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  1. #1
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    May 2012
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    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    Default Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    Hello all,
    I have seen some folks, when going foundationless, use (wired) frames that have no bottom bar. Does anyone else do this? What do you see as the pros and cons? Good/bad? Thanks in advance for your input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    4,804

    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    How could you tighten the wires with no bottom bar? You young guys smoke too much weed and get confused.

  3. #3
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    May 2012
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    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    Oliver, Oliver! The guy I saw do this was 47 years old! Basically the wires were all that was keeping the sidebars from splaying out too much. If I am remembering right he used dowels for the same thing on some of his frames; that would work way better.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Pisgah Forest, NC, USA
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    58

    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    Here's my question. Why would you want to do that? What advantage would there possibly be?

  5. #5
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    May 2012
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    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    Ranger Cody:
    His main reason for doing such was this: The bees build comb almost all the way down the full depth of the frame but stop just short leach about 3/8" in between the bottom edge of the comb and bottom bars. Now, without the bottom bars, the bees built the comb all the way down, leaving the proper bee space between the bottom edge of the comb and the top of the frame below it. It worked for him, I was just wondering if anyone else was crazy enough to try it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by westernbeekeeper View Post
    ... It worked for him, I was just wondering if anyone else was crazy enough to try it.
    Pictures: http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...a-July-16-2012
    Based on this - I obviously crazy. Look at all these pictures - most of frames have no bottom bar, some of them have no side bars ether! I do not use wire and just for the record - I do not smoke. In foundationless approach, I noticed that bees in most cases do not attach comb to the bottom bar or it is weak attachment - thus, there is no need in it. Similarly - side bars limit bees in making pathways to access the comb - why one need side bars if bottom bar already demolished? I have to admit that using truncated foundationless frames requires more attention - most cross-comb and attachments to the sides happened if frame sits in the hive unattended for more than 2-3 month. I noticed also, that frames with or without side bars have exactly the same chance for messed comb - I had it twice, one time it was full frame without foundation (guide) and second time it was truncated frame, top bar basically with guide. Sergey
    Серёжа, Sergey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
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    1,858

    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    Okay, I saw the pictures. Not sure what the advantage is. How are these frames extracted?

    Grant
    Jackson, MO https://www.createspace.com/4106626
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  8. #8
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    May 2012
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    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    Oh yes, thank you, Sergey! I now remember that thread. I am subscribed to it, and I loved it! Excellent photos. I'd like to try it some time this next season. Quick question: what are those red things that slide/clip onto the frame ears (in the photos in the referred thread)?

  9. #9
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    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    4,804

    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    This seems like Warre beekeeping in a Langstroth size box.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2009
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    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
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    874

    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    What does being 47 years old have to do with?
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant View Post
    Okay, I saw the pictures. Not sure what the advantage is. How are these frames extracted?
    To me, the advantage is that I do not need to have/store the extractor, boxes with drawn comb etc. Also, it seems to me that my bees do like "natural way" - foundationless and less frame. But, I am a hobbyist, I am free to avoid commercial approach with extractor etc.

    Crush-and-strain method was invented way before extractors. Also, many non-Lang beehive designs all around the world but USA utilized crush-and-strain method. So, I am using crush-and-strain. Advantage of this is that I have two beautiful byproducts, wax (candles) and mead. The latest is very important to my friends.

    Sergey
    Серёжа, Sergey

  12. #12
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    Oct 2011
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    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    This seems like Warre beekeeping in a Langstroth size box.
    Yes, pretty much! Also, I started horizontal 2x-long Lang, bees love it! So I have Warre and TBH in modified Lang boxes. The idea was to use universal hardware (did not work very well).
    Серёжа, Sergey

  13. #13
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    Oct 2011
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    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by westernbeekeeper View Post
    ... what are those red things that slide/clip onto the frame ears (in the photos in the referred thread)?
    Those are adapters to use standard (or truncared) frame as a top bar in the Lang box. Sergey
    Серёжа, Sergey

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas, USA
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    460

    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by westernbeekeeper View Post
    Hello all,
    I have seen some folks, when going foundationless, use (wired) frames that have no bottom bar. Does anyone else do this? What do you see as the pros and cons? Good/bad? Thanks in advance for your input.
    I can only speak from what I have researched in this forum, also I am a Newbeek June 2012. My first harvest will be in the June/July time frame and I am limited to 5 hives since I am in a city housing development. In my research what I found was that using foundationless frames with wire or mono-filament fishing line (10-20 lb.) was to provide support for the comb for people who use extractors. I think that the radial type would work best for this as I think that the tangential extractors would put too much stress on the comb. Without a bottom bar you cannot pull the wire tight and the end bars would end up getting pulled in towards the center. Personally I have decided to go foundationless for my med. supers (about 50% on my brood deeps) and do the crush and strain method like Sergey. If I had more, like maybe 10-20, hives I would get an electric extractor simply to be standardized. My bees attach on the bottom bar, foundationless (Walter Kelley type F) last but all that are built out now are attached on the bottom bar. I do not think there is any right or wrong here, just personal choices on implementations since the bees seem to adapt to almost any method. My personal choice was financial if I go with an extractor I would probably go with a Maxant, but any of the extractors would work. I looked real hard at the Italian one the Brushy Mountain carries (9 frame radial) but the $500-1000 for all of the support items pushed me to the crush and strain method. I am waiting for my tax return to add to my hive count, 2 more hives as a better investment. These are only my personal thoughts/rational and I try to listen to the bees. Mike Bush also did not have an extractor for 26 years, but I think his hive count was like maybe 10, he got an extractor once he expanded his hive count.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    1,900

    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    I haven't done 100% foundationless, yet. Mostly 1/2 sheet foundation or a starter strip. I have seen, though, where the bees stop short of attaching to the bottom bar. I wonder if a raised edge was attached to the bottom bar if the bees would be more inclined to attach to it. I'm sure someone has tried this...I'm waiting to hear from them.

    Ed

  16. #16
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    Nov 2004
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    Camas, WA
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    1,922

    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmmooretx View Post
    I think that the radial type would work best for this as I think that the tangential extractors would put too much stress on the comb.
    I have both types of extractor (4 frame hand crank tangential and 18 frame motorized radial) and if I had foundationless frames I would use the tangential. The comb rests on the basket and would be a lot less likely to separate from the frame. Not that it couldn't happen, but if it would separate in the tangential, I'm pretty positive that it would fly off in the radial.

  17. #17
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    Jun 2010
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    Calvert, Md,USA
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    1,701

    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    Thanks for this post. I posted something similar elsewhere but no responses. Started going foundationless last season and got to thinking along these same lines. TBH in a Lang. My lack of experience in this made me wonder if the bees would attach to the sides and stop before the bottom. Looks like they will for the most part. I get messed up std frames as well. I've got a lot of med frames that I'm not going to use and thought I could take the BB off and use in a deep. I also think I can make a top bar but not a TB and frame very well. With the Lang as your std, you can still, seems to me, help a fellow Lang beek out with a frame of brood or trim it to fit your TBH buddies. My concern for me, is to remember not to flip it horizontal to look at with no side bars.
    Good info thanks
    Rick

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Jefferson Co., WV, USA
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    157

    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    I put some top bar combs in a nuc deep on top of another deep to let the bees get the honey, they then added to the comb and anchored it right to the top of the bars under it, we have to saw the boxes in half to open them. This spring the top bar combs go back into the TBH to stay. WVMJ
    Meadmaking with WVMJ at Meads and Elderberry Winemaking

  19. #19
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    Jun 2012
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    Houston, Texas, USA
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    460

    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by WVMJ View Post
    I put some top bar combs in a nuc deep on top of another deep to let the bees get the honey, they then added to the comb and anchored it right to the top of the bars under it, we have to saw the boxes in half to open them. This spring the top bar combs go back into the TBH to stay. WVMJ
    Try using a long thin bread knife to separate them, after removing what frames you can, and put them in a temporary deep, until the surgery is done. Some prying/proping with a hive tool may be needed to get access to the middle top bars, or try sliding the top box over enough to use the flexable bread knife.
    Better to sacrafice some comb rather than a box. Anyway just some thoughts, and best of luck.
    Mike
    N5RWH - 9a

  20. #20
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    Jul 2011
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    Evansville, IN
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    Default Re: Bottom-bar-less foundationless frames?

    I don't see any advantage at all, especially since next spring when the bees ramp up on the main flow they are VERY likely to attach the comb to the top of the top bar underneath the comb. Not a pretty sight when you try to pry them out.

    The whole point of frames is that the comb is secured in such a way as to allow you to remove it without damaging it. Bottomless frames, top bars, and all variations where there is not a solid frame all the way around defeat the purpose, and make the comb much easier to damage while moving it.

    Crush and strain is VERY wasteful, and a real mess if you have a significant number of hives. Takes a lot of nectar to make wax, after all, and they fill them up much faster when you use drawn empty comb rather than empty frames or foundation.

    The bees will draw foundationless comb down to the bottom bar eventually, but probably only on the spring flow. One advantage of using foundation is that the frames will almost always be completely drawn out and attached.

    Peter

    Peter

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