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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Can new plastic pierco foundation be rotated 90 degrees and the bees still use it normally? In other words, if one wanted, could the short side of the foundation be attached to the top edge of the frame and the bees use it normally —say for example in a mating nuc or top bar configuration.
Thanks in advance!
 

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Foundation is only a blue print for the bees to draw out their cells. The bees draw their cells on a slight uphill angle. This keeps honey from running out due to gravity.

If you desire to reconfigure the direction of your frame holder, the bees would still draw their cells at a slight uphill angle. You would not be able to use that drawn comb in a traditional frame.
 

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So you are asking about putting your frames in vertically instead of horizontally? I'm assuming you don't mean flat instead of upright.
 

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Yes it can. As a one time queen breeder using mini nucs we used to chop foundation and put it in the small frames any which way, no noticeable difference far as the bees are concerned.
 

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but can plastic pierco foundation be rotated 90 degrees and the bees still use it normally?
Sure you can.
You should try some natural comb for an experiment and observe what they do for real when given the freedom.
Pretty soon you will notice that the Housel position is pretty much a myth and bees don't adhere to it much, if at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes it can. As a one time queen breeder using mini nucs we used to chop foundation and put it in the small frames any which way, no noticeable difference far as the bees are concerned.
Thanks so much! That is what I needed to know. 👍
 

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The apex of the hexagons are top and bottom in one configuration but rotating the panel 90 degrees rotation puts the flats of the cells top and bottom. Apparently the bees dont mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Here how typical natural comb looks like - bees "turned" the cells to their liking, if you can figure out the angle.
:)
Great point GregV! Think I’ll go slice up some natural comb in my workshop and take a look at the cells. Didn’t even think of that. 😄 I have a lot of new plastic pierco foundation (medium depth) and has wondered if I can install it lengthwise into the extra-long frames (of a Hyrbrid Layens). Have been told many things.

I would not do it with comb because the upward tilt of cells... but didn’t know if foundation had a particular orientation.
 

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didn’t know if foundation had a particular orientation.
Of course the foundation has the particular orientation - that is a necessity when you produce something on the industrial scale.
You don't reconfigure your machinery willy-nilly.
You set it to something and then run it that way (and invent some justification for your decision, of course).

But do not confuse the industrial scale production constraints with the real need of the bees.
Though the producers may publish all kinds of claims - the "required" orientation, yadda, yadda - it is all BS.
 

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The reason foundation is manufactured with the two parallel sides vertical is because 95% of the comb made without foundation is constructed that way. A.I. Root also tried to "follow nature" when he made his wax mills, this following nature is not something new. He also stated that when cut to fit section boxes the bees did not care how the two parallel walls were placed, vertical or horizontal. Plastic foundation injection molds cells were probably made the same as the wax foundation because beekeepers expect them to be that way.
 

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The reason foundation is manufactured with the two parallel sides vertical is because 95% of the comb made without foundation is constructed that way
Looks like my bees are total idiots to not follow the book or to know what to do with the foundation missing.
About 0% cells have "the two parallel sides vertical", not to mention absence of any consistency.
Maybe that's what is wrong with these VSH fools!
:)

PS: in all seriousness, I strongly suspect the foundation setup has to do with the business process/press manufacturing efficiency and the costs, not so much the bees;
anyway you print the foundation, it will be close enough and will work regardless.
 

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Well Greg, when you hang the comb or frames rotated out of the usual way the "parallel verticals" will no longer hold.
Obviously the bees can deal with either or any orientation given to them but I would be willing to make a wager that what AR Beekeeper said will hold true. How much are you on for?:sneaky:

Neutral parties have to provide the evidence.:)
 

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I thought I'd link this photo of foundationless comb from an earlier thread .... :giggle:



Note the vertical parallel walls of the cells.

If the linked photo doesn't display (its at Photobucket, so you take your chances :rolleyes:), here is the original thread:

Look for post #23, by Kazzandra.
 

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Well Greg, when you hang the comb or frames rotated out of the usual way the "parallel verticals" will no longer hold.
What you observe is how they built the comb - top to bottom.
Recall, I start with the blanks like these (yes, they are rotated - when still blank).
Here is one for you - go ahead and zoom in.
:)
 

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I thought I'd link this photo of foundationless comb
OK, they seem to start that way - not an impossibility.
I can probably find some of mine too, if look hard enough.
And you look carefully to the left and to the right of the center, the cells are already turning (it maybe a photo-effect - but still inconclusive).

But what about the entire frame view - like top to bottom/left to right?
In theory, they should hold the position; in practice not so - they will very quickly drift in all directions.
 

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I have even a better sample, I totally forgot about.
Such a nice picture how the swarm starts building from a scratch on just sticks.
Hard to be more natural than this, outside of improperly shaped natural cavity
Here:
 

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What you observe is how they built the comb - top to bottom.
Recall, I start with the blanks like these (yes, they are rotated - when still blank).
Here is one for you - go ahead and zoom in.
:)
They did not start with a blank.... You gave them a rim of cells with the arrangement skewed from what bees would normally find. Vertically parallel sides. If you gave them a lollipop stick starter or nothing at all that is what they would do. What percentage of the time did AR Beekeeper say?

The pictures you show of comb started from a plain surface with no existing cell pattern show the vertical parallel sides to to the cells. That does not support your statement that they have no predisposition to orient cells with apex rather than flat at the bottom.
 
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