Honey bees need a good residence to flourish and they never bear any offensive conduct. If you are new to the...
Foundationless Beekeeping- How To Convert To Natural Beekeeping
Foundation less beekeeping is all about making bees to build straight combs. While starting beekeeping, many questions and choices surround us to confuse. Therefore adequate knowledge about every aspect of beekeeping is necessary. It is important that any culture should give more returns as compared to investment then only it can be called as a profitable business to rely on. A little bit of skills and strategies blended with awareness can produce excellent results unexpectedly.
Why foundation beekeeping?
It can be hard to pick between the foundation and foundationless beekeeping when you are new to apiculture. Let’s read more about foundation method of beekeeping in details. After the removal of frame, beekeepers used to allow bees to build their comb entirely within the woven hive enclosures. But as the beekeeping expanded at the industrial level, it became a common method for hives to operate in one apiary.
In fact, with the advent of new equipments, the foundation method of beekeeping became more common. One such innovative invention is the foundation. Foundation is a pressed wax or plastic frame consisting of hexagonal template for bees to make their honeycomb on.
Foundation beekeeping is used to build honeycombs, which are always straight and very stable. It also enables the worker bee population to dominate as compared to drones. It has got maintenance benefits too like extraction of honey can be done at once in a centrifuge which is also called extractor. These foundations can be reused after the harvesting of honey by replacing them in the hive again. Although what is best for bees can’t be decided just by the advantages that foundation beekeeping provides.
Why foundationless beekeeping is always preferred?
If bees are provided both frames with and without foundation, bees would prefer to construct their comb on the foundationless frame first. The bees use the concept of festooning or hanging down from high point to form a bee chain by joining legs in the area where they want to extend their comb.
The wax secreted by bees at the bottom of the chain get passed up the chain and molded by the bees to be placed at the top. Therefore this allows bees to make two-sided comb in just one attempt. But foundation which is placed at the center of the comb restricts the natural process of festooning. In order to build one comb on foundation, bees need to do two festoons on both sides of the foundation, which demands more energy as compared to natural comb.
Recycling of comb naturally:
In natural comb, bees establish a symbiotic relationship with wax moths that clean the old wax. The larvae of wax moth feed on dirty old wax, which increases the space in the hive in order to build one. The already equipped old wax in foundation doesn’t get recycled until removed by beekeepers.
Management of comb:
When adopting foundationless beekeeping, it is necessary to monitor comb production to ensure that it is built straight on the frames. Since during installation, the fresh wax is easy to mold, cut, or reattach with the help of zip ties or rubber bands. This way, the bees can be guided in order to get a straight comb.
It is very easy to extract honey from a natural or foundationless comb. After removing the comb from the hive, it can be cut free, crushed and strained into a container. When all honey has been harvested, the comb can be used for various other crafting projects.
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