Earlier in the week I had a post on experimentation. This is the one I will be working on next.
Problem: For two years, I have been stringing hundreds of foundationless frames with wire to give the wax extra support. Why???…. because, people on the internet did it that way. The bees draw things out perfectly, but the queen refuses to place eggs in the cells located where the wire goes across the frame. This causes a line to be skipped in the brood pattern every place there is a wire. Sorry I don’t have pictures at this time. I think they will eventually use it for honey storage, but I don’t like having cells in there that the queen is unhappy with. I believe the reason this is happening is that the holes drilled in the sides of the frame are not consistently centered. I can see it without measuring, but for the sake of this post I will show the frame with measurements. It is all metric because I felt it would be easier to display. I believe when the queen is inspecting those cells she is aware of the wire in the bottom of the cell and skips it.
The evidence: The top two holes were compared to the top measurement of 28mm wide (28/2=14mm = center). All holes were measured on center and only one of them was true center!!! The top Hole #1 = 16mm, Hole #2 = 15mm. The bottom two holes were compared to the thicker portion 35mm wide (35/2=17.5 = center) Hole #3 = 18.5mm, Hole #4 = 17.5mm.
Experiment: What will happen if I don’t wire deep frames? There’s only one way to find out.
Logic: There was a time when I used to apply a wax starter strip to my foundationless frames. A comment on one of my YouTube videos stated, “this step is not necessary…..” I asked myself… “if it is not needed why do people do it?” Instead of discounting the comment I tried it AND YOU GUESSED IT!!! It is NOT necessary. At least if you are using the foundationless frames sold by Walter Kelley Company anyways. I get no money from them, that is just where these frames came from. It got me thinking…. I wonder what other unnecessary activities are occupying hours and hours of my time?
Method: From this point forward the rest of the swarms caught in 2012 will be hived in two deep boxes. The bottom box will contain 10 un-wired foundationless frames. The top deep will contain the contents of the trap (the bees) on wired frames. The traps either hold 6 or 8 frames. The remaining frames to fill out the top box will also have NO wire unless there are pieces of comb removed from the lid of the trap. Those pieces of comb will be rubber-banded to frames that have wire on them, because the wire helps to hold the comb in place until the bees can attach it.
- None of the test hives will be moved post hiving, at least until next spring after the combs are inspected for strength.
- Frames that are put in swarm traps will be wired, because those are moved to their ultimate location. I don’t want comb coming lose in transit.
- I hope this won’t be news to anyone, but none of the bees in these trials will be fed.
The first subject in this trial will be the colony in Trap 25. They will be hived most likely Friday afternoon.
Any predictions on what’s going to happen?