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I am new to beekeeping and setting up 2 new hives this spring. My initial intention was to use wax foundations, but after much reading, I would like to start without foundations, but am concerned because of the newness. Can someone experienced in not using foundations explain the best approach to take that has been successful in the past? Or should I just let the bees do their thing?
Greg Watkevich
 

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Welcome Greg! You're going to have a great time with the bees, and learning from this forum. Great group of folks here. Perhaps the best place to start learning about foundationless beekeeping is Mike Bush's site: http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm
read his "how to" article there. You really can't let the bees "do their thing" as they'll probably build comb in directions you don't want. Good luck to you, sir!
Steven
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm

The simplest now, would be to buy the foundationless frames from Walter T. Kelley. Next simplest is to buy the wedge top bar frames and turn the top bar 90 degrees to make a guide. If you already have frames and they have a grooved top bar, then put poscicle sticks in the groove.
 

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Michael, don't you suggest to use some type of foundation like a starter strip on at least one frame to get them going? I thought remembered reading that.
 

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>Michael, don't you suggest to use some type of foundation like a starter strip on at least one frame to get them going? I thought remembered reading that.

There are lots of things that are useful or helpful if they are handy or convenient. One drawn comb is nice. One foundation in the first box is not necessary but may provide a level of insurance. One drawn comb (which can be borrowed from the box below) is helpful when adding boxes of foundationless above as it gives them a ladder. I have started many a hive with nothing but foundationless frames with no issues.
 
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