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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Alternatives to wiring frames?

    I find wiring frames the most frustrating part of making beekeeping equipment.

    Looking at my foundationless wireless frames it would make more sense to reinforce comb vertically.

    I'm thinking that vertical wooden skewers might work just as well.

    Has anyone tried this?

    What other ways of reinforcing have you tried?
    What worked the best?

    Thanks
    Matthew Davey

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: Alternatives to wiring frames?

    I have found using a vertical support in foundationless frames works very well. My support is wood because I'm a carpenter, but it could be wire too I suppose.

    This is a picture of my 1st round of foundationless frames. Newer versions are more solidly built, but on the same principle. My vertical support sets in cut notches in the top and bottom bars. Also, my newer versions have a flat bottom bar rather than the beveled one shown. They seems strong as any once the bees attach them to all 4 sides.

    http://donshackelford.com/bees/Foundationless_Frame.jpg

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,918

    Default Re: Alternatives to wiring frames?

    Don, the photo looks like the top bars ahs a wood strip as the comb guide. Just confirming that.

    Also. You are able to extract honey from these frames once they are attached solidly? Basically meaning you can do without foundation with pretty much any frame by adding a strip of wood down the middle?

    Has sort of a too good to be true flavor about it for me right now. but if that is what you are saying. it is a big answer to D.I.Y for me. Might actually make frames worth making at home.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Dorset, Vermont
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Alternatives to wiring frames?

    Alternatives to wiring frames? This subject comes up from time to time. The only argument for using wire vs. monofilament is "I've always done it that way" and "It's a pain but it's the traditional way."

    Skeps were traditional, too.

    Mono (try 20# test) is

    Faster to install
    Cheaper
    No gyro-gearloose contraptions needed
    Works better - the mono goes on both sides of the foundation, not just one.

    See the video on this on Youtube by the FatBeeMan.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: Alternatives to wiring frames?

    I make my frames with beveled top bars for comb guides. I dado cut the center guide support notch while they are still 2x6's. They will stand up to an extractor once they're allowed to stiffen up after being drawn out, and can be tilted horizontally as soon as comb is attached to the center bar.

    They are not too good to be true though, foundation produces a higher percentage of good worker cells. The vertical center support does allow me to cut out one half of a poorly drawn frame and let them draw it again in the brood area.

    My frames are currently cut to 1 1/4" spacing for 9 frames in an 8 frame box. I stagger them to 1 3/8" in the second brood chamber and a little more as I go up.
    I have taken regular frames and just turn the nail strip sideways like Mr Bush states. It does work, but not extractor friendly with deep frames. Mediums would naturally lend themselves better to foundationless, but I prefer deep frames of brood.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Alternatives to wiring frames?

    There's always plastic foundation for wooden frames.

    Geoff

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    900

    Default Re: Alternatives to wiring frames?

    What percentage of drone brood would you estimate ?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,595

    Default Re: Alternatives to wiring frames?

    I did this and was surprised with the results. I had about 40 deep frames with vertical skewers as supports, every one was filled with mostly drone comb-no matter where in the hive it was. Center of the broodnest, side of the nest, over the nest-no matter. It seemed as soon as they had a divider in the comb they would switch to large or huge cell size. Here is a few pics.




    It worked great in the honey super though. Perfect honey comb in easy to harvest squares. Just run you knife around the sticks.



    Even the mini frames had a skewer for support. They built worker comb down to the bamboo skewer then all drone comb below..without fail.I should have a photo of that somewhere, until I find it, this is what my application was.



    I loved installing the skewers though, very fast and easy.

    In a horizontal application the bees drew comb on one side of the dowel or plastic support as Mann Lake sells. Not over the support (as they do with thin wire) , making that a weak point in the comb. I have a few dozed of those mann lake supports and am actually going to throw them out. When using them for foundationless supports, They are worthless in my opinion.

    http://www.mannlakeltd.com/beekeepin...productInfo/4/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    176

    Default Re: Alternatives to wiring frames?

    A very interesting idea.

    I don't mind wiring but the concept of putting a couple of skewers with wire and foundation is a concept worth trying. I do buy frames with grooves top and bottom that enable plastic foundation which I do not use. I will try putting in a couple of skewers next time I am making up frames.

    Geoff

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Alternatives to wiring frames?

    Thanks everyone.

    Don, I notice they still initially avoid attaching the sides and bottom with your design.

    Thanks for the pics Lauri. Exactly what I was after.

    Matthew Davey

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,025

    Default Re: Alternatives to wiring frames?

    Have you tried not wiring them?
    I've never wired frames. Haven't had problems.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Alternatives to wiring frames?

    Yes, I've had something like 20 foundationless and wireless frames drawn in the last couple of months, but none have been attached far down the sides or at the bottom. I suppose they will in time.

    Matthew Davey

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