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So I have decided to start the move to foundationless. Last week or earlier this week I saw a thread saying they thought it was a hoax. Well I got to thinking about it and we all know that bees have lived without frames for many, many years. So they built up foundationless.

Well I have two swarms and split that I put the plastic foundation in coated in wax and foundationless frames. I was surprised and amazed that they actually skipped the plastic and started drawing their own comb on foundationless frames. Not only that, but they are drawing it out faster than the other hives with the plastic foundation. I don't think it's a hoax but a more natural means for the bees. Now this has been my experience but so far it is turning out more positive, I don't have to buy foundation and they are drawing it out faster at the cell sizes they need. After all only they know what they need we just interfere.
 

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"After all only they know what they need we just interfere."--MSbeek.

I don't know if foundationless was described as a hoax. I thought it was small cell?--Ob.

"..we just interfere".MSbeek.

We do? We don't know anything [humans] and we have nothing to contribute to the welfare of our bees?
 

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I have spent the last year fretting every time something goes wrong and I usually jump in to save them needlessly. I have decided not to interfere with what they do that much, that's all. They know what they need and how to do it. They have lived in natural hives and in the wild longer than we have. This isn't to start a debate or anything, but rather tell my experience with foundationless. If I recall the hoax thread was talking about the bees making nothing but drone comb. Well I figure again that they know what they need and will do what is best for them. Giving them foundationless frames allows them to do what they do best is all I'm saying and in my limited experience they have drawn comb faster and have left the plastic frames to go after foundationless frames. While sure we contribute to their welfare we also contribute to their demise!
 

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This is my first year and I started 2 colonies. One on foundation and the other foundationless. The comb they build on the foundationless is off center, so I find myself pulling apart frames that are attached ruinning their work. The other hive is very neat and orderly and seems easier to work in. So I changed out some of the "undrawn" foundationless frames and replaced with foundation. Has anybody done this?
 

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What did you use for a starter guide? My bees have been drawing them straight. Ive actually had to ruin comb on foundation as well. I think it can happen no matter what. Far too often I pull out foundtian frames and they connected them and honey and larva are dumped out. Is the level or leaning one way versus the other?
 

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I checked level both ways before setting the box. I guess I need a new level. Im not saying Im against foundationless but Im a newbee going solo and prone to lets say "trial and error" opinions.
 

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"..they have drawn comb faster and have left the plastic frames to go after foundationless frames."--MSbeek. >> "I was surprised and amazed that they actually skipped the plastic and started drawing their own comb on foundationless". MSbeek.

"plastic,..plastic,.plastic" vs. foundationless. Oh my,.. a scientist would have a field day with that "experiment",.:rolleyes:. What ever happened to,.pure wax,..foundation?

** I don't have anything against,..foundationless,..:).
 

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"plastic,..plastic,.plastic" vs. foundationless. Oh my,.. a scientist would have a field day with that "experiment",.:rolleyes:. What ever happened to,.pure wax,..foundation?
I am having a field day with this experiment, its how new beeks learn!

And actually I have pure wax foundation too and they do well with it. The problem is, it is expensive when buying alot and again they filled out foundationless faster. One of the main reason why I decided to go foundationless was the fact that I had to order like 150 frames and I could not justify the shipping for it all so I went foundationless. So far so good!
 

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"I had to order like 150 frames and I could not justify the shipping for it all so I went foundationless. So far so good!"--MSbeek.

Looks good/reasonable to me!

..."earlier this week I saw a thread saying they thought it was a hoax."

You were right about the thread. I can't keep straight what's a hoax and what isn't anymore on,..Beesource. :scratch: :D.
 

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Shipping cost my be expensive but if you figure how long and how much gas it would take to drive to the local supplier then the shipping cost seem cheap. Sorry I'm partial but I work for the "Brown guys".
 

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There's nothing wrong with you experimenting. The bees often do not have the same agenda as you do. They don't care whether you make any honey or not. They just want to reproduce ( swarm ) like a teenager in heat.
 

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Back when I used a lot of foundation I often speculated on how to get even comb. They would build it uneven and fat. Turns out my problem was the spacing. My frames were spaced 1 1/2 and that allowed too much room for them to play with. When I went to 1 1/4" I only had the problem in the supers where the bees don't care about uniform thickness. :) The point is you can blame your comb problems on whatever system your using, but the reality is the bees will mess up anything if they want and do almost perfect sometimes no matter what you do. It's just hard to control or predict. But some things help a lot, such as spacing and good comb guides and level hives.
 

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MSbeekeper,

I understand what you are saying. You are simply saying that you tried an experiment and the bees did a wonderful job of coorperating. It's great to run an experiment and have a large difference in results, i.e. plastic vs. foundationless.

Keep experimenting and keep reporting back.:thumbsup:
 

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I presently have 4 hives, 2 Langstroths and 2 Top Bar hives. I have used nothing but foundationless. My 1'st year I had just the TBH's. They built straight comb on starter strips. My next year, I started the Langs on foundationless frames. I have some trouble looking through those hives because the tops of the frames are usually thick with honey, which I believe is normal. After cutting it a few times, just to inspect the frames, I decided that I was probably causing them stress as I was making them do unnessary repairs. I decided it would be best to not get into their brood nest to much. This is my third year and I have only treated with a little essential oil in their spring feeding. My bees do a nice job of keeping their hives clean and I haven't lost any to mites or disease. My personal opinion is to go foundationless, but I am just a back yard beek. I think the big beekeepers and the backyard hobby beekeepers have different opinions and methods of management.
Robee
 

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My HOAX post did not propose that the idea of foundationless overall was a hoax, it proposed that my bees drew it all out 100% as drone comb. Having a huge percentage of workers versus drones is what worker cell foundation achieves. Admittedly, using foundation is like penning veal calves up in a tiny pen, or chickens in a tiny cage, or injecting them with hormones or feeding cattle corn. It is a modern agricultural technique aimed at a special purpose.
If you want a pure clean hive not contaminated by traces of chemicals, foundationless is the way to go.I doubt that you will compete with your foundation using neighbor in honey production due to a large population of drones.
Comparing foundatonless versus plastic is not a comparison. The difficulties drawing out good plastic combs is well known. The ease of bees drawing out foundationless comb is well known.
 

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"..they have drawn comb faster and have left the plastic frames to go after foundationless frames."--MSbeek. >> "I was surprised and amazed that they actually skipped the plastic and started drawing their own comb on foundationless". MSbeek.

["plastic,..plastic,.plastic" vs. foundationless. Oh my,.. a scientist would have a field day with that "experiment",.:rolleyes:. What ever happened to,.pure wax,..foundation?]

** I don't have anything against,..foundationless,..:).
 

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["plastic,..plastic,.plastic" vs. foundationless. Oh my,.. a scientist would have a field day with that "experiment",.:rolleyes:. What ever happened to,.pure wax,..foundation?]

From my limited experience, having had wax and black pierco wax coated foundation in the same deep, they actually built out the plastic first.
 

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it proposed that my bees drew it all out 100% as drone comb
Funny, I haven't ever seen that and I have been foundationless for years. Sounds like a defective queen to me. Wild hives have survived for eons without foundation. They seem to make workers in the appropriate ratio. Bees denied any drone will naturally build drone either as burr comb or where ever they can. The big migratory beekeepers of course use foundation, and of course they are the ones reporting CCD.....
 

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I'm trying to go foundationless and move everything to mediums at the same time. I only have one hive so it is a really difficult task for me. I have no 'extra' drawn foundation or anything like that to help me out so the girls have no ladder to clime to the top of the frame.

My girls did draw comb but they drew it at a weird angle to the frames.

What I'll be dong to correct this is cutting out the comb and placing it into the frame the right way. Hopefully the girls will get the idea once I've done this.

The girls did space the comb evenly though!
 
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