14 responses

  1. Catherine Dempsey
    August 25, 2011

    That is great! I am so glad I found your blog.

  2. steve
    August 26, 2011

    Stoked that you will be getting some honey! I am harvesting this weekend if all goes well. Perhaps we can trade some western honey for some eastern. Check my blog next week for an update.
    Steve

    • Phillip
      August 26, 2011

      Sure, I’ll do a trade. I’ve promised honey to just about everyone I know. But if the weather keeps up — and that’s a big if — I should have enough to go around so I can at least trade a few bottles here and there. I’ll be in touch sometime in September or October, whenever I managed to bottle the honey.

      I don’t have any of the necessary gear for harvesting honey yet. I’m getting tired of spending money on this hobby. But I’ll wrangle something together somehow.

  3. Phillip
    August 27, 2011

    I just took a quick peek at the honey super in the foundationless hive, Hive #2. I may have to take back everything I said about foundationless hives not producing honey in the first year — because it looks like they’ve filled their honey super. Holy moly.

  4. steve
    August 29, 2011

    Nice work bees! We just harvested over 50lbs yesterday (all day sticky work!) I pulled what i thought was surplus from one hive but will be replacing 6 full frames of honey back as the bees have less than I originally thought and i would rather them have more than needed.

    • Phillip
      August 29, 2011

      That’s excellent. Let’s do a honey exchange sometime in the fall. I don’t want to jinx it, but if the good weather we’re having now keeps up, we’ll get at least 50 pounds from our hives too. I’ll have more to say in a later post.

  5. Jared
    March 15, 2012

    I was wondering what you have at the top of your foundationless frames? Do you have a starter strip?

    • Phillip
      March 15, 2012

      Yup, I use a starter strip made from corrugated plastic signs for the foundationless frames.

      It’s a bit of work to cut the sign into strips, but the plastic fits in the groove better than anything else I’ve tried. You can put beeswax on the strips too, but I’m not sure if that’s necessary.

      • Jared
        March 15, 2012

        So the starter strip doesn’t have to have a honeycomb pattern on it? That is something I always assumed. This is going to be my first year beekeeping (ordered 2 nucs for the spring) and I am just trying to learn as much as possible.

        Also, I’m from Nova Scotia (with some family in NFLD), and I’m glad I found some videos from Atlantic Canada. They have been fun to watch!

      • Phillip
        March 15, 2012

        Foundation has the honeycomb pattern on it. See this post for info on that:

        http://mudsongs.org/building-honey-comb-frames/

        A starter strip is only used in foundationless frames. It’s a different thing altogether, and I wouldn’t worry about it if you’re just starting out. What you want is foundation.

        You might want take a look at the How-To page:

        http://mudsongs.org/how-to/

        Especially this post:

        http://mudsongs.org/beekeeping-start-up-costs-2012/

        It provides a good review of everything you’ll probably need in your first year. It was written with NL beekeepers in mind, but, except for possibly treating for mites, I doubt NS beekeeping is much different.

      • Jared
        March 15, 2012

        I’m sorry, I think I was unclear. I am aware that foundation has the honeycomb pattern on it, but I was under the impression that the starter strip for foundationless frames had to as well to get them going.

        I plan on using foundation for the brood chambers, and then both foundation and foundationless for honey supers, as I want to make some comb honey.

        I have done quite a bit of research, but have never been able to find much on actual starter strips for foundationless frames.

      • Phillip
        March 15, 2012

        The starter strip doesn’t need to have the comb patterned on it. All it does it provide a line down the middle of the frame for the bees to hang from and begin building comb. The bees will begin building with or without the starter strip, but they’re less likely to build crooked or cross comb when they begin off a straight starter strip.

      • Jared
        March 16, 2012

        Ok! Thanks so much!

  6. Jeff
    March 16, 2012

    Jared,

    If you are looking at some foundationless frames you can purchase some “top wedged” frames. Break out the wooden strip on the “wedged” frames and nail it or staple it on the opposite edge so it hangs a little deeper than the rest of the top of the frame when the frame is in its final position. The bees will festoon off the piece you nailed in and begin to draw foundationless comb. Essentially this acts at the starter strip for the bees and versus gluing in strips. But either way works.

    Best of luck with your bee adventures.

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