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Welcome to the forum. This last year I have pretty much went foundationless on most my hives. what are you needing to know
 

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Yep, I have foundationless in my medium honey supers. The first one is being drawn out right now, looking good.
 

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I'm switching over to foundationless at an incredibly slow rate. Still using foundation in honey frames that I extract, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Installed new package on May 16th, in eleven days they have consumed 3 cups (8oz ea.) of 1:1 sugar water and what was left of the feed shipped with the bees.

They are active and foraging, notice the colorful pollen on their legs. Drawing comb on the frames (5 of the 8 frames). I would like to stop feeding them and let them forage for their hive.

Should I continue to feed or let nature do her thing? I don't want them dependent on me!

Charles
 

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rast said:
I cheat and use about 1 1/2'" of starter strip. Down to the first wire.
Not entirely foundationless but here is an idea I read about so we will see where the bees take it.

I made a few frames up that puts a 2" strip of foundation at the top of the frame with just a small protrusion of wax below the divider. According to what I read they will put almost exclusively honey in the top panel and build drone comb below which can be cut out for drone trapping. It is an outlet for their creativity and keeps them from putting drone comb and burr comb where you dont want it.

Frank
 

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My bees are now building big drone sized comb in their foundationless frames but are filling the big cells with nectar! :thumbsup:
That's one good thing about drone comb- dual purpose!
 

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rail writes:
Should I continue to feed or let nature do her thing? I don't want them dependent on me!

tecumseh:
might I guess you also don't want them DEAD?

too many variable to answer you question directly and the stickler is that with a package of bees they have no EXTRA resources built into the box, so a mistake or misjudgement here mean the new hive dies. the situation is somewhat more complex since I would guess you have decided to go foundationless.... so they now must also produce ALL their own wax to make a go of things.

I would feed them liberally (3 cups sounds a bit miserly to me but perhaps you are in a good place and experiencing a good season) until they were a box of bees. I would look inside on occasion to see what stores are present there and not so much leave their food resources to chance or guess or hunch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
tecumseh said:
rail writes:
Should I continue to feed or let nature do her thing? I don't want them dependent on me!

tecumseh:
might I guess you also don't want them DEAD?

too many variable to answer you question directly and the stickler is that with a package of bees they have no EXTRA resources built into the box, so a mistake or misjudgement here mean the new hive dies. the situation is somewhat more complex since I would guess you have decided to go foundationless.... so they now must also produce ALL their own wax to make a go of things.

I would feed them liberally (3 cups sounds a bit miserly to me but perhaps you are in a good place and experiencing a good season) until they were a box of bees. I would look inside on occasion to see what stores are present there and not so much leave their food resources to chance or guess or hunch.
tecumseh,

I do not want dead bees! They are taking sugar water very slow, but they are also building beautiful comb in the foundationless frames! That's why I am asking should I let nature do her wonders and not intervene?

Charles
 

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My thought would be to keep feeding them. They will let you know when they have found a better source and they will stop taking the syrup. Right now they are using it to draw out comb and the easier you can make it for them the better. :thumbsup: :mrgreen:
 

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3 cups in 11 days would be what I consider them not taking it. I would stop feeding and watch the hive closely. If the growth slows, then I would resume feeding. The flow here will end within the next 30 days. At that time, they will need to be fed again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Seventeen days since package install, only feed total 4 cups (8oz. ea.) 1:1 sugar/water. Capped cells, stores and brood. Three frames being drawn as in picture, another two are drawing out also, other three are empty (eight frame deeps).

How does progress look?



A little burr comb.

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
26 days since package install, 21 days since queen cage removal, 11 days without 1:1 feed.

Frames 1 thru 5.





 

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Looks good. Nice pic of the queen on the first pic, too. I would say you have a successful install. I would resume feeding, tho. They look a bit light on stores.
 
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