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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
everyone, I'm pretty green or as you might say a newbee so bear with
I am trying to go with all mediums and at the same time go
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
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?

370 Posts
Slwbr, reading your post was like looking in a mirror. I live 60 miles or so south of you in Battle Ground and am just wrapping up the very same process, one hive completed, two deep frames to go on another hive. I too just started keeping bees last year. I have a beekeeping uncle that lives in Winlock, he and an old timer named Roy from your club came down to our Clark County Bee club meeting last month as my guest.

Anyhow, it ain't easy for us new beeks but I got through it and would be happy to share what I did and the mistakes I made along the way. Feel free to PM me your phone number and e-mail, I'll send you what I can.

Incidentally, all credit for my success on this transition goes to Michael Bush. I reached out to him for advice and he graciously shared his time and outlined a path for me to follow. Which by the way is why I just cringe when is see threads attacking Michael and many of the other deeply experienced keepers that are so incredibly generous with their knowledge on this and other forums.

The whole debunking the miracle thread the last few days really gets my goat. If the author doesn't like or believe in MBs methods, do something else but to publicly disparage anyone for freely sharing what has worked for them is nonsense. MB sells books yes but he tells people all the time to get the same info free on his website.

Anyhow, pm me and maybe we can grow our knowledge base together.

11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree. I really like MBs postings and have been following them. I Have spent many hours pouring over his website. He is a wealth of information and we are lucky that he takes a interest in us beginners. Did you start with 2 hives last year? I started with a package of carniolians and requeened with a smr wild russian queen. I am going for a natural approach, no treatment hive with local stock.

370 Posts
Almost the same scenario. I got started on my first hive in late May last year when my uncle called and said a buddy of his just caught a swarm that he would give me. I didn't know a carny from a bumble bee but he said they were carny mutts, OK I said, let's go. They were slow to build and her laying was spotty so I requeened her with an Italian and they took off pretty good.

Second hive was a Nuc I purchased from a guy on craigslist locally. They were carniolans and did fairly well till they got robbed out to empty in September. My fault, was away for 6 weeks, no reducer on a single deep hive, it was simply too much for them to defend and they got cleaned out and most were dead. Couple hundred bees and the queen left but they managed to make it through and are doing very well now.

I too am not treating and will not be using foundation. I was given a bunch of old dry, brittle drawn comb with the first swarm and the Nuc came with five newer deep frames that were drawn out. I've been swapping foundationless medium frames (wedge turned on end and glued) in for the deep frames as they draw out medium frames. I've also been cutting the deep frames down to medium size where they were still in good shape.
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