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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Lanark, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    70

    Default Foundationless Deeps - wire or no?

    Greetings one and all. I would like to start experimenting with some foundationless frames for brood and was wondering if you folks out there have some advice concerning wires: namely would the brood comb sag or disfigure in cell shape without a couple of horizontal wires? I have read here for awhile, and I know that Michael Bush says no but uses mediums for brood. Any experience or advice to share? Looking forward to start this new endeavour..

    Ivan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    North Salem, IN, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default

    I was going to start going foundationless in deeps as well. Anyone have any advice on what to use for starters (wax strip, popcicle stick, etc...)? I am getting some nucs this wknd and may just try some of each type to see which one seems to work the best.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    North Vernon, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    51

    Default

    I am planning on trying this too.
    I am completely unexperienced.. but i believe that the hive has the be perfectly level if you intend to use foundationless + wires..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Weymouth, Massachusetts
    Posts
    220

    Default

    I use on foundationless frames in my hives.
    They are either topbar hives or all mediums in langs.
    I keep my hives they are level and do not lean forward or backward.
    I do not wire any of my frames and my guides are built into the bar, a beveled topbar all the way across.
    People have had success with popsicle sticks, tongue depressors, paint stirrers and triangle wedges.
    As long at the bees have some type of guide you should be fine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Stecoah, NC, USA
    Posts
    2

    Default NO Wire

    I have only been into bees 2 years now I have done saeveral foundationless deeps with great success all i did was insert empty frames when i did a split or caught a swarm both did well

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default

    I have several foundationless deep frames in my hives. The combs will follow gravity, so you need to make sure the hives are level side to side. If the side to side isn't level, the bottom of the comb will be offset to the bottom frame bar. Front to back tilt on the hive is ok - it's the side to side tilt you have to watch.

    I don't use wire. If you wire your frames, the bees will integrate the wires into the comb. If the hive leans side to side and the comb hangs offset, the bees will integrate the wire into the side of the comb, instead of integrating the wire into the center of the comb.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    White County, Arkansas
    Posts
    874

    Default

    I have never used a full foundation sheet (four years in July) but cut down the sheets into starter strips about five cells wide and wax them into the top bar groove of the frame. I had a problem with one hive that was angled a little to the side (I missed it) and they followed gravity. Same hive, I had a real wavy starter strip that they followed. After I cleaned these up and repositioned the hive they did good. They drew it out well after that. I don't use wire and I use deeps for brood and deeps, mediums and shallows for supers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,245

    Default

    BeePuncher, if you are experimenting try frames with wire and some without and compare results.

    Also put in a frame or two with foundation and see how they compare with the foundationless frames. Have fun!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,290

    Default

    I don't do deeps much, but I have done some foundationless deeps. I have never used wire. I have put a center support on my Dadant deeps (11 1/4" frames). Charles Martin Simon told me he used foundationless deeps all the time and never wired them and extracted them all the time as well.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm#dowire
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10

    Default

    I have only deeps now. I extract them without problems, I just do it slower at the beginning of spinning, and add two rubber strips (wrap it around the frame) to the frame just in case.
    I think wired foundation frames are stronger and easier for a beginner but you can do foundationless with a little bit of care.
    "Do nothing. Time is too precious to waste." Buddha

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default

    I switched about 40 hives this year, and don't have wires. The bees seem to be iffy about attaching to the bottom bar, some do, some don't I have been scratching the bottoms open trying to get them to repair that spot and attach it. Not sure yet one way or the other if that works or help...

    That said wires would be nice but with 1000 frames or better, I am not going to mess with them.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,290

    Default

    Jay Smith used to recommend this, put the bottom bar on with nails and leave it down 3/8" of an inch (in other words put a 3/8" piece of something in the notch to suspend the bar even with the bottom bars and not in the notch). Then after the comb is drawn to within 3/8" of the bottom you push the bottom bar the rest of the way in.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Island County, WA, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default

    Backyardhive.com sells foundationless frames, but only for mediums. They have the beveled top bar that is very nice. Does anyone know where to go to buy the foundationless frames with beveled top bar for deeps? If not, does anyone know where to go to find a really good howto on making them yourself?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,245

    Default

    Just use a regular frame. Turn the wedge so that it protrudes down and tack it in. There is no need for special frames.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default

    Skip that, just by wedge style and take out the wedge.... that edge down is no different than the edge left with no wedge... in fact the always start on the center of the bar, putting the wedge back puts them a bit off center.
    Last edited by Bizzybee; 06-03-2009 at 10:44 PM. Reason: Unnecessary quoting

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Island County, WA, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default

    By wedge style, you mean the ones that have a piece of wood that holds in plastic foundation?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Lanark, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    70

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AR Beekeeper View Post
    BeePuncher, if you are experimenting try frames with wire and some without and compare results.

    Also put in a frame or two with foundation and see how they compare with the foundationless frames. Have fun!
    Thanks! That is what I am going to do. I am not worried about extracting honey, my extractor is a four frame one with the cages and can handle deep frames. My main worry would be misshapen/sagging brood comb from the heat of the hive, although I am suspecting they do quite a job using propolis to reinforce the structure. A side by side comparison under equal conditions will be fun for sure!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Lanark, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    70

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    I don't do deeps much, but I have done some foundationless deeps. I have never used wire. I have put a center support on my Dadant deeps (11 1/4" frames). Charles Martin Simon told me he used foundationless deeps all the time and never wired them and extracted them all the time as well.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm#dowire
    By a centre support do you mean a rod or even wood wedge? Is the idea that without something like that on a deep frame the brood comb could sag or disfigure in the warmth of the hive?

    I am not worried about frames for honey, they would extract very well in my extractor with the cages, just the brood area as I would like to start replacing my old comb with new stuff that the bees made themselves - clean clean clean - and as an added bonus spare the expense of foundation, hassle of wiring and most importantly not deal with contaminated wax from who knows where.

    Ivan

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,303

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, Texas
    Posts
    1,378

    Default

    I like to use the grooved top bars and use a wooden spline in the groove to get them started in the center. Works really well for me. I rip my own wooden splines, but some folks use tongue depressors or popsicle sticks. For me, it has worked better than either the V shaped top bars or the ones with the wedge turned vertical. The main concern is to be sure your hive is level left to right if you put on a whole box of undrawn frames. When using them in supers, they work best when "checkerboarded" between fully drawn and sealed frames of honey. If the adjacent super frames are drawn but not sealed, the bees will often just draw the adjacent frames out wider into the empty space of the foundationless frame.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

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