BBKA Forum

British Beekeepers Association Official Forum 

  • Foundation

  • General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #9742  by NigelP
 06 Jan 2021, 17:25
Alfred wrote:
06 Jan 2021, 12:42
No mention yet of bamboo skewers,so Nigels blood pressure is still at normal level :D
Grrrrrr!
If you want to raise my blood pressure Alfred talk about going treatment free for varroa /huge grin/
Letting the bees decide which size cell they are going to draw AKA bamboo sticks etc is certainly allowing them to do what comes natural.
Interestingly if you add undrawn foundation/bamboo skewers late summer all the cells are worker sized....
Do it in the spring and about 1/3 are drone.
 #9744  by MickBBKA
 07 Jan 2021, 01:16
[/quote]
If you want to raise my blood pressure Alfred talk about going treatment free for varroa /huge grin/
Letting the bees decide which size cell they are going to draw AKA bamboo sticks etc is certainly allowing them to do what comes natural.
Interestingly if you add undrawn foundation/bamboo skewers late summer all the cells are worker sized....
Do it in the spring and about 1/3 are drone.
[/quote]

What....No match sticks..?
Thing that got me was the fact that the bees destroyed the supplied foundation yet my own foundation in the same colonies was drawn out very nicely, so it was never about resources or feeding. Thornes standard foundation is made with wax from China which I never knew before, the premier isn't. Either way I think it was too thin or the wire was not central and covered with enough wax, bees saw it as foreign and tried to remove it.

Cheers, Mick.
 #9752  by AdamD
 07 Jan 2021, 14:36
I thought that (some of) Thornes wax came from Africa rather than China. I guess that it doesn't matter where it comes from provided it is free of nasties.
 #9755  by Alfred
 08 Jan 2021, 09:10
MickBBKA wrote:
07 Jan 2021, 01:16
....bees saw it as foreign and tried to remove it.

Cheers, Mick.
https://i.ibb.co/4NfkKtp/IMG-20200422-075652585-HDR.jpg
This is a bamboo attempt that they chewed away the skewers to make room for their own design
 #9756  by AdamD
 08 Jan 2021, 10:00
I am happy to use worker foundation for brood boxes. I have a frame or two in each box which has super foundation and then a divider at the bottom of it so that the space below can be drawn as the bees like - usually drone comb. This can be cut out if desired once sealed to remove varroa or left in place if lots of drones are required. Having a space for drone comb SHOULD mean that the bees are less likely to create so much drone comb out of worker at the sides of the brood frames. Having said that, I often have old dark comb in the hives which will have drone cells in it already. (Some that, we are told, should not be there as it's too old).

I have tried whole frames of drone foundation and bees are often reluctant to draw it out except for certain times of the year when they are feeling flush. And they are also much less keen on putting stores in drone comb too.
 #9771  by Chrisbarlow
 10 Jan 2021, 18:19
Alfred wrote:
06 Jan 2021, 12:42
No mention yet of bamboo skewers,so Nigels blood pressure is still at normal level :D
Grrrrrr!
I tried bamboo skewers a couple of years back. I made several hundred frames and the bees did fine on them. The big draw back was excessive drone brood , if that hadn't happened I'd be still using them now but never mind. it did help with IPM though as I was always removing drone brood from frames. Silver lining and all. Still did varoa treatment with IS 😁
 #9773  by NigelP
 10 Jan 2021, 20:05
Chrisbarlow wrote:
10 Jan 2021, 18:19
as I was always removing drone brood from frames. Silver lining and all. Still did varoa treatment with IS 😁
For what it's worth I'm not convinced with more varroa being attracted to drone brood as a way of IPM. I've forked out literally 1000's of drone cells over several years and I struggle to find varroa on them. Some, but not enough to sacrifice all the effort the bees make into generating them.