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Discussion Starter #1
I certainly appreciate a honey flow, even the one we're having right now, which isn't as strong as it usually is.

I recently worked one of my strongest colonies. I harvested two frames of capped brood to start nucs with and with our weaker flow, this season, saw how the bees were filling the top super of their two-super brood nest with honey, this is the first time I've seen them do this. So I've been moving the honey filled combs up into the honey supers and dividing the brood combs into the two brood supers, placing Mann Lake PF120 frames or foundationless frames with horizontal support wires, between the frames of brood. I like to check them the next day, because I usually find that most of these new frames already have comb being built in them with nice new, white wax, and some are nearly completely filling the frames and the queen will sometimes already have them filled with eggs.

Honey flows are the only time I can see development happen this quickly, or at all, so I try to enjoy it while it lasts.
 

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It is cool! I am still on a pretty good flow right now. Saturday May 29th I put a foundationless super on a hive. Brought one frame up from the super below. I checked it Monday. 7 of the 9 frames are drawn and full of honey. (not capped yet) So they drew out 6 full frames and filled them in 9 days.
 

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I recently made up a couple nucs, and checked to make sure the queens were released any laying. I had a beautiful white comb the size of my hand (full of eggs) hanging from the queen cage.

They sure can draw wax fast when they want to and the conditions are right.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was thinking that the main purpose for which foundation was developed was more likely to get combs that are a particular or more uniform cell size, rather than to expedite comb building. Sure bees can build comb very fast from beeswax foundation, but with a good honey flow they can also build their own comb without any foundation very fast, too. My experience is that foundationless combs are more often an assortment of different cell sizes and some transition cells as well. But sometimes an entire foundationless frame will be filled with comb that, to first appearances is very nearly of a uniform cell size (and for all practical purposes probably is), but even those are often a complex of very slightly different cell sizes.

Maybe the beeswax used to build foundationless combs isn't completely contaminant-free, but I certainly prefer starting from that base of mostly virgin, newly formed wax, over beeswax that is almost guaranteed to be contaminated to one degree or another.
 
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