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How much pesticide in commercial foundation?

A reader in Maryland was told by a master beekeeper that 1) there are fewer chemicals in purchased foundation than previously thought and 2) foundationless hives have just as many chemicals as hives containing purchased foundation. She doubted these gems of wisdom and wanted to know if I’d seen any research supporting these claims. First […] Read more

Foundationless colonies raise more drones

A reader in Romania wrote to say that he had decided to go foundationless in his Langstroth hives in order to avoid the chemical pesticides that are often found in commercial foundation. However, after he made the switch his bees began building much more drone comb than they had previously. He asked if there is […] Read more

Converting Langstroth frames to foundationless

There are several ways to convert your Langstroth frames to foundationless frames. The basic problem with any foundationless system—including top-bar hives—is to get the bees to build comb the way you want it. The way you want it is simple: one comb per frame, each parallel to the other, so that you can inspect and […] Read more

Foundationless beekeeping in a Langstroth hive

Foundationless beekeeping is considered “radical” by some, but top-bar hive (TBH) beekeepers have been doing it for years. The idea is simple. Instead of providing pre-formed and stamped commercial foundation to your bees—you allow them to build their own. There are some real advantages to going foundationless. The most popular reason is that commercial foundation […] Read more