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I'm waiting to see how it all turns out, and if they create some kind of cross-comb disaster in all that open space. (I used Kelley's guide frames). I just hived them yesterday, in their brand new hives. I'm a complete novice: these are my first bees ever, and I live in a remote area so that there aren't any experienced beekeepers or groups nearby to help out.

I'm using only 8-frame medium boxes throughout, so I installed each 4-lb package into two mediums.

I'll chronicle my foundationless outcomes in my blog, and write down what I learn and what mistakes I make: http://bendingtreearts.com/blog
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I've done it many times. Some bees build everything so perfect you think they are clairvoyant. I've even done top bars with no guides and one drawn comb and they drew them perfectly. But other bees go wild. Keep an eye on them and if the first couple of combs are going wild, cut them loose and tie them into the frames straight. Odds are with a good comb guide, like the Kelley frames have, they will do fine.
 

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MB,

Is it necessary to wire foundationless medium frames for radial extraction? I've read conflicting suggestions. What's your thought?

Thanks in advance.
-BH
 

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BH: My reasoning, as an utter newbie, is that medium frames can get by without wiring because they're not that deep. Maybe it would be dicier if you were running foundationless deeps?

MB: Thank you so much for your experienced insight and suggestion. It sounds like a good plan. I really like the concept of being able to work with the bees, if necessary, by straightening the combs.
 

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Good luck! I just installed 3 packages: one in a Langstroth with 1" starter strips cut from wax foundation; one in a Langstroth with frames but just wood strips with wax dripped on them as guides; and one in a top bar hive with inverted shoe molding to form wedges with wax dripped on them. The two Langstroths look line I figured they'd look, with girls coming in and out the entrance and taking orientation flights and all. They're mostly inside crowding the feeder, even though they were just packaged the day before I got them. The top bar is set up off the ground and has a screen bottom, and the girls there are spending their time buzzing around the underside of the hive in the vicinity where I put the queen cage. I'm feeding them all, the Langstroths with top feeders and the top bar by an invereted coffee can with small holes punched in it. I will replace that Rube Godlberg thing with a baggie on my first inspection. The day I installed them was really crappy, with rain showers, but now they seem to be right at home. I really hope they stay put, but who knows. It's not as if I know what I'm doing.
 

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Davidbee: And good luck to you. It's cool that you're experimenting with different setups.

I think my bees are also taking orientation flights, kind of hovering in front of the hive and going up and down and back and forth, but not really leaving the area.

Have you actually had luck with baggie feeders? I tried installing with them and ended up with several kinds of messy disasters, so I abandoned the effort. I made hivetop feeders out of mason jars that worked way better. Clearly baggie feeders do work for some people, but I developed an immediate attitude about them.
 

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My feeding problem is with the top bar. The coffee can inside seemed like a good idea until I realized I can't tell when it's empty, and it's covered with bees so any tinkering is a great disturbance. I put an inverted bottle on top (outside) of the hive, as robbing is not a problem right now, but oddly they haven't touched it. Right now I'm just trying to keep the girls anchored in place. I have no experience with baggies, but if it doesn't work I'll try something else.
 

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Is it necessary to wire foundationless medium frames for radial extraction? I've read conflicting suggestions. What's your thought?

Thanks in advance.
-BH
It's not absolutely necessary, I've never wired any of mine, a few failed in my handcrank Ranger, but now that I've upgraded to a powered one very few of them have failed probably because I can leave it running at a lower speed while I do something else.
 

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Go, Betsy! I just did the same thing not quite two weeks ago--8-frame medium foundationless. I do so want to poke around and see how they're doing, but I'm mostly just feeding them and watching them go in and out. Actually if the weather clears up (and warms up) I think I'll disturb them this week. I hope that's okay. I like to pull up plants to see how the roots are doing. Which for some reason they don't seem to appreciate.
 

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Breakfast: Did you have a look a few days after installing, to see if the queen had been released from her cage? If so, what did it look like in there? I'm so curious!
 

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>Is it necessary to wire foundationless medium frames for radial extraction?

No.

> I've read conflicting suggestions.

Probably from people who think wiring was invented for extraction. Actually it was invented to prevent sagging of foundation...

> What's your thought?

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

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We installed 2 hives a little over 2 weeks ago. Our first bees. We bought beginners packages from the local bee supplier. He insisted that the Pierco frames were the way to go, which is what came with the package. We then discovered the method of not using foundation. So, we cut the foundations out of the frames for one hive. Hived them into one deep each.

It will be interesting to see the differences. Have not looked inside yet. Plan to do that towards the end of this week. Everything seems to look good from the outside. Very active and seem to have a purpose.
 

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Well, I looked in the hives this morning. (Beautiful day.) There is some burr comb betweenf frames at the top; I had to break it to pull the frames out. And then I saw, right away--larvae! Lots! And capped brood (I think, not so good at this!) and eggs! I got choked up. If I had seen the queen I would've kissed her.

There's at least some comb drawn on seven of the eight frames; should I put another (medium) super on? That's what I did, but I could run take it off if I'm jumping the gun.

The new comb is so beautiful. . . .

I had jars of syrup in there, but they're not taking it. They were starting to go bad, so I pulled them out. Should I replace them?
 

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Not sure what you mean by jars of syrup? Jars inverted on the top bars? I would have waited until the bees were pretty full in there, but they will likely be ok. Bees do better a little crowded at least until the hive is pretty large. They can control the environment better.
 

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Not sure what you mean by jars of syrup? Jars inverted on the top bars?
Yes, mason jars inverted on the top bars. I put a new one in today, though they haven't been taking the syrup.



I would have waited until the bees were pretty full in there, but they will likely be ok. Bees do better a little crowded at least until the hive is pretty large. They can control the environment better.
It's a medium 8-frame hive body, which is what I put on top. I don't want to jump the gun; I can pull it tomorrow if that's best.

Betsy, how's the hive? Have you peeked?
 

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This is a fun and exciting thread! :D I feel the new thrill from everyone.

After having one hive last year (which sadly died over the winter), I got the call this morning that my two new colonies are shipped and I should get them in 3-4 days! If/when I see new larvae I will be BESIDE myself with joy!
 
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