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Discussion Starter #1
I am just embarking on a foundationless experience. I understand that to get the best comb that it is recommended by some to have capped brood or honey on each side of a new foundationless frame. I have found out why with my first super which had uncapped honey next to a foundationless frame. They continued to draw out the uncapped honey until it intruded on the new frame's space.

Since I lack capped brood or honey, can I instead use a block of the proper thickness on each side to do the same thing?
 

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I understand that to get the best comb that it is recommended by some to have capped brood or honey on each side of a new foundationless frame.
Actually, the recommendation is for capped brood (not capped honey) on each side of the undrawn foundationless frame for the very reason you observed.

The most straight forward way to foundationless comb is to first get drawn brood comb using some foundation frames, then insert your foundationless frames between these drawn brood combs. It takes time, but you avoid the problems of overbuilt comb on adjoining frames. Also, you the risk getting lots of drone comb.
 

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I am just embarking on a foundationless experience. I understand that to get the best comb that it is recommended by some to have capped brood or honey on each side of a new foundationless frame. I have found out why with my first super which had uncapped honey next to a foundationless frame. They continued to draw out the uncapped honey until it intruded on the new frame's space.

Since I lack capped brood or honey, can I instead use a block of the proper thickness on each side to do the same thing?
Your experience with an empty FL frame between honey frames mirrors my experience. Bees like to draw honey storage wider than brood comb. I recommend against placing a FL frame between honey frames. In the brood chamber, an empty frame between two drawn frames can be done with no issues.

HTH,

Shane
 

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I started 2 hives from a package with nothing but empty frames with the wedge broken off and glued back in the center. No starter strips / beeswax or blocks. I now have a couple boxes of drawn comb (ea.) that look great. Once they get going, it progresses fast.

Lessons learned:

1) Make sure your hives are level from side to side or you run the risk of the bottom of comb being off center of the frame.
2) Correct it early. You will want to remove any bad comb starts or wacky comb ASAP. I had a few false starts, but the girls eventually got it. I was visiting every 3 days until they had a couple frames going.
3) Once you have a few frames drawn and capped (brood - not honey), use this to your advantage and place empty frames in between. Keep swapping them out to get more frames drawn.
4) Feed - the more there is a sense of a strong flow, the more apt they are to draw.
5) Be gentle with the virgin wax. It can break pretty easily when its warm out. I never flip mine top to bottom, rather keep the frames always perpendicular to the ground.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So I just got into my experimental hive and found some cool and also some problematic things. First off, since Monday, they have drawn one frame almost halfway and the other maybe 25%. All the fresh comb had about half the cells with eggs in them.

I had placed them with a undrawn foundation on one side and a brood/honey frame on the other. The bees had drawn the honey portion of those frames into the foundationless frames and connected some new comb at the top and filled the space in the foundationless with that comb. It was easy enough to remove and all things are much straighter now.

I moved the foundationless to the outside positions and put a couple partially drawn frames on the other side. Hopefully they'll drawn the FL frames out first and keep it all straight.

This is in a deep that started as a nuc with the queen from my overwintered hive. I'm learning a lot.
 
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