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I bought some of the wedge shaped top bars from Walter T. Kelley and put them in my brood chambers. I put them between the frames with foundation. Is this the way to do it?
 

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I believe they say the best is to place them between frames of drawn brood or capped honey.
But if that is all you got, then I would check it now, catch any problems early. That way you don't find a big mess if they start welding things together.

Editted:
Wanted to mention - You need to make sure the hive is level. If it isn't the comb they draw will not be straight in the frame.
Mike
 

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I did what you did with a couple of frames and they drew them out just fine. Mine were just starter strips and not the fancy Kelly ones.lol Let us know how they work, I have been thinking about ordering some.

You may get a lot of drone cells because that is the only place that they can put them freely. You should see them building in a few days. Mine had one 50 % drawn in 4 days. Have fun, it simply amazes me that they do it. Check out Mikeal Bushes site, he has a section on foundationless frames.
 

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

The best place is between drawn brood combs. Next is between capped honey combs. But you can use them anywhere. I would not alternate them with foundation as the bees willd draw the foundationless fat and ignore the foundation if it's in the honey area. it works ok in a brood area, but you wanted foundationless didn't you? So why use foundation?
 

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I am trying them also. I did put a little wax on the "V" to help get them started.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
These are only in the brood boxes. I have had them in there about a week and I am planning on opening them this weekend. If I can figure out how to post pics on here I will post some after this weekend.
 

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Good luck Oreo, I will be interested in hearing how it works for you! :)

I just put some foundationless supers on today, I started a thread about it in the 101 forum. Thanks for your advise, Michael.
 

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If as Omie did and Michael suggests, putting a full box of foundationless frames with a ladder on, wouldn't the bees draw frames out so fat that they intrude on the frames next to them?

I put a foundationless frame in my brood chamber and the bees have drawn it out beautifully. However, in this instance, they didn't draw it to the edges, so on the brood frames on either side, they went back and extended the cells of honey around the perimeter until they fill the empty edge space of the foundationless frame.

So what is the chance they will do the same in the honey super with all empty frames?
 

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I put in 2 foundationless frames when I added a new box to each of my hives. The rest were wax foundation. As this is my first year, I have no frames of drawn comb. My Italian hive drew beautiful foundation. My Russians have ignored it so far.
 

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I bought a bunch of kelly's comb frames. I agree that ideally, you should place them between fully drawn comb.

I alternated them between pierco frames, since that's all I have. Some of them are good. Others are slightly off center. I plan to spend some time this weekend and scraping off the ones that aren't right.

As other people have said, just stay on top of it. This is primarily an experiment to see how they do. So far there is more ignoring, than building.
 

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>If as Omie did and Michael suggests, putting a full box of foundationless frames with a ladder on, wouldn't the bees draw frames out so fat that they intrude on the frames next to them?

Sometimes. But only the ladder. You can pull the frames further out and make room to get it out. And only if it's full of honey. If you extract you will cut the excess off when you uncap. If you crush and strain it's irrelevant. If you alternate every other one with foundation you'll typically end up with the foundationless ones fat and the foundation undrawn. Then the only, not messy way, to get them out is to flip the box upside down and remove the box and then pull the frames off.

>I put a foundationless frame in my brood chamber and the bees have drawn it out beautifully. However, in this instance, they didn't draw it to the edges, so on the brood frames on either side, they went back and extended the cells of honey around the perimeter until they fill the empty edge space of the foundationless frame.

Which they also do with foundation. When they are already building honey storage they tend to just keep making it deeper.

>So what is the chance they will do the same in the honey super with all empty frames?

All empty they tend to start them at the same time. Every other one empty and drawn comb between they tend to draw the drawn comb deeper (as they did with honey in your brood nest). Every other one foundation, they tend to ignore the foundation and build the foundationless between fat. All foundationless they tend to start them at the same time from the guides so they are more likely to be evenly spaced.
 

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I'm also trying out foundationless this year as well. I started with 5-frame nucs and the frames are being drawn out straight. The only thing is it seems like the cells are huge and many being filled with sugar syrup.

The one thing I'm worried about is that those will end up being all drone cells in the future. Should I leave the frame like that? or will they rebuild them when they need cells for worker brood?
 

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Here is something that I have noticed with many of my foundationless hives, when I go to add another brood box (I use three mediums for brood) when the one below is at least 3/4 drawn out, and I just set the new box on top, the bees have been building alot of burr comb with nectar in it, in the bee space between the two boxes rather than going up and drawing out comb in the new box. Sometimes they even start drawing the comb in the frame from the bottom-up, instead of from the top-down. I'm even getting burr comb going perpendicular to the frames. Is anyone else seeing this, and how do you solve it? Thanks.
 

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I bought some of the wedge shaped top bars from Walter T. Kelley and put them in my brood chambers. I put them between the frames with foundation. Is this the way to do it?
I asked the same question a few months ago, and got variable answers. Ultimately, I decided to put 5 frames of drawn comb in the middle, and then the remaining 5 split up on either side it.

The bees have been drawing beautiful looking comb, in line with the frames... But my gut feel is that it's all going rather slow - They still havn't quite filled the first brood chamber.

I'm new, and there's many variables at play, so it's hard to say whether foundationless has been the holdup.

Most important, though, there is progress, and it looks *great*.
 

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jmgi....I had the same problem, building up from the bottom instead of down. I solved this by putting the new box under the filled one. All mediums, it really isn't that much lifting. They built very slowly once I did that, so on my next inspection when I noticed the slowness, I swapped three of the outside frames, two from one side and one from the other, from the full box to the bottom empty box, putting them in the middle of that empty box. In no time they had the 3 empty frames in the originally full box drawn out and were building well on the new box.

I'm trying something new now as well. I bought a few sheets of cutcomb foundation, very clean/white, to use for starter strips. My latest body that I just put on the top has three narrow strips of this running vertically down from the starter strip to the bottom of the frame on each frame, sort of a vertical guide and ladder. At the bottom I just let it sit in the grove that's there. I rolled this foundation between a few pieces of kitchen parchment paper to flatten the embossing before putting it in the frame. But even if the girls feel compelled to follow that embossing, they'll be able to build whatever they like in all over the rest of the frame. This was my main reason for going foundationless as a hobbyist, just to let them do what they want. I'll let you know how it goes, I'm hoping to help my "straightness" factor this way as well. Wasn't bad on the first two boxes, but could've been better, we'll see.
 

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I've found a striking difference between two of my hives. One with 10 frames of *all-plastic* foundation, and the other with 5 frames of drawn comb, and 5 frames of foundationless.

The foundationless hive was populated by package 3 months ago, and is just finished drawing out the 5 foundationless.

The Plastic-foundation hive was installed from Swarm 2 weeks ago, and is 80% done drawing out comb on all 10 plastic frames.

There's a lot of other factors at play, including sun exposure, race, etc... but the difference is pretty amazing all the same.
 

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"...I've found a striking difference between two of my hives..."
"...hive was populated by package ..."
"...hive was installed from Swarm..."
and you "found" a difference? perhaps a book on basic beekeeping is in order.
 

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The Plastic-foundation hive was installed from Swarm 2 weeks ago, and is 80% done drawing out comb on all 10 plastic frames.

Swarms are known for drawing comb quickly. Swarms are likely all young bees, which are already primed for wax production. Swarms have no brood to take care of, so all their energy can go to making wax.

This is why beekeepers desire prime swarms for comb honey production.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I checked my hives Saturday. Nothing started on the foundationless frames, but they are drawing wax on the black plastic wax coated foundation frames in between them. I left them as they were and will recheck in 2 weeks.
 
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