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I currently use plastic frames in almost all my hives unless I do an extraction out of a tree. I have found that they seem to draw faster at first on the foundationless. Due to the fact that I don't want to continue to spend a fortune of bee supplies I was wondering what people prefer to use as frames in their hives. Input and experience would be appreciated. What about super frames? Extracting honey (how they hold up)?
 

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I currently use plastic frames in almost all my hives unless I do an extraction out of a tree. I have found that they seem to draw faster at first on the foundationless. Due to the fact that I don't want to continue to spend a fortune of bee supplies I was wondering what people prefer to use as frames in their hives. Input and experience would be appreciated. What about super frames? Extracting honey (how they hold up)?
Have you considered using wooden frames with the plastic/wax sheet inserts? I hear those work well to promote comb building and also give additional support to the comb.

I believe it's just called 'Wax Foundation'.
 

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I currently use plastic frames in almost all my hives unless I do an extraction out of a tree. I have found that they seem to draw faster at first on the foundationless. Due to the fact that I don't want to continue to spend a fortune of bee supplies I was wondering what people prefer to use as frames in their hives. Input and experience would be appreciated. What about super frames? Extracting honey (how they hold up)?
For my foundationless frames I use the "wedge" top, mostly. Have used the Walter Kelley FL frames as well, as well as a few others. In the past, I would wire the medium frames. For deep frames, I do continue to wire them.

I have extracted FL frames without wiring them and did not have any blowouts. Our extractor is a hand crank centrifugal model. With my FL frames, I spin them out about half way, then flip them, spin that side, them flip them and spin the original side out. That was advice from someone on this board, Maybe Michael Bush. At some point I plan on converting the extractor to a radial. That should reduce the risk of blowing out frames even more.

HTH,

Shane
 

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I went foundationless two years ago and had pretty good luck with it. When starting out place a foundationless frame in between your drawn out frames or you may end up with a mess. Another key to going foundationless is keeping the hive level from side to side. If it is not level you may end up with the top of your foundationless frames connected to the bottom of one of the frames next to it.

I think the bees draw it out faster but that is my experience, others may have differing opinions. Put a new swarm on foundationless frames and open it up two days later and judge for yourself. I take a standard wedge top, snap the wedge off and use it for the comb guide. I do this with both deep and super frames and do not use wire or any other type of comb guide and haven't had any troubles but I may try the bamboo skewers idea in a few of my deeps this season. The best part about going foundationless in supers is you have the option of cut comb, chunk, or extracted honey all from the same frame.

Something that I thought was pretty cool last season was early on the bees starting making drone cells in some new foundationless deep frames. I was able to move the frames around before the queen dropped eggs in them and the bees used them for honey storage during a strong flow. I used that comb for chunk honey and had a lot of comments about how large my bees must be. :)
 
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