This spring I will have honey bees living in two Langstroth hives and one Kenyan style top bar hive. So far for the second Langstroth I have a stand, screened bottom board, 1 medium super, inner hive cover and outer hive cover. To make this hive complete I need to build a second and third medium super now and a fourth one by next spring.
At the same time I want to make all of the hives foundationless so that the honey bees will build natural comb and eventually size the offspring to small cell honey bees in order to combat the Varroa Destructor and get back to the size nature intended for them. The video in today’s episode shows how I plan to get the bees to go foundationless.
I have taken some ordinary medium frames without foundation and across the bottom of the top bar I place a half round piece of molding the length of the bar. I nailed these on and later I will apply a strip of melted beeswax. The molding will help the bees cling to something to build on and the wax serves as an attractant to do so. I tried these previously with the use of craft sticks stuck in the groove on the underside of the top bars but it was and miss for the bees to catch on to what I wanted them to do. This time the molding and wax should be more enticing.
Once I completed placing the strips in the foundationless frames I show how the frames will be placed in the medium box by alternating one frame of foundation and one frame of foundation across the 8 frame box. The alternation will aid the bees because the foundation frames wills serve as a vertical guide for the bees to build down the foundationless frames.
We’ll see how it actually works out but the research and experimentation I have been doing lead me to believe that I may be on to something successful. Stay tuned and I will be showing how I build more bee boxes and foundationless frames.
- Michael Bush on foundationless frames
- Rusty on going foundationless
- The Fat Bee Man on foundationless frames and Varroa control