Foundationless vs. topbar beekeeping : BeeBlog

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Foundationless vs. topbar beekeeping

by Ruhl Bee on 06/05/13

Top-bar beekeepers like the idea of letting the bees build comb cells to the size and location they want, instead of being forced to conform to a starting foundation. If you want to step into top-bar beekeeping, but are hesitating, try foundationless beekeeping.  If offers a good bridge between Langstroth and top-bar beekeeping.  Like a top-bar hive, the foundationless hive has no foundation, but has a starter strip of wax on the underside of the top bar to guide the bees comb building activity.  However, unlike a top-bar hive, it does use a frame.  As the bees draw out the comb, they inevitably attach it to parts of the frame, providing great support. The frame also "isolates" the comb from the box, so inspections are not fraught with the tedium and damage-risk of having to cut the top-barcomb away from the box. 

Comments (1)

1. Howard Brockman said on 6/6/13 - 12:00PM
This is my first year with top bar hives, one Italian and one Carni. Both are thriving and I am finding my 10-day inspections enjoyable. The bees are drawing down beautiful foundational comb and right now, the Italians are three bars ahead of the Carnis. Yet, both are healthy and the queens are busy laying. I purchased them April 6, fed them sugar water for 4-weeks and then I withdrew it when I noticed they stopped needing it. All the combs are straight so far.

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