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I use large cell plastic foundation in deeps and supers. I extract honey using a four frame extractor. If I were to switch to natural size comb, how do I prep the super frames to withstand extraction of honey in the extractor? Do you put wire in empty frame and let the bees draw out the new comb, in a way naturally embedding the wires? Will they ignore it? Will they draw beautiful comb around the wires? Will they do something different altogether? How do you solve the “extraction with extractor) problem on natural comb? Do I approach this from the wrong direction? Ok, now I totally confused myself... :confused:
 

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>Do you put wire in empty frame and let the bees draw out the new comb, in a way naturally embedding the wires?

You can. A lot of people do. I don't, and I extract them.

> Will they ignore it?

No, they will incorporate it. But the queen never seems to want to lay in the cells where the wire is, no matter how you do the wire, even embedded in wax.

>Will they draw beautiful comb around the wires?

It will go much better if the hive is level.
Some people do an "X" so the bees will follow the wire down better.

Here's an uwired foundationless before I extracted it:
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/FoundationlessDrawn.JPG

Basically as long as the comb isn't brand new an soft (it will get much tougher in the next week or two from when it is drawn) and if it's connected at least some on all four sides and if you are gentle with the extractor (start slowly until half or more of the honey is out and then crank it up) then they extract fine.

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

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I extracted some last year that were only attached at the top, but were well hardened. I wrapped two or three rubber bands around the frame to give them some lateral support and they extracted fine.
 

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You can use your currently drawn large-cell super and deep frames for honey storage just as you do now, you just need to use an excluder to keep the queen out. It is the brood nest that is most critical.
 

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I extracted a few frames by mistake last year with mixed results. The first one i reefed on the extractor and tore the comb and two others worked fine when I started out slow and worked up to speed. It should be noted that I painted all four insides of the frames with bees wax so they were connected on all four sides. This year I am also going to add wires to them . I think that with all 4 side painted w/beswax and the wires I will be able to extract better after the wax has aged a bit ...Rick
 
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