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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my first year and I started with 3 hives, 2 used with drawn foundations, one new with plastic foundations. I took some of the drawn frames and mixed them in with the new and some new with the old. So far they haven't touched the new foundations so I figure I wouldn't be out anything if I started foundationless or at least attempted it. I read some of Bush's ideas on this, but have questions.

- how long does it take for them to draw.
- can you do this in the main hive body as well as supers.
- can I keep the ones that I have already drawn in the same boxes.

thanks
Mike
 

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They should draw them pretty quickly if you have a good nectar flow. if not they will only make partial combs, most likely.

Some bees don't like plastic foundation, others use it just fine. I prefer wax foundation even though it's more work (I crosswire it all). Gets drawn more reliably and the bees seem to like it better. If you stick with the plastic, they may only draw it out when there isn't any other place to work.

Peter
 

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Mike,

Sometimes bees will draw real fast, others slower. Depends on many factors.

I use foundationless in the brood chamber for the most part that has been checkerboarded with drawn comb. For the honey supers I use all plastic so it doesn't blow out during extraction.
 

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If you are only going foundationless in one place the brood box is the place to go.
With a good nectar flow they will build it faster than they draw out foundation. Bee number is also a factor though. I caught a cast swarm last year that took 3 months to complete 3 TBH combs, where as a occupied bait hive I picked up yesterday has them building rapidly on all 9 bars.
Use the ones already drawn as a "sandwich" either side of the foundationless frames to prompt straight building. Then cycle them out. It is best if you are going foundationless in the brood chamber to eventually go foundationless throughout the brood chamber. The super doesn't matter so much since the cell sizes don't matter for bee development. Honey cells are often larger than worker cells anyway so they don't have to build quite so much of it.
 

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I gave a new beekeeper 2 foundationless frames to put in his hive ( he asked for them ). They were installed 9 days ago and when we checked the hive both frames had been drawn and filled with nectar.
The answers to your questions are
1) It depends. There's too many unknown variables to know.
2) Yes. Just remember that with foundationless, one good comb leads to another.
3) Yes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the info guys, it really helps when people are good enough to help others out when they can.
Mike
 
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