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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
everyone, I'm pretty green or as you might say a newbee so bear with
me.
I am trying to go with all mediums and at the same time go
foundationless.
My question is:
what kind of split should I do if any and when. Also can I cut down
already drawn plasticell foundation from a deep to medium frames and how
do you do this. It is my understanding that the bees need drawn
foundation between the empty foundationless frames to use as a guide.
I don't have a lot of drawn foundation yet to work with and the drawn
deep foundation might work if it can be cut down.
A little about my setup.
I am just going into my second year
I only have one 2nd year hive that I replaced the queen in last summer
for a SMR wild russian survivor queen from our area.
Coming into spring I seem to have a strong colony and a pretty standard
setup, meaning a
screened bottom board and 2 deeps, inner and outer covers and plasticell
foundation.
the 2 medium honey supers were off the top for the winter. I was able
to remove the bottom deep in March since I want to go all medium and
added back the two medium honey supers on top of the only remaining deep
with foundationless frames checkerboarded with drawn plasticell
foundation from last years honey supers to start my conversion to
foundationless. I took off the screened bottom board to clean and
replaced with a slatted rack. shook the bees from the empty bottom deep
back into the top of the two mediums. It felt like the hive was light on
stores so I added a top feeder filled with a thick sugar slurry and
some pollen substitute, hopeful that this would help them to fill out
the foundationless frames early. checked yesterday and all the slurry
was gone and no drowned bees. I am hoping that this will be enough sugar
and took off the feeder. really don't like feeding sugar but with only
one hive I did not want to chance starvation at this point.
I have a experienced mentor from our local beekeepers assoc. however
foundationless and all mediums he has not tried yet. he is willing to
come and help me do a split but I do not know which kind would be best
at this point or if I should be doing one at all. :scratch:
reading these posts have been wonderful for me through the winter. I
have learned so much. any suggestions Beeks?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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The topic of how to get bees onto something you don't have them on (foundationless, mediums, etc.) has been discussed many times. There are a number of strategies. I would use a combination of them depending on the situation and what you have to work with.

First, you can always pull empty comb. Pull it all. Second, if you have nectar and pollen coming in, you can take all of the combs of honey and pollen. Pull it all. Harvest the honey. Third, you can fill a few gaps with medium foundationless frames even in a deep box. True they will draw an extra 3" of comb on the bottom, but you can cut that out later and rubber band it into empty frames. Fourth, if you have wax foundation, you can cut the comb out and down to size and rubber band it into empty frames. Fifth, if you have plastic frames you can shake off all the bees and run them through a table saw (with a very fine tooth plywood blade) and cut them down to 6 1/4". You can also do this with wood frames with plastic foundation and drawn comb. Sixth, you can wait until the bees move up into a medium box as they are expanding and then put the deep plasticell above an excluder and wait for the brood to emerge. Seventh, you can make a "shim" that is just like the top 3" of a five frame nuc and use it to put five deep frames in a medium box...

What works best is the combination that requires the least work or the least "wrong" frames in the box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So many good ideas here. since I already have 10 already drawn deep wood frames with plasticell I will cut them down so I can install them checkerboarded with foundationless frames to get two more medium supers started. the 6 1/4" you mentioned is that with the wood bottom frame put back on or do I need the bottom of the frame?
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>you mentioned is that with the wood bottom frame put back on or do I need the bottom of the frame?

I have cut them down and used them without the bottom of the frame. I have also put in the bottom of the frame. If you cut the "ears" off of the bottom bar you can make a butt joint and nail the bottom bar in through the end bars.
 
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