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Discussion Starter #1
I asked this a while back but I never really got a clear answer, the thread evolved into other questions instead. I really need/would like to have a back up of drawn deep frames(6-10) to help me throughout this season. I currently only have 1 hive up and running in my beeyard. They overwintered and have 20 frames drawn out. The hive is 2 deeps. I am going to be installing a few packages in a week and plan to do that into mediums(already drawn). Hopefully I will be getting the 2 nucs(deep frames) that I ordered as well.
In my situation here, what is your best opinion what I should do to get some extra deep frames drawn out?

I was planning on placing 2-3 frames in the current hive and have them draw that out, but I have heard that placing drawn comb next to plastic foundation is asking for a mess or the bees will "pull" the existing comb and not draw out the foundation.

I am also going to be setting out 6-8 swarm traps in deep boxes if that makes a difference for getting comb built. Thanks, juzzer
 

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The absolute best way I know is to insert a foundation frame in between two frames of capped brood. If done early in the season, it results in a beautiful frame of worker cells. I like to shave frames down to 1 1/4 inches and draw them out 11 at a time. That results in fine comb.
 

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They draw comb best when the flow is on. For honey supers, let them starting filling drawn comb up top and when it is half full, put a super of foundation under it.
 

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Vance G - Right on the money. Put foundation frames or even foundationless between two frames of capped brood in the brood chamber. The bees will pull those frames out very quickly to put the brood nest back into place. They don't like to have it broken up. That's one of the reasons that beekeepers do a checkerboard on their frames, the other reason is to expand the broodnest. One plus to this is that if the queen gets to the frames that are drawn out before you pull them, you give your NUC's an instant boost of brood too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Now that you point that technique out, it seems like the best way to ensure they don't overdraw a frame. Anyone have any other approaches as to how they draw out a few frames versus all 10 or 11 at one time?

How many frames at a time and does it matter what time of the season it is(early, mid, late) Spring/Summer in Wisconsin? Honey flow time?
I assume the facing frames to my foundation frame needs to both have capped brood?
What might happen if the brood is not capped?


Thanks, juzzer
 

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Juzzer - The best time for the bees to draw frames out is during a flow, could be spring, summer, or fall depending upon when you need to get it done. On the other hand you can always stimulate during off flow times with sugar water to get the young bees to draw the frames out too. As for how many at a time, I've seen beekeepers do 10 at a time by checkerboarding the hives, and i've seen them do just a few at a time if they were pulling off a nuc. It depends upon what you need and how strong the hive is. Just make sure you put those frames into the brood nest area to break it up. That's what makes them get on the double and draw them out for you.
 
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