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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Frame and foundation recommendation for South Alabama newbie...

    I'm sorry to re-hash what has probably been re-hashed a hundred time, but here goes....

    I'll be getting two established hives this spring. One is a 10-frame deep, the other one is a 10-frame deep plus a medium. The bees are reported as being Caucasians. I'm pretty confident that the current foundation is wired wax.

    I intend to go to all 8-frame mediums. I will use some follower boards to span the gap between 8 and 10 frame boxes. My plans are to build up the colonies, maybe pick up an additional swarm or two this spring, possibly even do a split. The first season I will be satisfied to simply keep these two colonies alive through the summer, to get them ready for the coming winter, and to get some hands on experience. Any honey harvested will be a big bonus. I guess what I'm saying is, I'm not looking to add to my two colonies the first season...but I'm not turning down any free bees, either!

    Right now I'm trying to figure out an order of frames and foundation. I would like to order enough to handle 4-5 hives of 6 mediums each (figuring on 3 of those mediums as eventual brood chambers and 3 of them as honey supers). I know I won't use many of these frames initially, but I'll have them on hand if needed. They will be used eventually and hopefully more will be required.

    I've pretty much decided on the GBB/WTB frames and mostly having a problem with deciding on foundation type. Locally, I've been recommended to get grooved bottom/WTB frames. With these it's been recommended that I get wired foundation without the ears. Reason for the foundation without ears is that the past experience of the beek was that the ears were not bent at exactly a 90-degree angle and would cause the foundation not to hang correctly (bulge to one side). Without the ears there's no danger of the bulging out. Apparently the foundation without ears is working well in the WTB frames being as this beek has about 50 hives using this setup. The foundation I'm looking at is from Kelleys...has anyone had experience with their wired foundation with ears? Problems? No problems?

    I'm also interested in trying foundationless at some point in time. I figure if I purchase the WTB with bottom grooves these should work well for foundationless frames. I guess I've pretty well decided on on the WTB frames...just not sure

    I'd like to find out what other folks are starting out with and especially what folks are using in the deep southeast regions.

    Thanks for any help,
    Ed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,347

    Default Re: Frame and foundation recommendation for South Alabama newbie...

    Kelley's has frames designed for foundationless, with built-in comb guides. Unless you're building your own, as I am, I'd try some of theirs

    Kelley's wooden foundationless medium frames.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,270

    Default Re: Frame and foundation recommendation for South Alabama newbie...

    My recommendation is Kelley's groved top and bottom bar and the Pierco plastic foundation insert.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,068

    Default Re: Frame and foundation recommendation for South Alabama newbie...

    When the foundation buldges to one side because of the hooks not being perfect 90 degrees, just push on it with your hand until it is straight.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Frame and foundation recommendation for South Alabama newbie...

    Mr. Clemens, thanks for the input. I've looked at the foundationless frames from Kelleys and have considered getting some of them. I'm thinking, though, that the GBB/WTB frames would work for foundationless, also, and I would have a frame inventory to either use with or without foundation...with the foundationless frames I'd be restricted from using foundation. I'm also looking at the quantity pricing, too. I may yet try a super or two of them.

    ARB, I've considered the plastic based foundation. I guess with the grooved tops and bottoms I can still use the popsicle method of going foundationless. Simply snapping in sheets of foundation *does* have it's attraction! Are you using Pierco?

    Old Guy, bending the foundation wires was what I figured I would do but, for some reason, my mentor (another "old guy" ) is really against wired foundation with ears. I don't know if he had a bad encounter or what. Are you using the wired with ears wax foundation?

    Thanks,
    Ed

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