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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it better to open the brood nest with drawn comb or foundation? Foundationless is not an option for me. I know the foundation will employ many nurse bees to draw it out, but i've also seen it as counterproductive given the time it takes to draw it out and the bees tendency to see it as a barrier. Drawn comb, on the other hand doesn't employ as many nurse bees and I assume may require more frequent manipulations because they do use it quicker. I would be using wax foundation if it makes a difference. I repeat, foundationless is not an option for me. For those of you that practice opening the broodnest for swarm prevention, what are your experiences. Thanks
 

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Empty frames are best. Foundation would be next. Drawn comb would be last. You want to employ all those unemployed nurse bees and this is easiest with empty frames with no foundation and no comb. Between two good drawn brood combs it will be drawn perfectly with or without foundation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
> Between two good drawn brood combs it will be drawn perfectly with or without foundation.

I agree, but I'm not in the business of raising drones. Right or wrong, I believe a hive with as few drones as possible is in the beekeepers best interest.
 

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A natural ratio of drones makes for a calmer hive. So if you have no drone comb in your hive they will draw drone but if you keep opening up the broodnest with foundationless then they will draw all manner of cells that they see fit.
 

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It's seems everyone here has had a higher than normal number off swarms.
Is it the same there?
I was feeling mighty ****y until last week!

It seemed hives with plenty of space (foundation) wanted to swarm because they were bringing in nectar faster than they could build comb to put it in. Just a thought if I knew what I was talking about I'd have fewer bees in the trees!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It's seems everyone here has had a higher than normal number off swarms.
Is it the same there?
Nearly all of my hives have tried to swarm this year. I split them 2-3 ways at the end of March and within 3 weeks they were all starting cells again. This is the first year i've used plasticell and they just will not draw it out. Instead they've just been backfilling the broodnest like you said. On the upside i've got a couple hundred hives now so i'll be set for next year. Hopefully they'll start drawing it out better so i'll have plenty of drawn comb for next season.
 

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Is it better to open the brood nest with drawn comb or foundation? Foundationless is not an option for me. I know the foundation will employ many nurse bees to draw it out, but i've also seen it as counterproductive given the time it takes to draw it out and the bees tendency to see it as a barrier. Drawn comb, on the other hand doesn't employ as many nurse bees and I assume may require more frequent manipulations because they do use it quicker. I would be using wax foundation if it makes a difference. I repeat, foundationless is not an option for me. For those of you that practice opening the broodnest for swarm prevention, what are your experiences. Thanks
I would put an empty frame in.....
 

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i'll have plenty of drawn comb for next season.
I felt like I had plenty of drawn comb but it turned out to barely be enough!

Plasticell that a dark path your headed down next step is digging thru the trash for all the Pierco you threw out! Once they start drawing it out don't let them stop if you need more comb.
It's hard to get them started again (at least here with my bees). If you feed sugar to keep the "flow" going they will draw comb until you are broke.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
>next step is digging thru the trash for all the Pierco you threw out!

Ha Ha! I'm still not a fan of pierco. Its actually ritecell from mannlake im using.
 

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My bees are drawing wax out like crazy on the Ritecell - prewaxed from MannLake. But i also use foundationless frames to keep the nurse bees busy and to keep a good population of drones available as I plan to do queen rearing at some point this summer.
 

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Due to the energy required to make wax, swapping in drawn comb results in the most efficient use of resources. Foundation will work, but only if here is an adequate nectar flow, otherwise they will chew hole to rob the wax . It seems to slow them down more than drawn comb, so use accordingly. The worse would be no comb guide, drones make no honey.

Crazy Roland
 
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