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I've decided to switch to foundationless, this year. I do have some foundation and don't want to waste it, so I'm using it up. Upon inspection, I found that the bees are drawing out the foundationless and barely touching the foundation. A prime example is a medium frame with foundation, in a deep. The bees had drawn out comb on the bottom of the frame and hadn't even touched the foundation. Has anyone else noticed this?
 

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Seems to be typical actually. Though you can make your foundation go longer by cutting it up into strips and using it as starter strips for your foundationless frames.
 

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"I found that the bees are drawing out the foundationless and barely touching the foundation. A prime example is a medium frame with foundation, in a deep. The bees had drawn out comb on the bottom of the frame and hadn't even touched the foundation."

I think part of the reason for this is because a full sheet of foundation, in affect, interferes with the natural instinctive progression of the way bees initiate the building of comb. They have to 'start somewhere' and they do that by first building their own,.."starter strip" at the top of where they are going to start building comb. I don't think it means they have a "preference" for foundationless over foundation. With a very narrow strip of foundation they may have started at the top just as quickly as under the bottom bar.

One example I can think of at this moment, although it doesn't involve insects, is that nest boxes for woodpeckers are more readily accepted/used if they are stuffed with wood chips/shavings above the entrance. The excavation/removal of the woodchips is part of the natural nest building instinctive ritual.

I installed a package a few days ago and after only about 14 hours the bees had built a patch of comb in the space where the queen cage was placed. Natural comb building is a very strong urge for honey bees starting a new colony.
 

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The bees had drawn out comb on the bottom of the frame and hadn't even touched the foundation. Has anyone else noticed this?
It's the opposite what you described here. We installed horz strips in some and they draw-out the strips of foundation and then continue on their own. We do get some bur-comb sometimes. Wayward bee's... gotta keep us busy.

Sorry, I just realized the set-up you described. I do know one thing. Give the Bee's an extra 1/8" and they are going to put comb in there.
 

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Not discounting your theory your bees might draw foundationless faster than w/foundation I however have not had that experience. In regards to your example of the medium frame in a deep hive body... the bees put all their efforts into drawing this "new comb" and paid no attention to the foundation because of their need to fill this gap/space created by the shorter frame. They cant stand a gap especially between two deep frames or the side of the box and will focus on getting this gap filled first then work on other areas such as foundation. Good luck, have a great day.
 
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