Could some of you that are using foundationless frames post pics or links to them? I'd like to see some as I am thinking of making up some. (please no tbh frames guys, although I wouldn't mind seeing them in another thread).
I don't have any pics right now, but I special ordered 1000 frames from Walter Kelly with no groove in the top or bottom (solid top and solid bottom bars). I set the table saw at 45 degrees and the width so it cuts to the middle. Run it through and reverse it and run it through again and you have a bevel on the bottom of the top bar.
I have also done this on standard frames and just left the groove. They also work fine.
You can also take the left over piece from cutting the bevel on the top bar and staple it to the bottom bar and get the effect that Charlse Simon has on his.
Charlse Simon says he uses foundationless deeps and extracts them. I've only done mediums.
Here's his site and you can find some pictures in the three links here:
Thanx for the links. Hmmmm........what I find odd is that the frames are trade marked, yet I've seen them used before or is it the name???? Anyways, why make up these frames when one could just as easily use 1/2 inch blank strips? Or run a wax bead down top bars? Or make a wood spline and place in top bar groove and even wax it if one wanted?
Also anyone know the success (up to date) that CS is having using and its effects on the bees?
Actually you can do all those things. But some people are trying to avoid placing any wax in the hive at all except those the bees supply. Contamination and all that.
When you use strips, you are at a disadvantage. The combs will be initially built on the edge of the strips and they won't attach the combs to the top bars until they need the room up their for honey stores. What this means is the strip bears all the weight of the comb for a while. If the bees take longer than shorter to make comb attachments somewhere else, either along the top or side of the comb, then you might be in for some trouble.
Another thing you can do to make a foundationless frame is simply placing a regular frame without foundation between two already built perfect combs. They will serve as sufficient guide to the bees for comb placement within the empty frame.
They have been around for a long time. Charles Simon has the advantage of the bottom bar being angled (except he's not manufacturing them right now)
To me a big part is that they are pretty much maintenance free. You can just scrape them down and put them back. A starter strip is more durable than a full sheet of foundation, but it still can get bent and fall out etc. The bevel does not fall out, doesn't have to be put in, won't melt, won't scrape off when you're cleaning it.
It's actually less labor to cut the bevel on a plain top bar than it is to cut a starter strip and wax it into a frame and you never have to do it again.
And of course, from a contamination point of view, it's all clean wax when the bees make it all.
I just wanted to add that I tried them with a swarm I hived (needed frames quick, so just rubbed some beveled strips of wood from my scrap-bucket with a block of wax and stapled to the top bar, left bottom bar flat). and I am more than pleased with the bees' product. I wanted to see what size of comb the swarm would draw anyway before adding 4.9mm.
You've gotten my interest up regarding foundationless frames since I'm about ready to buy more super frames/foundation. Are they mostly used for the brood chamber or can they also be used for the honey supers that will be extracted? Would it be best to place every other one between new foundation? One more question - would they need to be wired for support?
I have frames inside the hives with no foundation on them. I staggered these among the foundation sections. The bees make beautiful comb out of it. Mine are all in the brood nest. Haven't tried it in the honeysupers yet.
It comes out rather Thick. Especially where they place their drone brood.
Which btw, our drones are out by the score this weekend... LOL My Garsh!
Scads and Gobs...
>You've gotten my interest up regarding foundationless frames since I'm about ready to buy more super frames/foundation. Are they mostly used for the brood chamber or can they also be used for the honey supers that will be extracted?
I extract them. You have to meet a few crieria to do it. First the comb has to be attached on at LEAST three sides. Four is nice. It doesn't have to be solid, but it needs at least some attachments. Second, the comb has to mature a bit. New comb is really soft. Older comb is stiffer. When you reuse the comb this isn't a problem but new comb needs to age a few weeks before you extract it.
>Would it be best to place every other one between new foundation?
It's "best" to put them every other one between DRAWN foundation, but you can put them all in together also. Once in a while they get started off with something cockeyed, but they do this with foundation too. The advantage to the foundation is they usually only screw up two frames of foundation when they do this. With foundationless they continue the mess all the way across. I try to keep an eye on them, but usually they do grest.
>One more question - would they need to be wired for support?
I don't use any wire.
Don't try this with 9 frames. I tried it in two of my supers with started strips and the bees made a mess. Where I used 10 frames, the bees did a good job.
Yes, and clean off the propolis on the end bars and crowd them toegether in the center. One fully drawn comb in the box sure helps give them the right idea too.
Thanks for all the info. I might just get brave enough to try this and save a little money too!