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Author Topic: Foundationless and dummy boards  (Read 755 times)

Offline Bob Wilson

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Foundationless and dummy boards
« on: March 03, 2020, 03:11:50 pm »
For those of you using foundationless frames, do you ever use a follow board (dummy board) in the honey area to correct wonky/mishappen honeycomb building? I have some fat honey comb intruding into other frames, but not any free brood comb to place beside it. I wonder if a follow board with bee space top, bottom, and sides would help them make a clean start.
I suppose their next honey frame after the follow board will be built fat also, intruding into the next empty frame.

Offline Kwalt

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2020, 03:39:20 pm »
Bob,
I use a follower board of 1/2 inch plywood in my Layens style hives. It helps but it limits you to adding one empty frame at a time. The follower board will be a barrier and restrict the size of the hive also. The bees would hang out on the side with no frames but never built comb. I actually had a feeder jar in the empty area. 

I?ve found if combs start getting bad it?s best to either straighten them if I can or completely remove them before the mess increases. It never seems to get better.  An empty frame added between 2 nicely drawn frames seems to work the best. I had a foundationless super with several double wide combs last year. They filled it nicely the second time after I cut it down flush.

I put some Langstroth style follower boards together recently but haven?t used them.  I plan to use them when making small splits or mating queens this year so I actually wanted them to take up a full frame width.  I added 1/4 inch lauan plywood to a foundationless frame.  Not a very good picture below.


Offline CoolBees

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2020, 04:00:03 pm »
I'm foundationless, and I don't bother straightening anything. They usually build straight comb, but not always. The worst I've had was 4 frames combed together that they were using as brood nest. I just slowly transition crooked frames upwards (our outwards) till they are just honey - then I harvest them. At that point I can trim them back into shape, or cut out the wax. Other than that, I don't worry about it. Bees will be bees.
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Online The15thMember

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2020, 05:04:42 pm »
Like Alan said, it's really a matter of how much correcting it is worth it to you.  Unlike Alan, there is a point for me where the comb isn't straight enough and it's causing me problems inspecting.  Usually what I do is cut out the wonky part and rubber band it back in, either on that frame or on another one, although you can only really do this if the comb isn't full of honey yet, or it'll be a sticky mess.  I've been thinking about trying follower/dumby boards for a while, but haven't yet.  I have trouble with my bees building fat honeycomb as well, where the cells are double the depth.  This summer I'm going to try putting 7 frames in my 8 frame box and seeing if that will make them draw all fat comb, and then it won't cause the neighbor frames to be all wavy.   
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Offline beemantn

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2020, 05:32:14 pm »
Best way I have found to get straight comb is to put empty frames between nice drawn out frames. Never had any major issues doing this.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2020, 08:34:42 pm »
Best way I have found to get straight comb is to put empty frames between nice drawn out frames. Never had any major issues doing this.

This has been my experience also beemantn. Paus has a good effective foundationless method that works great for him. He uses skewers in his frames for comb support. I have made some test samples for my frames by simply drilling four small holes, two in the top and two in the bottom bar and cutting the skewers the proper length to insert each end in each hole. This seems quick and efficient. I am considering this method for the future. Though I have also considered ordering a large amount of  plastic foundation. Still undecided and the time is here. lol 

Phillip Hall


Let me add, I did not drill the four holes completely through the top and bottom bars.


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« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 02:07:30 am by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2020, 10:56:43 pm »
Something else you might consider. By going foundationless, you can always order plastic foundation and place these between each of your foundationless frames? Or use them as a dummy board. At least the bees will have an option to built upon these, unlike a dummy board.

Phillip Hall



                                                                                                          .
« Last Edit: March 04, 2020, 01:34:35 am by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Seeb

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2020, 09:00:05 am »
Paus has a good effective foundationless method that works great for him. He uses skewers in his frames for comb support. I have made some test samples for my frames by simply drilling four small holes, two in the top and two in the bottom bar and cutting the skewers the proper length to insert each end in each hole.

Phillip would you or Paus mind posting a picture of what you're doing to the frame [I'm a visual learner]. When you say skewers, are you talking about thin wooden skewers used for grilling veggies?

Online The15thMember

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2020, 11:57:09 am »
Phillip would you or Paus mind posting a picture of what you're doing to the frame [I'm a visual learner]. When you say skewers, are you talking about thin wooden skewers used for grilling veggies?

Phillip, are you referring to something like this? 

[ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
[ You are not allowed to view attachments ]

These are some pictures Little John posted on a thread of mine one time, when I was trying to figure out what kind of frames I wanted to use.   

I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2020, 01:05:39 pm »
"Phillip, are you referring to something like this?"

Exactly Member. Thank you for posting this. I was just fixing to look for a picture and you saved the day. lol

Thanks again, 
Phillip Hall

For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Seeb

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2020, 09:10:31 am »
Got it - thank you both so much for sharing!

Offline Bob Wilson

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2020, 05:20:04 pm »
I can see the skewers helping with comb collapse. I dont have that problem. I am careful when inspecting. However, skewers won't help with fat comb, or crooked building, as opposed to straight, I wouldn't think.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2020, 04:41:20 am »
>I can see the skewers helping with comb collapse. I dont have that problem. I am careful when inspecting.

Bob, I am thinking that skewers serve a two part purpose. A guide for the bees to draw comb by, thus eliminating what you have described "crooked building", (wonky comb), along with serving as rigid reinforcement for foundationless comb. It is good to hear that you have no problems with comb collapse while inspecting. Careful you are and careful you should be, especially with new comb that may not yet be attached to the side bar and bottom.  lol
   
>However, skewers won't help with fat comb, or crooked building, as opposed to straight, I wouldn't think.

I do not know if skewers will help you either, since you are having so much trouble building straight comb. Remember, I have not used skewers yet either. Maybe Paus will chime in on this? I do know that it is imperative that a hive is level, at least side to side when going foundationless. Bees use gravity when drawing comb, hanging from the starter bar. If your hive is not leveled as described you get what gravity decides. As I said earlier, Something else you might consider while going foundationless, that may help you, can be plastic foundation placed between each of your foundationless frames? (See Barnyard Bees). This method should keep your foundationless straight eliminating the crooked building, (wonky comb)? And unlike a Dummy board, bees can draw out on them if they wish, serving a two part purpose. Of course if you move the (plastic foundation placed for dummy boards), at the proper time, like you would move a real dummy board; Will the bees get the chance to draw the plastic out? I think they will.  And if they do draw it out, nothing lost, but gain. You can later use these as honey frames. Do you use an extractor? At least the bees will have an option to built upon these, unlike a dummy board, while hopefully eliminating wonky comb, part of your problem?  One thing that I noticed about Kwalts dummy boards, they are flush to the outer edge of the frames and should eliminate fat comb for sure. I do not know if plastic will do this?
I hope this helps.

Phillip Hall




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« Last Edit: March 16, 2020, 05:31:04 am by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline guitarstitch

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2020, 07:54:15 pm »
I use monofilament in the wiring holes instead of skewers with pretty decent success.
-Matthew Pence/Stitch

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2020, 12:47:04 am »
I believe that the nestest trick that I have seen used, was posted by ROBO, when it comes to foundationless and traps. Look this up and check this out by   
ROBO
Re: First swarm 2018
? on: March 29, 2018, 11:12:53 am ?

Phillip Hall
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Seeb

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2020, 09:00:20 am »
Re: First swarm 2018

Thanks for the tip Phillip, that is a good video
Question - I'm using all medium sized frames, do you think the benefit is worth the time to wire the brood frames for this size?

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2020, 09:57:56 am »
Your welcome Seeb.  I really do not know. I only use deeps. I do know that I transported a very healthy hive which was foundationless last summer. It was a hot day and the combs fell, what a mess! Had I followed robos advice this might not have happened. I can really see the benefit of this in a swarm trap removal. If you look really closely, does it look like the wires were kinked to mimic the shape of foundation or is this just an illusion? If the wires are kinked I wonder how he does it?

Phillip
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Online The15thMember

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2020, 12:14:09 pm »
Question - I'm using all medium sized frames, do you think the benefit is worth the time to wire the brood frames for this size?
I use all mediums and all foundationless.  I've never wired anything, and I've never had a problem.  I especially wouldn't see the need for it with brood frames.  If you are using an extractor, then maybe you'd want to for the honey frames (I wouldn't know, I've never used an extractor).   Just be careful when the wax is new, especially if it's hot out.  It's easy to have the wax bend, break, and fall off in those conditions.  But after a few cycles of brood have been laid, even my brood frames that aren't connected to the bottom bar are rigid enough to handle easily.       
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Seeb

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Re: Foundationless and dummy boards
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2020, 01:38:51 pm »
Thanks all