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I caught a small swarm that I hived in one deep with 6 frames that had wired wax foundation and 4 frames with no foundation. I put the foundationless frames way off to the side so that if they weren't used I could easily take them out and replace with foundation frames. On inspection I found that the bees had completely filled out the foundationless frames and just barely touched the foundation frames. The problem was that the bees joined the comb at the tops so I couldn't lift the frames out independently to inspect. I want to continue foundation free. Should I space the frames farther apart, give wide strips of wax to follow or just don't pull apart unless necessary and take the loss that occurs?
 

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Great! The bees like foundationless too. Just cut along the top and move the comb back into the correct position. If you have to totally detach the top you might need to tie it in place with string until the bees glue it in. Put new foundationless frames between those that are drawn, alternate, every other one, and new ones will not have any problems. I love being foundationless. I'm very anxious to remove my few remaining foundation frames.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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If you can't get frames out you can always flip a box upside down and lift the box off. A little knife work and a few rubber bands should put them all in the frames. I woudl NOT space them further apart. If you want to mess with the spacing, then trim 1/16" off each side of the top bars and put them closer together.

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

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The bees seem to have built almost between the frames. The comb is full of broad right now so I'll wait to cut and move (which I have never done before).

I want to convert other hives to foundationless. What about placing foundationless frames every other one. After those are built out replace the foundation frames? In the well established hives, I thought I would cut out the comb slowly so there will always be a guide for the bees.
 

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Mr. Bush, standard frames are 1-1/2"? And you want to get them to 1-1/4"? I'm asking because I don't keep langs and was curious, since I cut my tb's 1-1/4" with no trouble..
 

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Should I space the frames farther apart, give wide strips of wax to follow or just don't pull apart unless necessary and take the loss that occurs?
Put each foundationless frame between two frames that are already drawn nice and straight. Lacking drawn frames, put each foundationless between two frames of foundation. The bees will prefer the foundationless, but the foundation will guide them and help keep it straight. Then when the foundationless is drawn, you can use it to guide yet more foundationless. Pretty soon you work the foundation out.
 
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