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The bees are just as good at building comb from the bottom, up as they are at doing it from the top, down. When I pre-wire with horizontal wires, many times they will start the combs on one of the wires and build it out in all four directions. They usually start the comb at three or four different locations, even on different wires. And it's not uncommon for them to start comb at the top, middle, and bottom, then grow them until they're all connected together as one complete comb.
 

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Just as Josph Clemens has stated is not an uncommon thing for them to do.I've been foundationless for over a decade,what I found works for me is no wire and no bottom bar.they always start at the top bar and some times they attach to the bottom bar.I don't feel wire or bottom bars are a bad thing they seem to give me what I like to see with out either.
 

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Another thing to consider - If you have a full box of foundationless frames on top of an established hive - place one drawn comb or a frame with foundation in the middle to give the bees a ladder to get to the top. If you do so, they will usually draw them out from the top down ...

Some thoughts on this from Linda's Blog ...

http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/search?q=+ladder
 

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I have had this problem with mediums a few times, but have had it several times with deeps....adding a "ladder" frame in the middle mosty of the time will prevent it
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the responses. It's actually just one foundationless frame surrounded by what was frames of foundation. They've drawn out almost a whole 8 frame medium in 5 days. Weird thing is that they seem to be drawing comb quicker since I took the syrup away.

I read that it's best to put foundationless frames between frames of drawn comb, so what I though I would do is to let them draw out the first super, them when I give them the second, checkerboard foundationless frames in between drawn frames. In other words, take four drawn frames from super 1 and put in super two. Then put 8 frames of foundationless between drawn comb in both boxes.

I didn't realize they would draw from the bottom. This one frame is kind of a "tester" to see how it goes before I take the steps I mentioned above. This hive is a boomer and I know I'll get honey from it this year.

I guess my two concerns were that it's on the bottom, and it's kind of hanging off the side of the frame. It's not loose, but attached to both the top and side of the bottom bar.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just as Josph Clemens has stated is not an uncommon thing for them to do.I've been foundationless for over a decade,what I found works for me is no wire and no bottom bar.they always start at the top bar and some times they attach to the bottom bar.I don't feel wire or bottom bars are a bad thing they seem to give me what I like to see with out either.
Can you spin those, or do you do cut comb/crush and strain? I've got one where I'm missing the bottom bar somehow. Might throw that one in there too to see how it goes.
 

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If it's first season comb crush and strain is.If it's second season comb run it like anything else.I'not had any more of an issue with blow outs than you would normally have with foundation.I run deeps that's what I do.I have a buddy that runs mediums and shallows,he hasn't had any issues extracting new combs.He's also foundationless.
 

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I recently heard about some foundationless users, who leave off their Bottom Bars until the comb is built. Then, after the comb extends near, or past the point where the Bottom Bar would be, the Bottom Bar is then installed, gently pushing it against the bottom of the new comb. The bees then attach the comb to the Bottom Bar.

I haven't tried this, yet, but I am planning to. I'll likely post my results, after I've tried it.
 

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I've tried it Joseph.Didn't work out for me not many were attached some were alittle.Maybe timing I don't know.Someone might have more success with it.If you do try it again with positive results let me know what you did and if timing is a factor or not in your opinion.I plan on giving it a go again.the bottom bar makes it easier to handle frames but when they're preparing to swarm without it sure does make it easier to cut out queen cells for nucs.
 

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If I'm starting a hive on all foundationless I usually add the second box to the bottom to avoid this. Then I pull a couple of drawn combs up into the third box which I usually put on top. After that it's usually warm enough it doesn't matter as much, but a ladder to the top of the next box always helps things along plus one good comb in the center is good insurance to getting the rest of the combs parallel and on the bars.
 

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I extract deep, fresh foundationless without too many problems. I lined my extractor face with chicken wire so the soft comb slings up against it. Spin it slow at first on each side to lighten the load.
 
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