I have been thinking about buying some small cell starter strips from Pegjam. If I buy these and put them in with bees that have been raised in 5.4mm cells, what size will the remainder of the comb be?
>So going with a starter strip is still the way to go.
I like it, you can cut one piece of foundation with a pizza cutter and have enough for 10 frames instead of using one sheet per frame which means a 10th of the cost. the bees draw it out very nice, there are some pictures on the link below. I am going to wire my super frames so they won't come apart in the extractor but I did not use wire on the hive bodies. MB even uses no foundation at all, I have not tried it but I think they use a popsickle stick for them to start from.
I am building frames with a wooden starter strip. I rip 1/8" strips from my left over 1 by material.
I also have some wired 4.9 foundation but I could not figure out how to make strips. I mean the one with the crimped ears(from the top of the sheet) would work but the others made from the sheet would be just sitting in the wedge slot. Maybe anchor with wax?
You can staple the wooden strips into the wedge top bars for a solid connection. I haven't tried popsickle sticks but they are near the same thickness as what I use.
I am using the wedge from a comercial frame. I sand the wedge on a belt sander so it comes to a sharp edge on one side, dip in in beeswax, and staple it on edge with the sharp part is centered. Don't know if it will work but I'll soon find out.
From my limited experience, the sharp edges seem to work best. The bees started comb on the sharp edge of the top frame of some where the wooden strip was not sharpened. Rubbing the edge of the strip with beeswax (which I neglected to do! I've made a multitude of mistakes in a very short time.) would probably correct the problem. In any case they build beautiful comb around 5.1mm from starter strips (wax or wood) if coming from a standard large cell package.
i tried the popsicle stick idea on a few frames. just stuck a couple in the top bar, broke one stick to fill the extra space and just poured liquid wax on them to hold them in. They were outside frames, so they took longer to start on them, but the girls built beautiful straight comb. I'll prolly use up the rest of the foundation i have as starter strips, but after that, i'm planning on just buying more popsicles !
[I tried the popsicle stick idea...i'm planning on just buying more popsicles!]
I like the idea of multiple utility of items.
Groved top bars give me a choice of foundation or using popsicle sticks.
I have used 45 degree "V" top bars, but they can not be easily converted for use with foundation/pierco. Groved bars however can be converted to foundationless with the popsicle sticks. Very slick. (Plus they need less wax than 45' "V"'s!)
-- If I buy these and put them in with bees that have been raised in 5.4mm cells, what size will the remainder of the comb be?--(IH)
--So going with a starter strip is still the way to go.--(Sp)
I know that starter strips have been the fad lately.
I have nothing against starter strips, but they are just NOT effective for regressing a colony.
I see that some have reported lucky success with starter strips drawing 4.9 on the first try, (please send pics) but this is highly dependant on the comb the bees were previously raised on.
Ive been regressed since 2001 and on these lists long enough to hear the many many reports of starter strips failing to encourage the bees to draw smaller cells.
A look back on the records of organic beekeepers and beesource lists show the starter strip movement coming on the scene around 2003. Also, strangely enough were included discussions from these starter strip proponents were many comments of the difficulty in regressing to 4.9 and the need to use perma-comb dipped in wax to FORCE the bees down.
The starter strip the fad is basically a run away train with many jumping on the bandwagon giving it undue creditability by way of popularity rather than by its effectiveness in regressing bees.
Very interesting. I am starting 4 hives with 4, five frame nucs (all small cell bees)in the spring and am considering using just starter strips or popcicle sticks as described in this thread.
Does anyone that has experience with this method know how this approach affects production in the first year? After making their own foundation and comb, will they have time to store any surplus honey and more importantly, will they have enough honey to get them through their first Souteast Michigan winter?
bryan & Judy
Sounding like a broken record - using starter strips is about the same as going foundationless. Probably quite a bit better than the regular large cell, certainly better in subsequent years if you keep switchig out the comb and support the SC notion. But its distinctly different from SC.
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