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PaleoPerson 

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Yup, certainly gives that impression. Seems to be treating it as a 'Framed Top Bar Hive'. Most odd.

I daresay he will find out if this is the correct way to do things next year. Especially after the post that showed wild comb in the WBC a few days ago.

I wonder who his mentor is?
 

Black Comb 

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It's late in the season to ask them to make foundation never mind draw it.

Also, the small cell theory was disproved last year was it not?
 

taff.. 

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the bows in the foundation will surely give him headaches in the future :confused:


I ran out of 14x12 foundation this spring so I landed up using 2 or 3 14x12 frames with national foundation, they've been fine
 

justme 

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OSB,not as big I know but I normally only use starter strips, much thinner than those pictured, usually only a trickle of wax. My reason is I dont want much, if any chemically polluted wax in my hives. Yes, I know the bees will pick up tiny amounts of chemicals while they are out and about, but I dont have to give then polluted wax to start with.

maybe when I've accumulated enough wax and have found a cheaper way to make foundation plates to press my own using wax from my own bees I will. Until then in most cases they are given starter strips only.
Exceptions, when weather probably not conducive to making wax and they need more room, unlikley if I plan ahead.
In the (unlikley in the future) event of no clean spare combs for nucs or similar, etc.....

I'm hoping in the future to have enough clean spare comb available, young bees are meant to make comb so why not let them?
Makes a dent in honey production but as long as there is enough for them as preferably a small surplus I'm happy:.) and who knows....
 

Midland Beek 

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maybe when I've accumulated enough wax and have found a cheaper way to make foundation plates to press my own using wax from my own bees I will. ....
Embossing the pattern into the wax is the difficult bit. But, you don't have to do that. You could form a wax sheet in a simple tray and give them smooth foundation. Might end up a bit droney.
 

Hombre 

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Open Question:

If you did a shook swarm onto a box full of drone foundation, do you imagine that the bees would build drone comb and raise drones rather than workers?

I suggest that the bees would re-engineer it to meet their needs although the percentage of drone comb may be higher than the accepted norm.
 

mandabow 

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4 eeep! keep needing to AS.. 2 with virgin Qs tho'
know htis is an old post, but anywhoo

clue is in the text <quote> I still don’t want to completely fill the frames with foundation but the bees clearly need a slight nudge so we’re going to run a strip of wax along the top of each one. </quote>

seems he put in a nuc and empty frames, that didnt work, so he was putting in starter strips (albeit very late) in the hope that it would start them building.

i presume he decided to use the wax that came with the beehaus to make starter strips, so (after spending a near fortune on the beehause) to save a pittance he has used the wired foundation it came with to make starter strips..

cutting through the wire b$£$ering the wax etc, and then putiing it back in.

i suspect his mentor is <quote> my father-in-law Chris </quote> or maybe not. theres a bit in the omlet booklet about using a starter strip to encourage drone brood then remove and kill it. perhaps he has crossed wires (no pun intended) with top bar peoples smaller brood size mixed in.

cant see anything wrong with trying, yeah was a bit late but better late than never i guess, and if he really wants to save a couple of pounds in the long run if they survive the winter he will have done when they finish off building the bottom half of frames, and least it'll give them somewhere to requeen with ease if she doesnt make it.

I'm with you Hombre, if the queen doesnt have sufficient space for fetilised eggs, i suspect she would lay in the drone brood quite happily. weather the even larger workers that emerged would be as effiecient flyers i don't know. i presume that beekeepers historically would have increased the comb size to all be drone size by now if they were a viable worker bee size.
 

Hombre 

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If the bees want workers and not drones, they will re-engineer the comb to meet their needs and the queen will comply, if she is able. If she is not then you have a drone layer, which is typified by drones being layed in worker cells. these then take a muffin shape and produce under sized drones. A shake out in front of another hive case.

Starter strips don't necessarily suggest drone comb. I think that the wisdom of using a starter strip in a 14x12 frame that isn't wired is probably considered unwise. The likelihood of the unsupported comb collapsing in warm weather remains a very real risk - believe me.

I have a couple of standard national frames in my 14x12 colonies and the bees are happy to draw out comb underneath them to match the depth of the 14x12 frames. The comb drawn by the bees is variously worker, drone or a mixture of both.

In my supers I use drone comb and the bees are happy to do as I have bidden them. If the Queen was to get in there and start laying it up, I do believe that some of it would at least be resized to raise workers.
 

IanDouglas 

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Why I did this

I'm Ian Douglas, I wrote the article.

The reason for the strips was not to save money but to encourage the bees to build their own comb. The weren't building at all when the frames were blank, so strips (they were a bit wide. Thinner ones that that were too brittle) were a step towards providing frame without using fully wired foundation.

I don't know whether cell size makes any difference to the varroa mites. I'd always used foundation before, and wanted to experiment. If anyone has a link to any real research on the topic, I'd be very interesting to see it.

By the way, Chris isn't my mentor. He's my father-in-law and was visiting, so he came along to help out. I don't have a single mentor, but have had lot of help from Robin Dartington and a lot of different people at the North London Beekeepers. Mostly it's just me and Ted Hooper.

The experiment wasn't a great success as detailed here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/beekeeping/8257030/Beekeeping-diary-winter-loss.html

Not enough bees, too much snow.
 

Midland Beek 

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The reason why beeks would generally use reinforcing wires in a big frame is because when you are trying to handle and inspect one of these on a warm day they have a knack of falling out.

If you want your bees to make natural cell size you are perhaps better off wiring the frames and then fitting smooth foundation made if a forming tray. Or manipulate in the shade.
 

drstitson 

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"My reason is I dont want much, if any chemically polluted wax in my hives. Yes, I know the bees will pick up tiny amounts of chemicals while they are out and about, but I dont have to give then polluted wax to start with."

very good point. At stoneleigh Ron Hoskins quoted an american study that found that various chemical residues (those used for hive treatments) accumulated in the wax and continued to do so after each reprocessing cycle. So the wax exchanges we all saw at the show may well be contributing to CCD.

Ron has a TBH that he uses to produce clean wax.
 

mandabow 

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I'm Ian Douglas, I wrote the article.

The reason for the strips was not to save money but to encourage the bees to build their own comb. The weren't building at all when the frames were blank, so strips (they were a bit wide. Thinner ones that that were too brittle) were a step towards providing frame without using fully wired foundation.

I don't know whether cell size makes any difference to the varroa mites. I'd always used foundation before, and wanted to experiment. If anyone has a link to any real research on the topic, I'd be very interesting to see it.

By the way, Chris isn't my mentor. He's my father-in-law and was visiting, so he came along to help out. I don't have a single mentor, but have had lot of help from Robin Dartington and a lot of different people at the North London Beekeepers. Mostly it's just me and Ted Hooper.

The experiment wasn't a great success as detailed here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/beekeeping/8257030/Beekeeping-diary-winter-loss.html

Not enough bees, too much snow.
sorry to hear of your bees demise. hope it hasn't put you off!

sorry no offence was intended.. the saving money bit was more in respoce to the bowed wax in your frames.. had you bought some new wireless wax it would have been a lot easier to cut into starter strips and not knarled them up in the process. i understand what you were trying to do with them building, just seemed mad to have spent a fortune on a beehause and then not the small amount on getting foundation that is easy to cut into strips without bending as you cut the wire. (hadn't read your previous thread on the subject at the time to know it was a freebe) ( actually am planning to let my bees go eaunaturelle at some point, but will probably do it brood frame by broodframe when they are a stong colony)

having bowed wax in the frames leads to some cells not being long enough for pupae, so if eggs are even laid in them the workers often remove them, or the cell gets build out into the right length but bu$$ering up beespace, encouraging brace com etc. and some cells being too long, also then prefered for stores, or if layed in. the cells that are stopped at the right depth but in spaces that longer cells could have been made create indentations, these combined with the cells extending into beespace lead to more bees being killed by rolling and squashing between frames during inspections.

probably not a big factor in their demise, but every little bee helps, especially in the last few winters.

research wise on cell size sure if you look around on the net you'll find research on both sides of the fence. but there is a general consensus that drone cells, which are larger, definately have more verroa, i personally think it's as much to do with piggybacking into other hives as a method of spreading of infestations with drones as well, no idea if that has ever been looked into. sure more learned people would be able to point you to lots of papers.

For a non peer reviewed idea with pretty pickies of how bees naturally do it have a look at sites like this
if your wanting to treat the beehause like a top bar hive but with frames it's probably a good idea to read up on top bar hives - plenty of threads in here using the search function.. often refered to as TBH and loooaaads of stuff on other websites.. chat to a few people on here who run them, search previous threads and ask questions and get as much info as you can. using starter strips, or lines of wax, or wax rubbed/melted onto a protrusion for the start of comb building IMHO is a pretty fundamental thing.. though usually if you do not provide it then they ignore the bars and build wild comb willy nilly rather than not building at all (perhaps a sign your colony wasn't doing too well already).

If your mentors have less expereince in it (TBH) then suppliment the things they have good knowledge in with info from elsewhere you have the best possible chance next time round, 'cos from what i can tell it's a quite different kettle of fish from the beekeeking i learned before.
 

mandabow 

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The reason why beeks would generally use reinforcing wires in a big frame is because when you are trying to handle and inspect one of these on a warm day they have a knack of falling out.

If you want your bees to make natural cell size you are perhaps better off wiring the frames and then fitting smooth foundation made if a forming tray. Or manipulate in the shade.
i've also seen people use fishing nylon criss crossed across the frames a few times that has been rubbed with semi molten wax. problem with the smooth wax is it makes the bottoms of the cells very flat, and wider so decreases the beespace by a tiiiny bit. bought frame, like bees natural frame seems to minimise the space by offsetting the cells. probably not that be an effect tho.
 
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