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Interesting. I've only checkerboarded new foundationless frames with either frames with drawn comb or with wax foundation. I will be curious as to what you find in a week or two.
 

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I have yet to have any cross comb problems with foundationless. 3 hives were given foundationless as needed when they expanded, two hives were never given foudnation, and one swarm that has never seen foudnation. they all have pulled it straight with no problems. My hives are level from side to side and have a slight tilt towards the front to drain moisture. So, to answer yuor question, just glance in there when you remove the queen cage. no need to pull frames, but just look down between them. then a couple weeks later when you check to see how the queen is laying you'll be happy to see your 2-3 frames of nice new comb.
 

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They will almost never start cross-comb if you have comb guides of almost any sort along the top of your frames. They once the comb they are building starts getting toward the ends of the frames they sometimes curve it to the next frame. Just check every couple of weeks, cut it and bend it straight. Another thing to watch out for is "splitting" a layer of comb toward the bottom of frames when no foundation or other drawn frames are present. Cut it off and get rid of it as soon as you see it, that is what will cause the most trouble.
 

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I make my frames and for a starter strip I use about 1" or so of plastic foundation. I have had great results with it, so I'm sticking with it. it seems like folks using popsicle sticks, wood strips...etc are experiencing similar results, so i don't think my way is any better. Hey, it's not broken, so I'm not going to fix it :)
 

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Assuming you don't hang the queen cage you could wait a couple of weeks. Assuming you do hang the queen cage, I would check the next day...
If you hang the queen cage properly oriented, then it's not as big a deal. I just use a foundationless frame (from wedgetop), I put the side of the queen cage up against the top bar and zip tie it into place. This way the cages orientation is further encouragement to draw comb in the proper direction. If they draw comb on the cage it's not a big deal. I still check after only a couple days to get queen out and remove cage and comb that's not going to be helpful long term.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I must admit that the direct queen release scares me the most. I'm afraid I won't be skilled enough to get the frames in and the cover on in time without the queen flying.
 

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I started beekeeping last year with 4 packages, no foundation. Did everything wrong. Fortunately, the bees knew more about beekeeping that I did and straightened everything out - even the comb.

Don't panic! I have found that bees have a knack for fixing my mistakes.

btw - all 4 packages re queened themselves toward the end of the honey flow. don't know why. but the point is - they knew.

I'm still letting them teach me.
 

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I see that many new beekeepers, seriously underestimate the bees ability to create comb. When I put new foundationless frames or empty top bars between frames of brood, they often fill the new frame or top bar 1/3 to 2/3 with nice new comb, within about 24 hours, or less (and the queen will quickly fill the new comb with eggs, often laying in the newly created cells, even before they're completed, and as each cell-base is created) - sometimes just overnight; that observation is with deep frames, medium frames can be completely drawn in the same time frame. Sometimes it takes more time than this, but I would never expect it to take more time - with enough young bees, warm temperatures, and plenty of nectar or sugar syrup it can happen amazingly fast.
 
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