Natural Comb / Small Cell Transition

I wanted to closely document the transition to small cell to help others with the process, both backyard and commercial scale beekeepers. If you are not aware bees raised on natural comb have a good track record of surviving without any chemicals in managed hives. A much better track record than commercial or backyard beekeepers that use chemicals currently enjoy. The fact that feral bees are surviving in natural comb without chemical should be obvious. It seems to be a point on which advocates of conventional beekeeping are in complete denial in spite of enormous evidence to the contrary.
Click on photos to enlarge.

This is natural comb in a conventional frame without foundation. Please note the very technical starter strip made of two large Popsicle sticks/tongue depressors. Simply hold two together and press them gently but firmly into the foundation grove on a conventional frame. The frames I use are from Rossman Apiaries I cannot vouch for there being such a perfect fit on frames from other sources. Some sources recommend painting the starter strip with melted wax to encourage the bees. I did not because the bee drawn wax is stronger and I did not want to create a weak link in the frame at the attachment point. Clearly the bees had no trouble figuring things out without a wax coating.

This is a close up of a frame that has been drawn to about a third of the frame. The golden area is cells filled with honey. The frames are not fully drawn and the bees are already packing in honey. The photographs do not do justice to the absolute beauty and perfection of natural comb.

A beekeeper, his bees, and a frame of freshly drawn comb.

Close up of a nearly full frame from the brood chamber.

Nearly full frame of natural comb from the brood chamber. All of these photographs were taken three weeks after the introduction of open frames with starter strips into the hive. All frames shown are deep frames.

You too can save the world, one beehive at a time!

Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That's how we're gonna be -- cool. Critical is fine, but if you're rude, we'll delete your stuff. Please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name and do not put your website in the comment text, as both come off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch and Tim Ferris for the inspiration)
who we are:

Backyard Ecosystem began as an expression of my determination to make a difference in our own backyard. Literally and metaphorically making a difference at the micro level of my yard and to operate at macro level of treating the entire planet as something I am an integral part of and whose destiny is shaped everyday by what I do in my corner of the world.

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