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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Central Kansas
    Posts
    53

    Default foundationless and wiring the frames?

    I have been mostly foundationless with a couple of sheets of small cell to get them off to a straight start. Previously I have been cutting and crushing to get my honey, which is nice because my husband uses the wax for woodworking projects.

    However, this next year I would like to extract it using a honey extractor. It is my understanding I will need to wire in the foundation, so it doesn't crumble to pieces as it is spinning.

    Does anyone know, if I put in the wires without foundation between them, will they build them into their comb or will they just go crazy trying to get around the wires? Anyone have any experience with this?

    thanks,
    Downhome

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,589

    Default Re: foundationless and wiring the frames?

    The bees will build comb around the wires nicely.

    Wire and crimp.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: foundationless and wiring the frames?

    I have not found it necessary to wire foundationless frames, as long as the comb is well attached on 3 sides. I have extracted deep foundationless frames this way.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

    Default Re: foundationless and wiring the frames?

    I extracted foundationless drone comb that had had at least one round of brood raised in it, and it held up fine in my radial extractor. Thick honey and granulation add to the possibility they won't hold up. I have had wired two directions foundation frames sometimes blow with thick honey.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Leetonia, Ohio
    Posts
    389

    Default Re: foundationless and wiring the frames?

    I have no experience trying to extract foundationless without wiring it first. When the frames are wired you will have no worries and they build the comb around the wires fine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,025

    Default Re: foundationless and wiring the frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by Countryboy View Post
    I have not found it necessary to wire foundationless frames, as long as the comb is well attached on 3 sides.
    Ditto. First-year comb is a bit fragile and needs to be handled with care, but it toughens up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: foundationless and wiring the frames?

    I use fishing line instead of wire, find it easier to work with. The bees build comb just fine, as they do without line or wire. As noted, extract (radial) has not been a problem if the comb is attached on three sides, four sides are better and the older the comb the better. Yes I have had blowouts, but then I have had full sheet wired wax foundation blow also.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,408

    Default Re: foundationless and wiring the frames?

    Wires were added to prevent foundation from sagging until it was drawn, not for extracting. People were extracting without wires for years before wiring came into vouge, and people are still extracting without wires now and always have.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9

    Default Re: foundationless and wiring the frames?

    I use fishing line as well. There is a video by fatbeeman I believe on youtube with instruction on wiring for foundationless and he uses fishing line. I use it for the purposes that M. Bush stated. To keep it from sagging in summer heat until it becomes aged.
    Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
    Thomas A. Edison

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Grahamsville, NY
    Posts
    440

    Default Re: foundationless and wiring the frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by raosmun View Post
    I use fishing line instead of wire
    I prefer to use a fishing line too. Some pictures posted here:
    http://www.beebehavior.com/foundatio...brood_area.php

    Boris

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: foundationless and wiring the frames?

    I just started beekeeping this past year and gave some foundationless frames with mono filament (fishing line) wiring a go. It worked out fine.



    You can see the bees built right through the wiring no problem (and eventually connected the comb on all 4 sides of the frame). I had one frame that was installed crooked on a bit of a slant and they built crookedly through it, but that was my fault. When the frames were straight down, they built straight down like the wires weren't even there. Purdy darn cool.

    Loads of photos here:

    http://mudsongs.org/natural-foundati...b-2-weeks-old/
    - Phillip
    @ Mud Songs

  12. #12

    Default Re: foundationless and wiring the frames?

    Here's a video on putting the fishing line in and explanation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwYrT8XhKf4
    Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.
    Thomas A. Edison

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Central Kansas
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: foundationless and wiring the frames?

    Awesome!! That is exactly what I was looking for....and pictures to boot! Thank you all sooooo much for your help. This site is so helpful! Guess I better get busy wiring all those frames I put together.

    downhome

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Enderby, BC, Canada
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: foundationless and wiring the frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by downhome View Post
    I have been mostly foundationless with a couple of sheets of small cell to get them off to a straight start. Previously I have been cutting and crushing to get my honey, which is nice because my husband uses the wax for woodworking projects.

    However, this next year I would like to extract it using a honey extractor. It is my understanding I will need to wire in the foundation, so it doesn't crumble to pieces as it is spinning.

    Does anyone know, if I put in the wires without foundation between them, will they build them into their comb or will they just go crazy trying to get around the wires? Anyone have any experience with this?

    thanks,
    Downhome
    I have experience with Hoffman frames. I use them for drone breeding. I put them into the Hoffman hive box, 2., 2. frame in from outside, each side. Brood nest is in bottom box. I do this when the dandelions start flowering (my natural pointer). It can be a totally new frame that has a groove on the bottom of the top bar or an old one that I cut out for wax recycling. On the old one there is some wax left in the groove of the top bar, else nothing. but you could leave a strip of comb. Placing them as described, bees will always build drone cells. I only have two wires in the frame and the bees incorporate those perfectly. I had some frames where the wire was black (not rusty but black) and they still work it into the comb nicely. I never extracted those frames, as they have brood but it should work in the honey box as good.

    With above timing they start building right away. You have to make sure those drones don't hatch or you breed V.destructor mites. Removing those frames 45 days later (that is when they are drawn and the drone cells covered), you remove those frames and with it a lot of mites. Google "Harmonic Farming: Bees" and look Insed the book using the tab TOC and chapter 4. It will describe how I manage the mites, called SMC (sustainable mite control).
    Let me know how you make out

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    822

    Default Re: foundationless and wiring the frames?

    Have any of you experienced the bees not drawing the comb to the sides of the frames w/o wiring? I recently heard this and was looking into it. I'm starting in the spring with foundationless frames as well and want to be as prepared as possible.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,380

    Default Re: foundationless and wiring the frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by delber View Post
    Have any of you experienced the bees not drawing the comb to the sides of the frames w/o wiring?
    That will happen ... but it really has nothing to do with the wiring. With or without wire, sometimes they will draw out a full comb which is not attached at the sides or bottom but the top bar only. But usually, after a few brood cycles and a good flow, they will fill in the voids and secure it.

    I like to use fishing line too. It seems to help keep the comb in place when you run into this scenario and the new wax is soft. It bridges the gap until the comb toughens up.
    To everything there is a season....

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