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I am a new beekeeper in northern California. Since I am starting during a beekeeping class and the instructor recommends starting with standard large cell foundation in medium lang hives, that's what I'm doing. Next year, I'd like to start moving to foundationless, by interspersing foundationless frames among the existing foundation frames. My question is whether the bees will, left to their own devices, build small cells or do they still need to be regressed to get to small cells?
 

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In medium supers/brood boxes, why not go foundationless from the beginning? Might need the center frame to have foundation in it to give them a "bridge" to the top to begin work, but... I'd be willing to give it a try.

Any drawbacks folks? To this beek going foundationless from the beginning?
Regards,
Steven
 

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I have been mostly foudationless since the very beginning. Other than the 20 frames that came with my starter kit I haven't bought any foundation filled frames since. In fact I just had to send an order back to mannlake because they goofed and sent the frames with foundation. The only drawback to going foundationless from the start is, it can be a little intimidating if the bees crosscomb or mess up in another way. Best way to avoid that is to have the hive level side to side. And as soon as you can start placing empty frames between drawn frames in the middle of the broodnest. The bees may make some large cells, don't worry about it, just move them to the sides and eventually to the honey supers. Don't remove drone sized frames that they draw completely from the hive or they will keep making it.

Rod
 

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The popsicle stick method worked great for me. It does help to have one solid frame with foundation or already built comb down the middle. If you are just doing a hive or two, I would definitly consider experimenting. It is kind of messier to get those popsicle sticks in the frames that used to be foundation.
 

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If you have the wedge top bars, simply nail the wedge in vertically, that works.
 
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