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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will be starting my first hives this spring and will be going with 8-frame mediums and foundationless frames. My plan is to use some PF-120 frames to insure proper allignment of comb starting up. I have seen various recommendations from using all foundationless frames from the start to using all PF-120 and later interspersing foundationless frames. For those of you who keep foudationless, what's your recommendation for starting packages? I obviously have no drawn comb to help them out.

Thanks
 

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If you use PF-120's then you will not be
foundationless. The foundation and cell
structure is embossed and integrated into
the frame.

But I may be misunderstanding what you're
describing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I guess I was unclear about my reason for using PF-120 frames. My purpose is to used them at start-up to insure properly alligned comb formation in the foundationless frames, and to phase them out as foundationless frames are generated. I'd be happy to put one plastic frame in the center and all others foundationless, but am unsure if this would be a recommended way to start. I don't want to reinvent the wheel when so many of you have experience with this.
 

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I assume your plan is to use the PF-120 for starter strips. The bees will draw the comb out just as quick without foundation. The first thing to do is level the hive. The bees will draw the cone straight using gravity as thier guide without foundation. Be very carefull when you inspect. If you turn the comb sideways before they attach three sides to the frame. If you are using deeps some people put wire accross the frame for added support. It works well with and without the wire. Make sure you feed syrup while the are drawing.
 

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I am not sure what PF-120 is - pierco foundation ?. Last year I started two foundationless hives on the medium frames with the wooden strip covered with wax and did not use any wire (mistake). One obvious problem uncovered itself couple days ago when we opened the dead hive - the foundationless comb fell off the frames. It actually happened only with the comb which did not have any honey - comb dried out and got brittle. The frames that still had honey where fine. Some of the frames got attached to each other by the bees during the process. These are my very brief observations, I still have to analyze and to decide if I want to keep going this way. It looks like I am losing my 2nd foundationless hive. Most likely for some other reasons, and I hope that there was nothing funky in the wax that I used to cover the strips with. It was my own wax, in my inexperienced hands. Good Luck !
 

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As long as your foundationless frames have a comb guide that physically hangs down 1/4 inch, the PF 120 is unnecessary. (Don't think a bead of wax poured into a groove is a comb guide.)

Feed the dickens out of the package so they can get the comb drawn.
 

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last year I got a had full of free paint stir sticks at Lowes and Wallmart.( I did buy some paint.) They fit really well into the groove in the top of the frame. I glued them in and they worked great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My post must have been unclear. I have proper foundationless frames (wedge turned on edge and pinned). I was just curious if those of you who are all foundationless started out that way (put a package on all foundationless frames) or used something like PF-120 or a few frames with foundation to get comb building going in the right direction. I guess I'll just try it several ways and see what works.
 

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My post must have been unclear. I have proper foundationless frames (wedge turned on edge and pinned). I was just curious if those of you who are all foundationless started out that way (put a package on all foundationless frames) or used something like PF-120 or a few frames with foundation to get comb building going in the right direction. I guess I'll just try it several ways and see what works.
Make sure the hive is level dump the bees in and they will draw the wax straight down useing gravity as a guide. They normaly take off and do a great job. If they draw some odd looking frame cut it out and the will try again. This is not hard to do. Just do not turn the frame on its side untill atleast 3 sides are connected.
 

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My post must have been unclear. I have proper foundationless frames (wedge turned on edge and pinned). I was just curious if those of you who are all foundationless started out that way (put a package on all foundationless frames) or used something like PF-120 or a few frames with foundation to get comb building going in the right direction. I guess I'll just try it several ways and see what works.
I used just one or two frames with the foundation inside of the 10-frame medium hive body, to help bees moving up. My Two Hives practically drew it out flawlessly, except for two or three frames that got connected together. Looks like much more honey gets into these frames.
 
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