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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    90

    Default Foundationless Frames??

    Looking to get another hive. My first hive is a top bar hive. Now looking to expand into a langstroth hive (using 8 frame mediums). I was going to purchase a hive from Brushy Mountain, but don't know what kind of frames to get to use them as foundationless frames. Any ideas? thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,029

    Default Re: Foundationless Frames??

    So far the only commercially available frames that are designed to be foundationless are sold by the Walter T. Kelley, company.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Foundationless Frames??

    If you buy the wedge top frames for wax foundation you can break off the "wedge" (its actually just a strip of wood connected by a 1/16 thick wooden hinge) and staple it back on sideways. It only takes a minute and gives you a nice 3/8x 1/8" guide strip in the exact center of the frame. I just made 80 of these yesterday for my all medium foundation less set up, it was pretty easy and seems to be the most common method.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,222

    Default Re: Foundationless Frames??

    Wedge type frames work fine with the wedge rotated and nailed in to give a guide. I did that last year.

    However, you should use at least one drawn comb or sheet of foundation in a new hive to help the bees start out right -- if you put a swarm in a hive full of empty frames, they may decide it's better to put the comb at right angles to the entrance, or diagonally, instead of in the frames. It's even better to start them on drawn comb and insert foundationless frames between drawn ones later.

    Hive MUST be perfectly level side to side, as the bees build comb from the top straight down by gravity, and if there is enough tilt to the hive they will cheerfully build from the top of one frame to the bottom of the next!

    In either case, you will not be able to remove the frames until you cut the comb out and re-attach it. Far better to get it going right to start with.

    You will also have to move frames around eventually, as the bees will make drone comb at the outsides of the brood nest. Perforce, the brood nest is small to start with, so you end up with a frame of drone comb on either side of a couple frames of brood, and they may limit the brood nest to this size. Once they are strong, insert an empty frame into the brood nest so they draw out brood comb, and keep the drone comb on the outside couple positions when the brood nest has expanded enough. They will rework it eventually, but it's better to keep drone comb out of the brood nest.

    Peter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    862

    Default Re: Foundationless Frames??

    bnm, I bought hives from Brushy mnt and frame 149e to use as foundationless. I put paint stir sticks in the grove for a starter, no wax or anything else, worked fine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,487

    Default Re: Foundationless Frames??

    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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