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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    885

    Post

    I was considering using foundationless frames to head towards small cell. I have heard of people putting some sort of triangle shaped piece at the top for the bees to attach the comb to. I was wondering if a small wood dowel with some wax painted on it would be just as good for them to start with or do they need that point part? I would wood glue the dowel up in the slot for normal foundation. (or additional attachment if the wood glue wasn't good enough or the bees woudlnt' like it)

    Anyone??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,802

    Post

    >I have heard of people putting some sort of triangle shaped piece at the top for the bees to attach the comb to. I was wondering if a small wood dowel with some wax painted on it would be just as good for them to start with or do they need that point part?

    They don't NEED the point part, but it's all a matter of degree. They will tend to follow the guide better with the point. If you're trying to keep it simpler, you could run a one by through the table saw and make 1/8" wide strips and glue these in. That will work better than a dowel. I assuem you mean that the dowel is running the length of the slot? It won't protrude much will it?

    I just CUT the triangle on frames that are not yet assembled. You can cut them on a grooved top bar. It's true you end up with two points but they are only 1/8" apart and that works out fine. If they are already assembled, then I tend to cut the triangle and nail and glue it on.

    This drawn comb here is a standard frame with the groove in it that has been cut on a bevel. You can see the groove in places if you look really hard.

    http://incolor.inetnebr.com/bush/ima...nlessDrawn.JPG

    I started a top bar hive this last spring in a five frame nuc with one starter strip on the center bar and nothing for a guide on the others. The idea was that the box and the one starter strip would act as a guide. It's the best I've seen the bees do at nice straight combs with no foundation. I moved it to an eight frame box and then a 10 frame box and finally a long 33 frame hive. The first ten frames had only that one starter strip. I've had other hives with starter strips and/or comb guides where the bees cheated a bit on every one until they were between the frames. In the end the bees will do what they want, but setting a pattern helps a lot. One drawn comb down the middle of a box is usually sufficient to get them going in the right direction.

    A standard frame, with no guide and no foundation between two drawn combs is usually drawn perfectly.

    So it's all a matter of degree and how LIKELY the bees will do what you want.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,361

    Post

    I use wedge top bars. I break out the wedge first. Then I use a little stepped fence on the table saw to support the bar while I rip the far side at an angle (as I write this, I wonder why I didn't just rip it first, then break out the wedge!). I then glue the little triangle that I rip off back into the wedge area. It's much simpler than it sounds and doesn't take much time. It ends up with a pretty well centered point in the bar. I can post links to a few pictures if it will help anyone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,802

    Post

    I just cut both sides and left the wedge attached, but sometimes the wedge comes out anway. [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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