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British Beekeepers Association Official Forum 

  • 'Natural' beekeeping

  • share the funny, scary & the completely stupid things you've seen & heard
share the funny, scary & the completely stupid things you've seen & heard
 #10954  by Bobbysbees
 20 May 2021, 20:50
Its my understanding that the original Langstroth box was a double glazed brood and super surrounded by a hinged sectional, lidded wooden outer box with the air space between the inner double glazed box designed to be filled with insulation for winter similar to the wbc. The double glazing was there for the same reason plus it allowed condensation to form between the pains keeping it away from the bees and comb to prevent mildew and mould growing inside the hive.
The brood box volume wise is fractionally larger than a national and as the British black bee ( may she RIP) tent to have smaller nest it "may not" of suited them.
Check me if I'm wrong guys
I'm surprised that the Warre hive with the addition of frames wasn't taken up but the Japanese seem to think it works just fine with out frames and with a 1 square foot foot print you could certainly pack a lot of them into a small yard .
 #10957  by AdamD
 21 May 2021, 09:22
I had read that the original Langstroth was a wooden wine case - maybe from communion wine? Whether that's true or not; IF ONLY wine was delivered in these boxes now!

The Warre is a box that's too small which means one would have to stack them up too high - although not this year! (I made some 8 frame Nationals and with three brood boxes and 1/2 dozen supers on top, it gets a bit silly). Comb is stuck to the side walls with Warre's too as there is no frame to constrain the comb building (A lack of bee space). Top bar hives or the warn-holtz mini-nucs have sloping sides and bees tend to keep their comb away from them for some reason - most of the time.
 #11430  by 4bees
 12 Jul 2021, 20:50
I know. I’m going to go foundationless. I fitted the top bar wedge sideways. Painted it with sugar syrup and put a couple in a hive of drawn combs. The bees built comb perfectly and I couldn’t tell which ones they were. I found out later when I held a comb flat to allow the sunlight to shine in the cells. The comb fell out.
 #11434  by AdamD
 13 Jul 2021, 12:18
I have put foundationless comb into frames as part of a cut-out of swarms, yes they are not very strong initially but do get better with time. Small starter strips in mini-nucs work fine - but are similarly weak at first. (But a joy to behold!).
 #11436  by NigelP
 13 Jul 2021, 13:10
A tip for foundation-less comb drawing is the timing.
Spring and early season they will draw a tremendous amount of drone comb as that is what they need in order to reproduce.
From late July onwards they draw worker cells (in the majority of cases :) ) as drone producing time is now over.
I know of one commercial keeper who sticks 2 frames of undrawn foundation (Not foundation-less) in the middle of the brood nest when winter feeding and gets perfect worker cells every year.

I can't say I'm a big fan of foundationless, in my few attempts at it the bees have become Daliesque in their drawings making it almost impossible to remove frames for inspections.
 #11438  by Patrick
 13 Jul 2021, 13:36
I had a little go with it and found the issues outweighed the minimal advantages. I always use unwired thin foundation in super frames just to give them a template and after a couple of years its certainly strong enough to be extracted without issue even when drawn out to wide spacing at eight to the box.

After extraction if I have removed most of a colonies stores with the supers, I will sometimes summer feed syrup onto a strong colony with a second brood chamber of foundation if I have it already made up but unused. It's not always consistent, some colonies will draw it out out others do not, but its nice when they do. The trick is not to feed too much too fast otherwise they just fill up the existing brood combs.