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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    224

    Default What foundation worked for you?

    My hive died, so I have an opportunity to examine it at my leisure. One item I'm curious about is the effeciveness of the foundation used.
    I used tounge depressors, 1/2 round, and 1/4 round (pointy end down). None was the clear winner i.e. entirelly parallel to the bar.

    Did you have a clear winner? - Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,656

    Default Re: What foundation worked for you?

    Beeswax foundation.Never had a failure yet.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: What foundation worked for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by brooksbeefarm View Post
    Beeswax foundation.Never had a failure yet.
    Can you describe what you did? - Mike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    637

    Default Re: What foundation worked for you?

    I've used popsicle sticks and wedge guides like the ones we sell (http://www.beethinking.com/top-bars). I've not really seen any difference in success -- both work great for me. What is critical, of course, is monitoring the hive after the first couple weeks of comb production. This is where things usually start going wrong, and unless you intervene they always get worse.

    Matt

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,656

    Default Re: What foundation worked for you?

    Sorry bout that, didn't realize you were talking about top bar hives. I should have known.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,464

    Default Re: What foundation worked for you?

    My bees refused to stay in KTBH. Thus, I am using reduced (no bottom and/or sides) foundationless frames in the Lang. I was trying many different designs of the frame and "starter strip". In my opinion, there is no winner - all designs works approximately the same to me. If interested, there are bunch of pictures of foundationless frames in "picture gallery". I sort of ended up with groove filled up with wax, but it is just because it is simpler to me. I think, as in any business with bees, the girls have their own way. Once they get used to frame and starter strip of particular kind - they drawn perfect comb if they wanted! When I add empty frame/bar - I always try to put it between at least partially drawn frames/bars. Another trick to me is to remove frames/bars with honey as it is completed. My observation is that if completed frame with honey is sitting in the hive for while - girls got into "renovation" mood and than, one could expect all kinds of bee-creativity! I am not sure if these observations are true for TBH.
    Серёжа, Sergey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: What foundation worked for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cacklewack View Post
    I've used popsicle sticks and wedge guides like the ones we sell (http://www.beethinking.com/top-bars). I've not really seen any difference in success -- both work great for me. What is critical, of course, is monitoring the hive after the first couple weeks of comb production. This is where things usually start going wrong, and unless you intervene they always get worse.

    Matt
    That's the secret. Which means frequesnt looking and when you're a newbie, approaching the hive is a bit daunting - Mike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    637

    Default Re: What foundation worked for you?

    Mike -- Which is why I try to make it clear to beekeepers new and old that top bar hives are NOT less hands-on than other hives. But in fact, they require more maintenance/monitoring at least early on while the colony is building the majority of their combs. If people want a hive they can dump bees into and largely ignore, a Langstroth or a Warre is a better solution.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: What foundation worked for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cacklewack View Post
    Mike -- Which is why I try to make it clear to beekeepers new and old that top bar hives are NOT less hands-on than other hives. But in fact, they require more maintenance/monitoring at least early on while the colony is building the majority of their combs. If people want a hive they can dump bees into and largely ignore, a Langstroth or a Warre is a better solution.
    Right; that's why in the back of my mind I'm thinking of a 30 bar "long hive"; best of both worlds - Mike

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,427

    Default Re: What foundation worked for you?

    I've had the best luck with a triangular comb guide. I cut mine from the corner of a one by, but you can buy chamfer molding and it works just as well.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Denison, Tx
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: What foundation worked for you?

    Chamfer molding worked good for me also.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,460

    Default Re: What foundation worked for you?

    I had some leftover 1/8" x 1/2" rippings from a project so I used them. I dumped in the swarm and carefully inspected the comb building process for a month or so. For the most part the girls did well all by themselves. Only a few combs needed some attention.
    Within four months 27 out of 29 bars had full combs on them.
    BTW, sorry about the loss of your hive.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Columbia, TN
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: What foundation worked for you?

    I filled a saw blade groove with wax. After the wax dried I ran a blade held at an angle along the entire length of the wax filled grove to create a "burr" of wax. The bees started building comb along the burr and have had no trouble.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,464

    Default Re: What foundation worked for you?

    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth_church View Post
    I filled a saw blade groove with wax. After the wax dried I ran a blade held at an angle along the entire length of the wax filled grove to create a "burr" of wax. The bees started building comb along the burr and have had no trouble.
    Could you provide a picture? I do not understand what blade do? Just melt wax? My current technique is exactly as yours - saw blade grove filled with wax, but without second part (burr wax). Sergey
    Серёжа, Sergey

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland. U.S.A.
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: What foundation worked for you?

    I've tried over a dozen variations. Clear winner is 1/2" strip of wax foundation running full length of TB and painted in groove w/ melted bees wax. B careful w/ triangle, the degree of angle is important for structural integrity due to angle of comb construction.
    Cheers,
    Drew

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