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Hi,

I can't get nucs, so must go with packages, and have been told I need to provide with drawn comb in order for the hives to establish successfully. I'm also planning to go foundationless. This leads me to a whole bunch of questions:

1) Should I start with 1 deep of 10 frames of drawn comb, and add a deep of foundationless frames above it?

2) Should I start with 1 deep of 5 frames of drawn comb, and intersperse with 5 frames of drawn comb?

3) If I'm starting with drawn comb, should I still offer supplemental feed (Sugar syrup and patties)?


Thank you
spock out
 

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This is my second spring,if starting with a 10 frame make sure to reduce the entrance down to 3".since your going foundationless every other frame use drawn comb....I like packages ordered two this year and 2 more queens for splits.as far as feeding if you must.I place patties in winter time on weak hives....
 

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You don't need drawn comb to start out a package. I've always started packages out on new foundation. What you'll need to do to start foundationless I'll leave for someone else.
 

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let them start drawing the foundation, as you get a few frames of drawn comb start pulling the outside frames of foundation they have not started to draw and replace these frames by placing foundationless frames between frames of drawn comb. Between the frames of drawn they will draw your foundationless frames just fine. Mark the foundationless frames and later rotate the drawn comb frames started on foundation out of the picture if you choose to do so. And feed feed feed if there is not a nectar flow on.
 

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I have never done this myself, and I hope my understanding is correct. But Michael Bush's website makes it sound as though you can start a package without foundation.
 

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You can start a package without foundation. It's just like a swarm moving into a new location. They draw wax very rapidly when they don't have any. Feed, feed, feed. Be sure you have guides in your foundationless frames.
 

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>I can't get nucs, so must go with packages, and have been told I need to provide with drawn comb in order for the hives to establish successfully. I'm also planning to go foundationless. This leads me to a whole bunch of questions:

Not true at all. Foundationless works fine with no drawn comb. Of course if you have some, it's helpful. I've started many packages with no drawn comb.

>1) Should I start with 1 deep of 10 frames of drawn comb, and add a deep of foundationless frames above it?

I would add it below unless you have some drawn comb to use for ladders in top one.
 

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I'm confused by this. It is my understanding that Bees generally build "up", which is why deeps are rotated every year.

If I have 10 frames of drawn comb per hive, do you think I would be better putting all 10 in one deep, and then an empty deep under it, or should I split the drawn frames 5/5 across 2 deeps?
 

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I'm confused by this. It is my understanding that Bees generally build "up", which is why deeps are rotated every year.

Bees normally draw comb down. They start at the top of the cavity making combs, and they keep adding comb lower and lower. If you add a box of foundationless above the combs the bees are on, it is just a big empty space for the bees to try to climb up. (Ever try climbing empty air?) If you give the bees a frame of drawn comb, they can use it as a ladder.

Personally, I would go with 5 frames of drawn comb centered in each box, with empty foundationless frames on the outsides.
 

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>I'm confused by this. It is my understanding that Bees generally build "up", which is why deeps are rotated every year.

Bees only work up because that's where beekeepers add the empty boxes. They naturally work from top to bottom in a tree.

>If I have 10 frames of drawn comb per hive, do you think I would be better putting all 10 in one deep, and then an empty deep under it, or should I split the drawn frames 5/5 across 2 deeps?

If you want foundationless, why put the drawn comb in?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Personally, I would go with 5 frames of drawn comb centered in each box, with empty foundationless frames on the outsides.
Other directions have suggested that drawn comb around a foundationless frame encourages drawing of straighter comb... can you help me reconcile these two?
 

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6 on one hand and a half dozen on the other...

Personally, if starting a package and I had 5 frames of drawn comb, I would put those frames all together in the center. This drawn comb gives them a head start, and as they grow and build strength, they can draw out the foundationless frames. I want to do everything I can to help a package get built up faster - making them draw comb right away is not my idea of helping them get started faster.

If I have an established strong hive, I might just drop a foundationless frame between two frames of already drawn comb. Only do this if you have enough bees to fill the gap and festoon there. Otherwise, it splits the broodnest.

Other directions have suggested that drawn comb around a foundationless frame encourages drawing of straighter comb

A comb guide encourages drawing of straighter comb. Bees will use the combs beside them as comb guides. Bees will also use a comb guide at the top of the frame if you give that to them.

But if you want really straight foundationless frames, try using 1 1/4 frames with a good comb guide.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If you want foundationless, why put the drawn comb in?
My understanding is that providing drawn-comb increases a package's chances for success....?

I will be following everyone's advice, and bottom-supering my second deep. This actually makes a lot of sense, as it will leave the queen in the bottom, putting her far from my honey-supers.
 

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I will be following everyone's advice, and bottom-supering my second deep. This actually makes a lot of sense, as it will leave the queen in the bottom, putting her far from my honey-supers.

Huh?

Are you saying you will be placing the second deep brood box under the first? That will leave the queen in the top box.

Bottom supering usually refers to adding honey supers to the bottom of the stack of honey supers, but you place the empty honey super above thebrood boxes.

You might want to get the hive built up before you add honey supers. They are going to be busy drawing comb for a little while.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Are you saying you will be placing the second deep brood box under the first? That will leave the queen in the top box.

Bottom supering usually refers to adding honey supers to the bottom of the stack of honey supers, but you place the empty honey super above thebrood boxes.
I am following Michael Bush's advice from earlier in this thread:

"I would add it below unless you have some drawn comb to use for ladders in top one." - MB.

Did I misunderstand it?
 

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I am following Michael Bush's advice from earlier in this thread:
"I would add it below unless you have some drawn comb to use for ladders in top one." - MB.
Did I misunderstand it?
I think the confusion comes in because you called the brood deeps 'supers' when you said you would be 'bottom-supering'. Most (but not all) people tend to not call the deep brood boxes supers from what I observe.

You & MB were definitely talking about brood deeps, not honey supers:

>1) Should I start with 1 deep of 10 frames of drawn comb, and add a deep of foundationless frames above it?

I would add it below unless you have some drawn comb to use for ladders in top one.-MB
 

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This actually makes a lot of sense, as it will leave the queen in the bottom, putting her far from my honey-supers.

This statement also adds to the confusion.

If you place a foundationless brood box below the existing brood box, the queen will be in the top brood box, which the honey supers will be directly on top of, once honey supers are added.
 

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>My understanding is that providing drawn-comb increases a package's chances for success....?

Not at all. But it will speed things along. All swarms start with no drawn comb. Most people who are staring packages for the first time also have no drawn comb. The odds are success are no different.

>I will be following everyone's advice, and bottom-supering my second deep. This actually makes a lot of sense, as it will leave the queen in the bottom, putting her far from my honey-supers.

Adding brood boxes to the bottom has no disticnt name that I know of but "supering" would not apply as "super" is latin for above and "super" is the term generally used for where honey is stored. So "bottom supering" means adding supers on TOP of the brood nest but below the already filled supers.

>"I would add it below unless you have some drawn comb to use for ladders in top one." - MB.
?Did I misunderstand it?

No. Just applied the wrong terminology.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
This actually makes a lot of sense, as it will leave the queen in the bottom, putting her far from my honey-supers.

This statement also adds to the confusion.

If you place a foundationless brood box below the existing brood box, the queen will be in the top brood box, which the honey supers will be directly on top of, once honey supers are added.
Assumuing I put the bottom brood box on before honey supers, would the bees not proceed to draw comb in the bottom, so that the queen could move down there and lay eggs?
 

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>My understanding is that providing drawn-comb increases a package's chances for success....?

Not at all. But it will speed things along. All swarms start with no drawn comb. Most people who are staring packages for the first time also have no drawn comb. The odds are success are no different.

>I will be following everyone's advice, and bottom-supering my second deep. This actually makes a lot of sense, as it will leave the queen in the bottom, putting her far from my honey-supers.

Adding brood boxes to the bottom has no disticnt name that I know of but "supering" would not apply as "super" is latin for above and "super" is the term generally used for where honey is stored. So "bottom supering" means adding supers on TOP of the brood nest but below the already filled supers.

>"I would add it below unless you have some drawn comb to use for ladders in top one." - MB.
?Did I misunderstand it?

No. Just applied the wrong terminology.
Your clarifications are appreciated - sorry for the newb confusion.
 
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