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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I hear all the detractors putting down FL for the fact that they draw " TOO MUCH DRONE COMB". Mine are doing fine. They do draw drone comb in the upper boxes, but once the drones hatch they fill it with honey. I will continue to let the bees decide whats best. Here is what the majority of my FL brood frames look like. I will take that any day. This was an empty frame when I hived this nuc on the 3rd of June.
Bee Honeycomb Honeybee Beehive Insect
Bee Honeycomb Beehive Honeybee Insect
 

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Looks great! I have frames that look similar to yours with foundationless.

Re: Drone comb - I have a frame or 2 of drone comb, but like you, when the drone population is where they want it, they filled the cells with honey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looks great! I have frames that look similar to yours with foundationless.

Re: Drone comb - I have a frame or 2 of drone comb, but like you, when the drone population is where they want it, they filled the cells with honey.
Nice, I love it, I dont think Im ever gonna fool with foundation again. I just started this year, trying out foundationless, but they will have to give me a whole lot more of a reason than they have so far to go back to foundation. G
 

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I think that's a reflex from people who mix foundation with foundationless. If all the bees have are nice worker comb, and you give them free reign over a comb they can build from scratch, they'll (over) compensate. If given the opportunity to rear as many drones as they want, then they'll stop wanting to build drone comb and will draw out normal comb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice thought Dominic. I hadnt thought of that. I did start by mixing, from here on out, Im going FL exclusively. G
 

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Looks a lot like my foundationless frames as well. Toward the end of the flow, mine drew three full frames of drone comb, front and back. All the rest have been worker comb. I froze those three frames and moved them to slots 1 and 10. Should make a good place for winter stores. Since those three frames were pulled, they've gone back to worker comb. Seems like once mine get their fix, they're back to business as usual.
 

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I've been foundationless for over a decade, does that mean I'm not crazy anymore? Lots of beekeepers think those that run foundationless are cheap or nuts, I have plenty of money and healthy bees the nuts part is up for debate. I find foundationless more interesting and enjoyable, you really learn more of what bees do. Don't worry biggraham I'm sure you'll hear from one.:banana:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I hear ya Slow Drone. I think it is enjoyable to watch em start with a button and fill a frame. And Maxwell, yeah mine did the same, more drone comb early. I think they just want to be sure there are enough drones flying. Drone cells on foundation equal messed up comb. Or, they between the boxes and destroyed on inspections. I say let em...BEE. :applause:
 

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I have good success with FL frames as well. Every spring when I make my splits I feed lots of new FL frames into the NUCs made from splits. They draw out worker cell almost exclusively. Feeding them into a strong production hive that already has a large nest will usually result in large cells.
 

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I like the idea of going foundationles. Does one need to checkerboard new frames in. Or will they do fine on 10 empty foundationles frames?
 

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I run them with ten empties. Some feed them in between drawn frames. Two important things are first leveling your hive(side to side is most important) second keep an eye on them make sure they build straight correct right of the rip if they don't. Some use starter strips with little issues at all. I build my frames so I don't use starter strips. When I add the second brood box I put the new box on the bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I like the idea of going foundationles. Does one need to checkerboard new frames in. Or will they do fine on 10 empty foundationles frames?
Like Slow Drone said. I found out the hard way about checkerboarding between undrawn foundation. They will overbuild the Foundationless frame because they are always pulling the wax on that first. I caught it early enough that I was able to get it straight. But, I could see that it could have become a mess. I have been told like Slow Drone said, feeding them between Drawn Foundation they will be fine. Good Luck. Enjoy. G
 

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Thanks for the guidance.
Unfortunatly I'm a new keeper. I don't have the recourses.
My 2 colony's have 80 % drawn wax foundation single 10 deep.I have put some foundation in the second deep some foundationles. I guess I will have to keep a close eye on what they are drawing.
Or would it be better to just put in all foundationless?
 

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I have two hives, both with deeps/ ten frame. I tried a couple of frames with no foundation, and found them filled very quickly. I remember hearing or reading that a "deep" needs to have some sort of crosswiring support. Thoughts on support for deep foundation less?

I also read that the bees need some way to get to top of frame, some sort of "bridge" or ladder to the top (besides the frame I suppose). Has anyone else heard that or does it not matter because they just climb up frame? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Buzz im no expert by a long shot. But I think if I was going to mix undrawn frames, I would at least keep the like types together. Then if they overbuild, you only have one frame to deal with. Instead of every other frame. Im sure someone with more knowledge will weigh in. I havent used crosswiring OB. Have heard you can and they will incorporate it fine. I have been using the guidance shared here in my transition. G

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm
 

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good looking brood
cells scale out at 5.1 mm
That's awesome you were able to measure that off his picture. I would be willing to bet that over time as he continues to feed empty frames in the avg worker cell size built will continue to decrease until he reaches the natural local size for his area. He could pull the 5.1s out and feed them into packages if he ever buys them or swarms that he catches and be a step ahead in the smallcell/natural cell race.
 
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