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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wondering if they're going to build up the foundationless frames in the hive or whether I should pretty much write that off for this season. Is their main comb-building done during spring flow?
 

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It all depends upon what you are trying to get done and with what sized hive. Under normal circumstances most new comb is build during a flow. Spring flow/fall flow, however under the fall flow most of the comb that will be built will only hold honey in the end and will be built do do so.

Those are under normal hives. NUC's are a diff story all together. They will continue to build and build in a small NUC as long as you feed them and break between the feedings for a day. I feed 2 or 3 frame nuc's every couple days to stimulate new comb, and at the same time the break between feedings allows the queen to lay up the new comb they just built so that when they are fed again they have to pull new comb to place the feed in. Then once they get the frames pulled out they are full of brood and I start over again in another box and keep them going.
 

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It all depends upon what you are trying to get done and with what sized hive. Under normal circumstances most new comb is build during a flow. Spring flow/fall flow, however under the fall flow most of the comb that will be built will only hold honey in the end and will be built do do so.

Those are under normal hives. NUC's are a diff story all together. They will continue to build and build in a small NUC as long as you feed them and break between the feedings for a day. I feed 2 or 3 frame nuc's every couple days to stimulate new comb, and at the same time the break between feedings allows the queen to lay up the new comb they just built so that when they are fed again they have to pull new comb to place the feed in. Then once they get the frames pulled out they are full of brood and I start over again in another box and keep them going.
Tom, how do you feed inside the your nucs? I've got a new nuc, my first, that I'd like see draw more comb yet, but wondered if ziploc bags laying on top of the frames will work. I don't want outside feeders to start any robbing issues.
 

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I use hive top feeders. They tend to allow the NUC's to feed without letting the outsiders know what's going on. I use a modified version of the one that the Fat Beeman "Don" uses. I'll attach a photo. Very easy to make, doubles as an inner cover and gives ventilation when needed.. Check it out.. View attachment 12646
I use #8 hardware cloth for the ladder all the way around the actual ladder rails.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It all depends upon what you are trying to get done and with what sized hive. Under normal circumstances most new comb is build during a flow. Spring flow/fall flow, however under the fall flow most of the comb that will be built will only hold honey in the end and will be built do do so.

Those are under normal hives. NUC's are a diff story all together. They will continue to build and build in a small NUC as long as you feed them and break between the feedings for a day. I feed 2 or 3 frame nuc's every couple days to stimulate new comb, and at the same time the break between feedings allows the queen to lay up the new comb they just built so that when they are fed again they have to pull new comb to place the feed in. Then once they get the frames pulled out they are full of brood and I start over again in another box and keep them going.
I don't really use nucs, but I did start two 1-medium hives with queen cells, so that's kind of a nuc, but I don't feed them, I just put some honey frames in there. But I'll check them because if you think nucs build comb more quickly than a regular hive, then I better stay on top of them.

As far as the regular 4 to 5 medium hives, I had kind of given up on them building more comb since I didn't see much going on the last couple times I looked in there. But fall flow is coming, so maybe I better get supers ready for that. Unfortunately I'm all out of built up comb and foundation, so the supers will be completely foundationless (except for whatever checkerboarding I can configure). I know it's not a good idea to put an entire super of empty foundationless on there because supposedly they'll build wacky, especially if it's heavy honey frames, but oh well. What I'd really like to do is get my library of built up comb increased for next time.

Thank you for that info.
 

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When we got our observation hive from Brushy Mountain, it came with a really neat accessory you can buy by itself, a frame feeder. It is the same size as a deep frame, but holds sugar syrup and has floats for the bees to climb down to. This is a really easy way to feed a nuc that has a frame space available.

I've heard some disaster tales about the plastic baggie trick.
 

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I don't really use nucs, but I did start two 1-medium hives with queen cells, so that's kind of a nuc, but I don't feed them, I just put some honey frames in there. But I'll check them because if you think nucs build comb more quickly than a regular hive, then I better stay on top of them.

As far as the regular 4 to 5 medium hives, I had kind of given up on them building more comb since I didn't see much going on the last couple times I looked in there. But fall flow is coming, so maybe I better get supers ready for that. Unfortunately I'm all out of built up comb and foundation, so the supers will be completely foundationless (except for whatever checkerboarding I can configure). I know it's not a good idea to put an entire super of empty foundationless on there because supposedly they'll build wacky, especially if it's heavy honey frames, but oh well. What I'd really like to do is get my library of built up comb increased for next time.

Thank you for that info.
I started 3 hives with both Deeps and Mediums this year completely foundationless and had almost no issues with Whacky comb. I had to fix 1 cross comb once, and that was it. I wouldn't be worried about putting all foundationless frames at all. Might want to check a bit more regularly in the beginning but that the only downside, If thats a downside.
 

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they like the plastic baggie in Ontario. I do not care for it, filling and handling the bags is a mess at best. I use top mason jar feeders with migratory type hive tops. the tops have a screen so filling or swapping jars is simple. the feeder in post #4 looks good to me. it will allow a faster feeding rate which should trigger comb drawing. I tried betterbee nuc feeders, the brown plastic ones, I hope they are discontinued, not a positive review from me. some body else offers the same thing, maybe brushy?.. the mason jar is good for feeding but it could do better at triggering comb building latter in the season. the mason jar on top may get too hot down south but we do not get real hot that much up here especialy this year. it was in the upper 40 last night, cool for july... if we got it last night it is cool in nh now I would guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I started 3 hives with both Deeps and Mediums this year completely foundationless and had almost no issues with Whacky comb. I had to fix 1 cross comb once, and that was it. I wouldn't be worried about putting all foundationless frames at all. Might want to check a bit more regularly in the beginning but that the only downside, If thats a downside.
Good news, thank you. I was reluctant to put a super of empty foundationless on, now I don't feel as nervous about it.
 

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Those are under normal hives. NUC's are a diff story all together. They will continue to build and build in a small NUC as long as you feed them and break between the feedings for a day. I feed 2 or 3 frame nuc's every couple days to stimulate new comb, and at the same time the break between feedings allows the queen to lay up the new comb they just built so that when they are fed again they have to pull new comb to place the feed in. Then once they get the frames pulled out they are full of brood and I start over again in another box and keep them going.
How much do you feed them each feeding? I was just trying to figure out how often and how much to feed my medium nucs to get comb built. They are 5 over 5 frame medium nucs. I know I don't want to over feed them. I use inverted jars with a small hole for slow feeding. I just don't know how much to give them at once, or how often
 

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Tom, how do you feed inside the your nucs? I've got a new nuc, my first, that I'd like see draw more comb yet, but wondered if ziploc bags laying on top of the frames will work. I don't want outside feeders to start any robbing issues.
Tim, There are much more experienced beeks chiming in here, but I've used gallon size baggies since I got my packages this spring. You fill with 3 quarts, and for me they have worked well. I wash them off after filling them to save on the mess. Getting them closed and getting air out is the hardest part. My bees have really taken to them, and I've had no robbing.
 

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How much do you feed them each feeding? I was just trying to figure out how often and how much to feed my medium nucs to get comb built. They are 5 over 5 frame medium nucs. I know I don't want to over feed them. I use inverted jars with a small hole for slow feeding. I just don't know how much to give them at once, or how often
Jason - I normally feed about 1 quart of 1:1 feed about every 3 days to get them to pull out comb for me in nuc's. They get fed just prior do dark. They will use that feed up in a couple days time most of the time. I start my nuc's on 2 full frames brood bees with 3 empty no foundation frames. Once I see that the queen is laying good, that's when I start to feed to get them to pull comb. What happens is that they will pull down the feed, store it and pull comb for a couple days straight. Then the queen comes behind them finds the new cells and fills them full of eggs. Then next time they get fed they have no alternative but to pull more comb. This works extremely well for me.
 

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Jason - I normally feed about 1 quart of 1:1 feed about every 3 days to get them to pull out comb for me in nuc's. They get fed just prior do dark. They will use that feed up in a couple days time most of the time. I start my nuc's on 2 full frames brood bees with 3 empty no foundation frames. Once I see that the queen is laying good, that's when I start to feed to get them to pull comb. What happens is that they will pull down the feed, store it and pull comb for a couple days straight. Then the queen comes behind them finds the new cells and fills them full of eggs. Then next time they get fed they have no alternative but to pull more comb. This works extremely well for me.
Thank you, I am going to try this starting today, to finish filling the boxes I need for winter.
 
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