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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to move 10 hives of commercial bees from 10 frame deep boxes into 8 frame mediums and start regressing them/naturalizing them and do it chemical, wax and plastic foundation free. Any advise or have I inhaled to much smoke?:lpf: Oh and they're showing up next week :eek:
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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The quick way to smaller bees is to buy some PF120s from Mann Lake and put them on that. If you have then in a ten frame deep box, then add the medium box to the top and wait for the queen to lay there. Or pull a frame of honey out of the deep box (or an empty comb) and put one of the pf120s in there. Once the queen is laying in it, pull it up to the medium box with the queen and put an excluder between the boxes. When the brood has emerged in the deep, retire it. (harvest any honey etc.).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If I pull the PF-120 up into the medium box after she is laying on it can I put empty frames next to it for them to pull or is there a certain number of PF-120s I need to include in the medium box along with empty frames to be sure they have plenty of space to start and as a guide? If there should be more PF-120s, how many and should they all be together or interspersed with the empty frames? Or is it necessary at this stage to fill the whole box with the PF-120s? I would like to get away from as much plastic in the box as possible and get to natural comb as soon as possible also. Thanks much for your help.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I never intersperse frames of anything with anything really. You can put an empty frame in the brood nest now and again, but not every other frame. If I were putting five frames of foundationless and five frames of foundation in a hive I would put all of the foundation together and all of the foundationless together. Doing every other one often leads to a mess especially in the honey supers. The reason for using PF120s is rapid regression. They tend to draw it correctly at the size it is made (4.95mm) and that means in one step you get regressed bees. If you do foundationless it will likely take more turnovers of comb. If you don't want plastic, then don't use them. You will get faster regression with narrow frames than standard frames though, so it may be worth shaving the end bars.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesframewidth.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm#whatisregression
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you very much for the information. As far as the PF-120s go - do they need to be shaved down also or are they already sized for the closer spacing?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>Thank you very much for the information. As far as the PF-120s go - do they need to be shaved down also or are they already sized for the closer spacing?

They are not narrow, but the plastic doesn't get reworked, so the cells end up 4.94mm with or without closer spacing. The closer spacing might still help with the amount of brood they can cover etc. but won't make any difference on cell size. I do not bother to cut down the plastic frames. I do cut down the wood ones as they are foundationless and I want them to get drawn smaller.
 
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