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What would happen if I place a frame without any foundation or wire, in between two frames that both have foundation? Since the empty frame is surrounded by a solid flat surface, will the bees build straight comb on the empty frame? Or might they build it crooked somehow, maybe connecting the comb from the foundation to it?
 

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if both of the frames with foundation are completely drawn and capped you will probably end up with a fairly nice frame of foundation less comb. If both frames are bare undrawn foundation you may end up with wonkeyness. I had a super this year that I mixed new foundation frames and foundation less frames and the bees drew out the foundatinless frame 1.5" thick so you had to slide the foundation frames away to even get the foundationless one away. I have no clue what a hive would do with this setup in a brood box.

This was looking down into the super that I described above P6291821.jpg P6291824.jpg
 

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I used 20 foundationless mediums in my long lang this spring. another 10 had a third sheet of foundation in the middle like Laurie Miller does. I kept feeding the empty foundationless ones into the brood nest. They drew them out nice and straight. The empty ones at the back of the hive got wonky as they filled those with honey and made them real fat in places.
 

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What would happen if I place a frame without any foundation or wire, in between two frames that both have foundation? Since the empty frame is surrounded by a solid flat surface, will the bees build straight comb on the empty frame?
You should be ok, but there's no guarantee of that ... which is why foundationless beekeepers use some kind of starter-strip underneath the frame top bar to give the bees 'a clue' as to where to start drawing comb. Some use a short strip of foundation or used comb, others run a bead of wax along the underside of the top bar to provide a 'footprint' suggesting the presence there of a previously drawn comb.
With commercially-made frames I simply glue popsicle sticks into the gap where foundation is normally inserted - with my home-brewed frames I either cut a shallow groove for the same purpose, or glue a bamboo skewer directly underneath, flat along the centerline. More-or-less any prominence/projection hanging downwards will be chosen for a start - wiping some molten wax on it makes that projection more attractive, but isn't essential.
LJ
 

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Being a bit anthropomorphic, depends on which "bee engineer" is running the project. Expecting 4 "faces" of comb to be straight and somewhat perfect isn't likely to happen. Id wager for two "bee spaces" between faces but with varying thicknesses' of comb on either side. Not that it will be totally unmanageable or something an extracting knife won't straighten up but you'll likely not be able to interchange placement of these frames due to the concave/convex features of the comb.
As elmer pointed out, unless the comb is capped, the bees may decide to continue extending comb to occupy the open space rather building on the "other" side/frame. In short, with extra space the bees take full "artistic freedom" in building the comb.
 
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