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Anyone have experience mixing FLOW frames with foundationless in the super?


#1

So, I’m just putting together my boxes in preparation for getting my bees in March. I am going to use 3 flow frames and 4 standard frames in an 8-frame Langstroth box. What I was hoping to do was to use foundation only in the brood box (where I don’t care if it’s plastic) and use foundationless frames in the super so I can harvest comb honey and nice clean beeswax. With only 2 frames on either side of the Flow frames in the center, I was hoping that the limited space plus the wood strip in the top of the frame would be a good enough guide to get the bees to build nice straight combs.

Anyone else tried a similar setup? Do you get a lot of crooked combs with two empty foundationless frames in there?

I’m also excited about that viewing window. Due to a shipping error, I got a 10-frame Flow box that I couldn’t use. I patched the window side into my 8-frame boxes with a little woodworking mojo, and I’m super happy I’ll be able to peek in on my bees in the super. Now I just need to get the rest of my frames so I can start chopping up the end of the box!


#2

I’ve done about every combination that makes sense with foundationless, foundation, etc. Foundationless works fine most of the time if you have a good comb guide and you keep an eye on things until you have drawn comb.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm#combguide


#3

@Dragoness We use and sell only foundationless hives. Given that the Flow frames take up most of the box, and there are only two on either side, the chance for cross-comb is limited. I’d still monitor it carefully, but the likelihood of a crooked comb is significantly lower than a full box of foundationless frames. The guides help a LOT like Michael said.


#4

I used half a paint-stirring stick for my guide on top, so it’s sturdy and sticks out about 1/4 inch. Hopefully that will work OK!


#5

That should work fine. I haven’t tried it in a Flow hive yet, but I like to use thin wax foundation as a starter guide. You can buy a normal sized sheet, and cut 1/2 inch strips from it using a straight edge and rotary cutter similar to this:

I use wedge top frames at the moment, but I might try driving a few frame nails through the groove in the top bar of the Flow hive foundation less frames to hold my wax strips in place.

Just a thought