Discussion in 'Environment' started by jjl, Feb 18, 2016.
So I have promised to talk about frames. Unfortunately, this thread is always going to be referencing Langstroth Hives because, at the moment, it's all I have and all that my Beek friends have.
This could change.
So back to Frames and foundation.
Many of the women in my age group, who Bee Keep without a second set of hands like I have, use 8 frame medium boxes for their colony to reside in. This makes the full boxes easier to move. I favor shifting the frames one by one to an empty super as explained in an earlier post.
Some people use empty frames to let the Bees form their own foundation.
(I may try a few frames without foundation in a hive next year).
The trouble with foundation-free is three-fold:
With a foundation, the Bees have less comb to build and more time for other tasks.
Bee's don't always build straight down, especially if the Hive body has been tilted a fraction of an inch forward for drainage. Foundationless runs the risk of solid combs joined throughout the hive body.
Pure honeycomb without foundation can only be harvested by destroying the comb. Many Beeks like to use built comb over and over for a few years so that the Colony can concentrate on storing honey. Honeycomb is a product of nectar or sugar water. The reason I fed my Bees so long was to help them build comb faster.
This is a link to plastic foundation coated in Beeswax. Sometimes a farmer or Beek will repaint the foundation with more wax.
The biggest reason for a plastic foundation is that you can spin honey out of it and it leaves much of the built comb intact for the Bees to rework..
I started with the plastic covered in wax, but for the second box I purchased wax and wire. I never intend to spin any comb from deep broods so I can use the comb over and over until it's too skeevy. (about 3 years I am told).
I also just scored a very good deal on pure unwired wax foundation. Again, this cannot be spun and must be strung into the frame with a filament. This is referred to as "Cut Comb" and you can sell the entire harvested block, honey still in wax cells to restaurants.
They serve it for fancy desserts in tiny bits on ice cream pastry etc.
The other advantage to this foundation is that you can attach small strips at the top instead of going foundation free entirely, to give the girls a guide.
This must BEE the place LOL
The ladies are installed and settling in.
Yesterday when we pulled the number 8 hardware fabric away from the opening, they formed and upward tornadic cloud that went on and on for several minutes.
I have never before beheld the true quantities of flyers in that colony. It was astonishing.
Truth is, they were "Orienting". More on that later.
Today I began feeding them 1:1.5 sugar cane water. They have been stressed and it's too cold for foraging this week.
I don't want them breaking into their winter honey stores.
As a matter of fact, to move these girls, I had to swap out five honey frames from the top super with empty ones to make the hive lighter for the move.
I will return the honey frames as soon as it warms up enough to open the hive. Probably next week. At the moment they are saran wrapped in the fridge.
(I did snag a couple of jars of honey)
I had 3 hexagon jars. I gave one to a dear friend and one to my Doctor. (Bee mortgage payment for the hive).
I only strained the Honey and there were still a few wax cappings that floated to the top. But Doc and my friend both love it that way.
Those two tiny jars were filled with jam at the airport in Amsterdam. I am a sucker for mini jars and always save them. Maybe I will secrete one of these in a fold like Wango suggested, to take to the U.K. With me.
excuse me ma'am but our x-ray machine shows us that you have a tiny jar stuffed up your...
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