Beekeeping Forums banner
21 - 40 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,996 Posts
Omie, foundationless comb is nice, and probably better for the bees, BUT....

It takes knowing beekeeping to get the better comb. I would suggest you use all wired foundation for the first 3 years or more, than think about no foundation. It is a skill to get them to draw the frames like you want them. It takes constant monitoring and manipulation to keep from having a total mess in your hive.

OR when you have a half frame covered with bees and honey fall out of the frame onto your feet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Thanks Mike -
Your answer is helpful - and I can only imagine which other forum you offended when your results showed that smallcell was not the "bee-all end-all" ;)

Personally I am a new beekeeper and I don't really know much except what I read and what one-half a season with bees has taught me. I have no agenda myself - just trying to learn what is best for the bees. I would be curious to hear more about the methodology and details of your testing of smallcell foundation. If you are willing to share - either on or off list - that would be helpful to me. Also, it may be a lot to ask, but if you have citations for those 4 studies which have been carried out about smallcell, that would be helpful too.

Am I correct to assume then that all of your colonies are foundationless now?

Hopefully our paths will cross soon in person - I am active in the new Phila Beek Club that Joel E. has been organizing. So we may come to you or maybe you will come to us to speak.

Thanks -
Adam
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,337 Posts
Iddee said:
Omie, foundationless comb is nice, and probably better for the bees, BUT....

It takes knowing beekeeping to get the better comb. I would suggest you use all wired foundation for the first 3 years or more, than think about no foundation. It is a skill to get them to draw the frames like you want them. It takes constant monitoring and manipulation to keep from having a total mess in your hive.

OR when you have a half frame covered with bees and honey fall out of the frame onto your feet.
Hmmm....three years of wired foundation before even thinking about trying some foundationless frames?
I don't think so! :mrgreen:
I'm getting too old to wait three years for anything! ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,487 Posts
omie:
for myself I don't think their is much progress to be made in dancin' the one step forward and two step back waltz.

from my own personal point of view I think a lot of the small cell and foundationless stuff is about folks (almost exclusively book beeks) who have real control issues that should have been addressed by their mamas when they were in diapers. for myself I just put the frames and foundation in the hive and leave it up to the bees to build whatever they wish. the foundation texture doesn't necessarily mean that 'the girls' will pull it out in exactly that shape. sometimes they do of course and sometimes they don't.

in the end a lot of folks want to run before they can crawl. I think 'the other way' is what Iddee is tryin' to point you towards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 ·
First year beekeepers start TBH's, foundationless, and now even Warre hives and it's not that hard. If your using foundationless frames, that is as easy as it gets.

I would venture to say that I see no real education of three years being needed as it would relate to some vast learning experience gained, versus just doing it from the start. What possible lessons would be learned from three years of foundation frames, that would be gained, that would qualify someone to now be able to do foundationless hives?

It's not rocket science. And this forum would be a good way others can try things, without years of trial and error. The pooling of information and experience allows new beekeepers to speed up the process by years. Even though some item such as foundationless frames never needed it to begin with.

Start a thread Omie when you install the bees. Keeping it updated, and allowing others to anticipate the next step, while watching for any mistakes, will have you an expert in no time at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,996 Posts
OK, I'll sit back and watch. When we are giving directions for cutting 60 lbs. of honeycomb out of a foundationless deep that has been built as one big gob, I promise I'll "TRY" to refrain from saying "I told you so." There's not a 10 year beek on this forum that hasn't given those directions to someone before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,697 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Iddee said:
OK, I'll sit back and watch. When we are giving directions for cutting 60 lbs. of honeycomb out of a foundationless deep that has been built as one big gob, I promise I'll "TRY" to refrain from saying "I told you so." There's not a 10 year beek on this forum that hasn't given those directions to someone before.
That may be true. But I bet they didn't seek help from the start..... :thumbsup:

For the record...if I was to start foundationless, I would do mediums...hint, hint.... ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Iddee said:
OK, I'll sit back and watch. When we are giving directions for cutting 60 lbs. of honeycomb out of a foundationless deep that has been built as one big gob, I promise I'll "TRY" to refrain from saying "I told you so."
I had some small issues like this but I could have avoided them if I had just checked on the hive more frequently as they were building the comb. My intermediate step was to intersperse some frames with foundation (since I didn't have access to drawn comb) - this helped them draw the foundationless frames better. This year I will have more well drawn comb to work with so i will do even more foundationless than last year. And also, cleaning up the messy combs is good experience.

I agree with Mike - foundationless is easier in many ways (cheaper too :thumbsup: )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,337 Posts
Idee, I appreciate you trying to steer me in a logical direction. I can be adventurous, stubborn, and feisty, though. ;)

I do plan on having mostly wired wax foundation frames, and was hoping to intersperse an occasional frame (like maybe 3 out of each box of 10) with just a popsicle wood starter stick, placing any such frames between the wax foundation frames. It should be fun to see what they do. Also, the fact that I have no access to an extractor and that I ADORE eating comb honey adds to the appeal.
Thanks Bjorn- I have indeed read that medium frames are typically more successful for starting out with foundationless, and it sounds like something I'd really like to try. My local advisor has been Sam Comfort, who keeps only TBH....but I have plenty of nice new Lang equipment sitting here that I really need to use. I have lots of unassembled frames in both deep and medium sizes. I also have plenty of wired wax foundation of both sizes. And I have a bag of popsicle sticks and wood glue. :p
Now all I need is some bees that survived the winter and have a laying queen. :|
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,996 Posts
Adventure is always fun, but even more fun if you have the knowledge to see the disasters beforehand. Bjorn has a sticky thread under this forum dealing with starting foundationless. Read it and we will add to it as we think of things.

The most important rule in hobbyist beekeeping is: HAVE FUN!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,487 Posts
first bjorn writes:
That may be true. But I bet they didn't seek help from the start.....

For the record...if I was to start foundationless, I would do mediums...hint, hint....

and then phillybee writes:
I had some small issues like this but I could have avoided them if I had just checked on the hive more frequently as they were building the comb.

tecumseh:
both the above sounds like good advice. 'a bit more frequently' could have been defined a bit tighter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
83 Posts
How do I wire frames? We would like to try foundationless. Actually, we did, last year with a handful of deep frames and, while, the bees seemed very happy about it, the comb was very fragile. We are in the process of going to all mediums, for more reasons then one, and would like to try foundationless with them. But I don't want to do foundationless without wire, but we really haven't been given a good education on how to wire a frame. Could someone please explain? Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,487 Posts
first off onehorse the essentials are wood frames, thin wire and two tacks (for securing the two ends of the wire). if you wish to do a bit better job of wiring frames grommet (these keep the wire from cutting into the end bars) and a wiring jig are useful (I would suggest for almost anyone essential). most wiring jigs have a means (quite typically a horizontal clamping device) to pretension the unwired frame. you then string the wire thru the holes in the end bars, seucre the far end of the wire, tension the wire slightly (the individual wires will make a twangy sound similar to a banjo), secure the tail end of the wire and then release the clamping device.

the wire also acts to give some lateral stability to the frame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,337 Posts
tecumseh said:
...you then string the wire thru the holes in the end bars, seucre the far end of the wire, tension the wire slightly (the individual wires will make a twangy sound similar to a banjo), secure the tail end of the wire and then release the clamping device.
Banjo reference!! :eek: :yahoo:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
I know that this is an old post but it's relevant to all the new folks. I decided to start out foundation less. I use 10 frame mediums. All is going very well. Had to cut out a little bit of crazycomb at first but that fixed the problem. My third box up I decided to try an experiment. I criss cross monofilament fishing line in an x pattern in the frames. I'll let you all know how it works. Oh BTW, I use wedge frames with the wedge nailed into the top groove for a starter strip.
 
21 - 40 of 40 Posts
Top