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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
can you make pure wax foundation with out some exspencive machine...i can make frames all day but foundation...how fast will bees work on starter strips ???
 

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if you are feeding or have a good flow on the will pull the starter strips out about as fast as foundation. Foundation is a luxury to the beekeeper making it easier to get them to draw straight comb. When going to starter strips you need to have the hive good and level and all the frames pushed together or you will end up with a mess. There are some hand rollers that sell for a lot less than the machine. but still a lot of work. You might try getting in touch with fatbeeman here on the forum. Don I think at one time rolled his own wax foundation
 

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G3farms said:
Don rolls small cell if I am not mistaken and at one time had a set of rollers for sale.

I believe you may be right on that one
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
hmmmmm....roller huh...sounds easy...how much do things like that go for ???
 

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Brand Spanking new;
Mann-Lake
Size - 4.9mm or 5.1mm
Foundation Machine; $2565.00
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
(groan....my head) wow...passed out when i saw the........price........or was it a kenworth....holy moly.....i just wanted to make a little foundation an save the bees a few weeks work....anybody have a shadetree ******* cure for tightgriponthemoneyotitus...i got it bad :|
 

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With wax foundation at about 85 cents each, take a lot of bought foundation to equal that price, especially for someone with 1 or 2 hives !

Also I imagine it would take a lot of wax cappings, melted down and cleaned to make 1 foundation.

Murrell
 

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Actually a fellow does have plans and pictures for a homemade press in his book, I believe his name is Taylor, I'd have to go to our library to actually verify that.
To make the press looked like a hassel, then it appeared to be a slow process to produce a piece of foundation.

I make most all my stuff, but something just don't add up.



My homedade extractor.

Murrell
 

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My two cents:
You don't need wax foundation starter strips! Just nail one of the groove top wedge pieces back in the wrong way 90degrees so it hangs down a bit, OR glue a few large craft popsicle sticks in the top groove, OR buy some of those new foundationless frames made with a pointed triangle-angled wooden ridge hanging down under the top bar- sort of like a top bar hive top bar... (can't remember who sells them now- Betterbee? Brushy Mountain?).

You don't even need to paint wax on these things- the bees will attach new comb and wax to the top unfinished wood ridges better than you can.
i say don't bother with all this starter strip fussing. Just glue in popsicle sticks OR nail the top wedge in sideways, stick the frame between two nicely drawn frames already, and watch them build gorgeous straight comb quickly, in the size cells they want to, no problem at all. At least, that's been my experience so far, right in my deep brood boxes and nucs. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
that sounds more like a plan...i made some frames and melted a strip of beeswax across the bottom of the top bar...they didnt touch it...i cut 3/4'' strips of dark brood comb an wired it to the bottom of the top frame...they built alittle on one frame...i think its more a timming thing right now...they just started back making brood after i replaced the queens...4 of 5 hives have 3-4 frames each of new brood...maybe soon they will run outta room an start building new comb with gusto...Murrel...i love building my own stuff...that exstractor looks good...looks like you've used it....does it work well ???
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
ya know i thought about that....but...somebody just got a stern lecture about feeding other than in spring or for winter stores...kinda got me gun shy about feeding them...i may be over reacting but i sure would like to have all my boxes full of drawn comb an a few extra drawn frames before spring...the last nector flows here i think are in august an september if i dont count the guy down the street cooking his sorgum for cane syrup...all my hives are light right now even durring the cabbage palm flow...(i broke the rule: raise them for the flow and not on the flow) maybe if i had'nt made the splits or dug in the hives so much or had to requeen...bla bla bla...i got it to do now so im looking for the best way to 'git er did'....im not wrong in the thinking this way right....its good to have built comb in the spring if i want them to build up fast an get surplus honey early in the spring...that is my goal...to start out next spring with 4 good strong hives...florida has an early spring advantage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
ok...see...im paying attention an learning...i saved an printed the lecture too...i couldnt feed them all the time anyways....little winged piglets...when i had feeders on them this spring they never quit eating it...i waited for them to lose intrest like everybody said they would...if they did i couldnt tell...when i stopped it didnt seem to matter cuz they had honey comming in...That was well after the citrus bloom...i just figured they were opertunists and would take whatever was easy...so i abruptly weened them...before they started more brood most of the frames were heavy and i was afraid they would become honey bound...now they are exploding with brood and most of the frames are light...i have boardman feeders now but am trying to switch over to top box feeders with a little more volume than a quart jar has.
 

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drill a couple of extra holes in the cover and sit several quart jars out at one time, or find some gallon jars (check at the local deli for pickle jars).
 

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2kooldad said:
ok...see...im paying attention an learning...i saved an printed the lecture too...i couldnt feed them all the time anyways....little winged piglets...when i had feeders on them this spring they never quit eating it...i waited for them to lose intrest like everybody said they would...if they did i couldnt tell...when i stopped it didnt seem to matter cuz they had honey comming in...That was well after the citrus bloom...i just figured they were opertunists and would take whatever was easy...so i abruptly weened them...before they started more brood most of the frames were heavy and i was afraid they would become honey bound...now they are exploding with brood and most of the frames are light...i have boardman feeders now but am trying to switch over to top box feeders with a little more volume than a quart jar has.
I got rid of my boardman feeders because they were going through syrup too quickly and switched to 1 qt. mason jars with a 1 1/2" hole drilled in the cover.I also have an open community feeder for them to use,using both seems to work well.
 

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Do keep in mind that any time you are feeding, if you have honey supers on while feeding syrup they are going to be putting syrup in the supers. You don't want to extract that and sell or eat it as if it was real honey. It isn't. And you don't want to be feeding syrup out in the open during honey season either because then your neighbor's bees will be bringing it back to his honey supers, and i'm sure he wouldn't appreciate it.
They had a big problem in Staten Island last year when beekeepers were finding their bees were turning rosy red and the 'honey' in their comb was red too....they found out the bees were enjoying a free syrup buffet every day several miles down the road at a maraschino cherry factory. The supers were full of maraschino packing syrup and the red dye was actually turning the bees red too. ICK! I think eventually they figured out how to keep bees from getting access to the waste/stored syrup bins. If the syrup had been uncolored, no one would have ever known and the BKs would have been eating and selling icky factory corn syrup w/additives as 'honey' for who knows how long.

I suspect it might be hard to 'make' bees draw comb if they don't feel they need it at the moment?
 
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