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Bees are amazing. A week ago I added my second deep and baited them up with a drawn frame. I put an empty frame in place of the drawn one in the brood nest. I did this on both my hives.

On my stronger hive I checked them again after a week and found that the empty frame was completely drawn top to bottom and well on it's way to being filled with eggs. This is by far the better comb compared to the ones drawn on wax foundation. I just put it in between two drawn frames and the bees did the rest.

On my weaker hive they had drawn out about a quarter of the frame, which isn't bad since this hive went about two weeks queenless.

I am a definite believer and plan to use no foundation after I get everything drawn out the first time. Just putting an empty frame between drawn frames seems the way to go for ease and efficiency.

Jim
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Just don't give them a whole empty box of empty frames.


If you have even one well drawn frame in the middle of a box of empty frames and the frames are all crowded to the middle they usually do ok.

But once in a while they mess up.

With an empty frame between two well drawn frames I have never seen them mess it up.

Sometimes, though, if they haven't gotten enough drone cells built and out of their system, they will build a whole frame of drone brood.
I just move it to the outside and let it emerge and they will usually fill it with honey later.
 

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I'm a bit new to this, so I'm not quite sure what you meant by "Don't give them a box full of empty frames". Are you saying that when I go to add my second deep that I shouldn't use a box full of empty frames? If that's true, what should I do?

Much thanks,
Scotty
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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The subject here is not bare foundation. It's an empty frame with NO foundation. A whole box of empty frames with no foundation MAY get drawn correctly or the bees may decide to start going across at an angle between the frames.

A box of frames with just foundation probably won't get messed up (although sometimes anything can happen, but still I find things go faster if I move a drawn frame up from the box below to bait them up to the next box. So I would do this (put a frame of well drawn comb up in the new box) either way. With bare foundation or empty frames or for that matter starter strips or foundationless frames. In all cases it will speed up the bees drawing in that box and it will help keep the comb straight and in the frames.

Also, ALWAYS crowd frmaes of undrawn combs (foundation, foundationless, starter strips ietc.) to the center so the spacing is correct. You can cheat them out to 9 frames after you have drawn comb.




[This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited June 07, 2004).]
 

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Hey Michael B, so you say to always start with 10 frames (in this case) of new foundation in a honey super instead of 9? Well, I started with 9 using the metal spacers so it won't be an easy task converting these to 10 frames. Should I leave things bee or go ahead and change to 10? As always, it's nice to read your posts.
 

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>Hey Michael B, so you say to always start with 10 frames (in this case) of new foundation in a honey super instead of 9?

I would.

>Well, I started with 9 using the metal spacers so it won't be an easy task converting these to 10 frames. Should I leave things bee or go ahead and change to 10?

What are the bees telling you? Are they drawing it nice and even or are they bulding cross combs and such. The danger of spacing them nine is that the bees sometimes draw it fine and sometimes the totally mess it up.

Once they are drawn you can even space them 8 frames in a 10 frame box if you want and they will do fine with it.

I tried the spacers and found it was more trouble than I wanted to mess with so I bought the comb spacers that you just use to space them but they aren't frame rests and they don't stay in the hive. I have an 8 and a 9 frame that I bought and a 10 and an 11 frame that I built. I can space 11 frames in a 10 frame box if it's PermaComb (that has no spacers on the frame) or I cut the end bars to 1 1/4" on the hoffman frames.

>As always, it's nice to read your posts.

Thanks.
 
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