Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
this year i want to start transitioning over to small cell. i recently just realized that the pf120 that i started off with are small cell, but after several boxes i started using wooden frames with rite cell. i'm trying to figure the best thing to buy now. i like the kelley foundationless frames with the comb starter. i was going to buy 100 of these and 100 of the grooved to use with plastic foundation for supers. i also was thinking of buying 20 or so small cell wax foundation to use occasionally if i have problems with them drawing it out right. do you think the wax foundation? is a waste should i just use the foundationless for brood? i want to make sure they draw it out right. my hives are level. i can always add the wood starters to the grooved if i needed more. kelley has a $200 min for free shipping. any thoughts
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
I'm interested in why you're not going foundationless all the way. I plan to switch to foundationless over time, and all medium boxes, brood and supers. For maximum flexibility I am going to use the same frames all throughout the hive, and the bees can build whatever size cell they want to.

This way if I have some drawn comb from a super, I can use it in the brood boxes with no worries. For you to do that with what you suggest above, you'd be putting plastic foundation in your brood box.

I've come to my decision after reading about checkerboarding, which involves moving frames between boxes. Having all boxes and frames the same makes that easier, right?

Just curious.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
i dont want to use foundationless for the supers so i don't have to worry about blowing them out when extracting. i wouldn't put any plastic in the brood box. i'm realy just debating wether i was going to use alittle small cell wax in the brood box or just use all foudationless
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
i use all mediums. the plastic foundation is for supers only, so i dont have to worry about blowing them out when i extract. i was realy only debating wether or not to get a little small cell wax foundation to fill in among the foundationless
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
I have a new radial extractor so I don't expect blowouts. Unless that's a naive viewpoint. Thoughts?

You *could* go with small cell wired foundation in the supers. I don't think you will find small cell plastic foundation (I may have just missed it though). That way, you could still put one of them in a brood box if you needed it and still be small cell.

I've never blown out wired foundation during extraction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
i dont want to use foundationless for the supers so i don't have to worry about blowing them out when extracting. i wouldn't put any plastic in the brood box. i'm realy just debating wether i was going to use alittle small cell wax in the brood box or just use all foudationless

I just extracted seven supers of natural cell frames. Some were wired, some not. None of my frames had blow outs in our centrifugal extractor. Once I convert to a radial extractor, the chances will be even less for blow outs.

HTH,
Shane
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
i'm realy just debating wether i was going to use alittle small cell wax in the brood box or just use all foudationless
In my experience with natural cell, I have found it better to not use undrawn foundation between foundationless frames. My bees tended to favor the foundationless, and would draw it out wider. Sometimes this would lead to bad comb. Drawn frames between foundationless frames have not been an issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,021 Posts
I was told recently by Michael Bush that if bees are already regressed then small cell wax foundation is fine to use, but if they are not regressed yet then small cell wax may not be such a good choice as the bees may tend to rework the wax foundation into larger cells. Besides, the small cell wax is too expensive to have unregressed bees mess it up, because once drawn, that's it. Not like small cell plastic where you can scrape it off if they mess it up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,158 Posts
Ross Conrad has done a small cell trial and the results are published on page 77 of this months Bee Culture. The results match every study of small cell I have seen.
"...the results of these two trials do not support the theory that bees raised on comb comb built from small cell foundation reduces the bee's development time from egg to adult." Ross Conrad

The other studies looked at actual mite numbers over time. These studies all showed no benefit of small cell foundation.

Foundationless has the advantage of a clean start in terms of residues in the foundation itself. Is this difference statistically significant in terms of survival? I am not sure. The study still needs to be done. The bees will make more drone cells in a foundationless situation which can be advantageous for mating queens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
327 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
would it be ok when i do splits this spring to use foundationless around the frames i take from the hive to do the split? so i guess i should use foundationless in my supers also?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,262 Posts
I was told recently by Michael Bush that if bees are already regressed then small cell wax foundation is fine to use, but if they are not regressed yet then small cell wax may not be such a good choice as the bees may tend to rework the wax foundation into larger cells. Besides, the small cell wax is too expensive to have unregressed bees mess it up, because once drawn, that's it. Not like small cell plastic where you can scrape it off if they mess it up.
My experience with foundation is only 5.4mm. I have not found 4.9mm wax foundation. That is probably why my bees had issues with the undrawn foundation and foundationless frames.

Shane
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top