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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While installing foundation, I noticed a "Y" formed inside each cell. By turning the foundation 180 degrees, I can also turn the "Y" upside down.

Does this matter? Which way is best?

Next Question: (Some what related)
After removing, then replacing a frame, does rotating 180 degrees matter? How about rotating a entire super?

Thanks,
Dave W
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I would read the above mentioned article first.

For years I paid no attention to the direction. I noticed the difference, but didn't know what significance it had, since none of the books I had read mentioned it. Usually you put foundation in frames in a system and so they end up all facing the same direction. Sometimes you get interrupted, or you juggle things around in a hive and they get moved so they are not all the same way.

I had noticed that sometimes the bees would not draw a particular frame and when you reverse it they do. I still didn't think much about it until the above mentioned article on Housel Positioning. It explains why they sometimes don't want to draw a frame but will when you reverse it. I have changed all my hives to Housel Positioning. I don't know if the results are stunning, but the bees seem to be more consistent drawing all the frames and not skipping one here and there.

The theory is that it will be less confused and therefore less stressed if we position the combs the way they would have built them if there were no foundation leading them in another direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So, yes it does matter!

Each frame should be placed into the hive so the side of the frame that faces toward the center of the hive, has the "Y" upside down.
The first five frames should be oriented the same way, with the remaining five turned opposite.

How do you organize nine frames? Let's don't go there yet!

I assume to rotate a whole supper 180 degrees, does not matter. If the supper is arranged with proper "Housel Positioning".

Thanks!
Dave W
 

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How do you organize nine frames? Let's don't go there yet!

No lets do go there. Nine frames just leaves and even side. If the center of you nest is YI,IY then it goes IY,IY,IY. On the other side, YI,YI,YI. Not that difficult.

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Dale Richards
Dal-Col Apiaries
Drums, PA
 

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Hello Everyone,

I had the same question my first day on the job with a commercial beekeeper 33 years ago. I pulled a frame out and couldn't remember which way it went back in. A asked the beekeeper and he looked at me like I was stupid and said it didn't matter.

So until Michael Housel shared his observations I hadn't given it much thought.

But all of my hives are arranged by Housel positioning and all clusters have remained centered but one. It is only one frame off. Could I have goofed on that box?:> )

I conducted a test this last summer before I knew anything about Housel positioning. Plastic small cell foundation was alternated with small cell was foundation above the brood nest. The bees refused to work the wax although lots of bees could be seen crawling on it. They worked the plastic reluctantly and eventually pulled away from the plastic to draw their own comb.

I took some photos which showed both foundations were inserted backwards according the Housel positioning. I could not tell from the photos how the comb was oriented that the bees drew for themselves between the foundations.

Some Observations
Dennis
 

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> Your illustration shows only 8 frames, when you figure out where the ninth
> frame goes, please post the info.

Do you suppose the bees really care/know if the "center" positioned comb is not dead center in the chamber? So we run four combs positioned one way on one side and 5 combs positioned the other way on the other side.

I have yet to join the "comb positioning" camp as I don't see clear enough evidence that it is the way some say it is. I plan on testing it this year with my TBH and looking closer to the cut-outs I do on feral bees. Dennis has graciously allowed me to have a different mindset on this one
He must figure I'll come around eventually!

Regards,
Barry
 

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My experience would support that sometimes the bees don't seem to like the position of a frame, but I'm with Barry, I'd like to use some blank starter stips and see what the bees build on their own. I have noticed, that although the bees sometimes don't like the position of a frame, if they all go the same way they don't seem to reject them. The Housel theroy is that the orientaion helps them stay centered and relieves stress.

I'm using it, because it's not that difficult to do and it does seem to solve problems with them not wanting to draw some frames.
 

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I'm setting up two deeps for my first two packages of bees and want to use Housel positioning. I understand the upside down Y goes toward the center, but is it the side of the foundation that you can see the upside down Y or the other side that actually forms the upside down Y that goes toward the center?

Thanks,
Dave
 
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Hi Dave,

The Y is actually formed by the conjuction of cell walls on the opposite of the frame.

The best way to determine which side of the frame your dealing with is to hold the frame up to the light and look through the bottom of the cells. If the Y appears upside down in the bottom of the cell, then the side your looking at should face the center of the broodnest.

Dennis
 

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I kept bees very succesfully for 33 years before ever bothering myself with Housel positioning. I am now running experiments on about 150 new frames to see if I think that it has any merit. I did notice that as colonies start to draw out the supers, they DO NOT CENTER any more than a mixed up super of frames. In fact, they all started off to one side.
 

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I just read the article, and it does indeed make me wonder if there might be an answer to why some frames are "skipped". Can't hurt to try. Should be as simple as magic markering an arrow on the top bar pointing the way of orientation toward center, no matter which side the frame is on. Question...it says that queen dev. can happen anytime if an outer frame is positioned backwards. Could this be an easy way to prompt a queen cell (watched carefully to almost hatching) to start a nuc? If completely reliable (ok, not likely), you'd know exactly where to be looking for it to happen if you reversed, say, the second or third frame in from the end. Just a thought. Gary
 

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Another thought (darn newbees). What I've been taught so far is to place an empty frame (no foundation) toward the end of each brood chamber to have the bees build drone comb on, and monitor it for mites. Works great, but sometimes it ends up as large honey storage cells. Seems to be a perfect way to validate how the bees draw comb in relation to the hive's center if you alternate which side of each hive body you put them in to see if they really build comb to match the theory.
 

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>Another thought (darn newbees). What I've been taught so far is to place an empty frame (no foundation) toward the end of each brood chamber to have the bees build drone comb on, and monitor it for mites. Works great, but sometimes it ends up as large honey storage cells. Seems to be a perfect way to validate how the bees draw comb in relation to the hive's center if you alternate which side of each hive body you put them in to see if they really build comb to match the theory.

I'm trying blank starter strips. (no embossing) and I'm interested in this mysterious "center" comb also.
 

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I am starting 20 new packages this year trying Housel Positioning all the way around. I used a yellow paint marker I swiped from work to draw a Y or a > with the open part facing the middle and corresponding with the cells on the frame.
 
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