any drawn comb in the box. If you drop a new empty frame between brood combs they will draw it fine. Leave the stone comb and they will soon be back to drawing perfect worker comb. Save time and money fussing with foundation. We extract deep and medium if attached on all four sides. We also crush wonky comb we don't want anymore. We harvested several hundred pounds of honey in a 2 frame tangential with few blow outs (from spinning too fast and not flipping in time). Radials are much nicer and work fine. Start slowly and ramp up. I don't notice that it takes any longer but I figure it probably does..... Happy beekeeping.

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Albany NY
    Posts
    224

    Default

    Edit: drone comb (not stone....)
    We were pushing our luck with tangential to see how much one can reasonably extract and how well the foundationless, supportless combs hold up. I'd say between 200 - 500 # honey can be extracted by hand in 2 frame tangential, depending on your patience and how much the children can do. This gives you time to expand your operation and market and then invest in the size extractor you plan to grow into. I was very happy with how strong the comb was.

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
    Posts
    328

    Default Re: foundationless options

    Temperature when extracting matters. I keep my boxes in a hot gagrage for a day and extract while they are warm. Even hand cranking slowly, new combs blow out regularly even with wire or fishing line, old combs less so. Comb attachment is also key. During inspection, if there are areas of the comb that aren't attached, i scrape a few pieces of bur comb and smush it into the gap. The bees attach it all together real nice.
    Mistakes are the best taechers

  19. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,407

    Default Re: foundationless options

    Medium frames extract fine. That beautiful white wax makes great cut comb. I heat up my extracting room, reinforce some frames with rubber bands. Start slow. Doesn't take long to extract most of the honey at slow speed then crank it up.

  20. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,527

    Default Re: foundationless options

    Thought I would give a brief update on my foundationless experiences. I have come to realize that the fishing line I use, and the wire that others use, serves to give the bees a reference when drawing comb, in addition to providing lateral support. Case in point, I have been having great success with the bees pulling straight comb on multiple frames and I allowed myself to get lazy. In one hive, the second deep was all new foundationless frames WITHOUT the fishing line. I was so embarassed I did not take a picture, but the bees spent a great deal of effort turning six frames into one giant mess. On the other hand, here is a good example of comb with the fishing line. Notice the center is drone comb but the bees were building all worker comb as it expanded. Unfortunantly, the nuc this was in died recently so this frame is getting prepped for the freezer.

    15606440235152007778160.jpg
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  21. #40
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,192

    Default Re: foundationless options

    You can drill your own holes in sidebars and string the frames with either wire or heavy monofiliament. You can also use the zig zag pattern of reinforcing that puts holes in top and bottom bars rather than sidebars. It is foundationless but guided and supported by the wire or monofiliament. I have been using this method on oddball frames for mating queens but would not bother with it for extracting frames. You can get comb drawn and eggs laid up quicker with foundationless than even waxed foundation.
    Frank

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