Thursday, July 23, 2015

Foundationless Hive Frames submitted by beekeeper Denise

Denise found this article that describes the process for letting the bees draw their own comb in Langstroth type hive frames.  Those who attended the ECWBA field day a few months ago may remember beekeeper Fred showing an example of a foundationless frame who bee drawn comb.  As with all things in the beekeeping world there are number of opinions regarding foundationless frames.   Here are just a few of the pros and cons.  

-You do not have the expense of buying foundation.
-In theory you are not bringing into your hive any foreign chemicals that may be in the purchased foundation.
-The bees govern the size of the comb cells.
-In those senses it is "natural" and similar to what occurs in top bar hives.
-You are all set to make "cut comb" squares for sale because of no imbedded wires or tough foundation.

-There will not be any imbedded wires in the resulting comb.  Therefore you lose the strengthening supplied by the wires.  This may result in stretching of the comb in hot weather and possible collapse of the comb during honey extraction.
-The bees will tend to construct more drone size cells naturally.  The additional drones will each more honey.
-Foundationless frames should to be installed between existing drawn frames to ensure the bee do not get creative and make odd shaped comb.

Here is the link to the article.

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