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Thread: Starter Strips

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vermontville, Michigan
    Posts
    88

    Default Starter Strips

    I've decided to delve into the Top Bar world, and I've got my package ordered and am going to start work on my TBH shortly. I'm wondering about the starter strips for the bars, wondering what people use when you make your own. I like to build as much as I can rather than buy, but is buying top bars vs making them the equivalent of buying vs making frames for a Langstroth? (IE: Not worth the time compared to the cost?) I know it'll be easy to cut the bars themselves, but its the starter strips that I'm really wondering about. Thanks for the input.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ludington, Michigan
    Posts
    611

    Default Re: Starter Strips

    I dont do TBH but imagine starter strips would be the same as what I do in my comb honey supers. I use thin surplus foundation. I cut 1" full length strips from the sheets. These get glued into the top bar slots. To glue them I use a small double boiler filled with wax. Dadant sell a tool called a wax tube fastener. When the wax is liquid the WTF is set in to heat up. It has to be the same temp as the wax to work. When its hot it will fill with melted wax. It has a little breather hole on the handle that when plugged with your finger the wax stays inside the tube. The starter strips are held in the inverted top bar slot while the WTF trickles out a small bead of wax to glue it in. About every 3rd or 4th frame I glue in a full sheet instead of a strip.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    572

    Default Re: Starter Strips

    a lot of folks think that making frames for langs is a waste of time, and for them, they are correct. For me, I like to make things, so it satisfies a desire to build, and it also satisfies a need for frames. even if one buys in bulk, frames are about $0.75. well, a hive with two boxxes for brood, and two honey supers, requires 40 rfames. if you have two or three hives, thats 80 or 120 frames you need. I'll gladly save $100 and doing something i kinda enjoy, that supports a hobby I'm interested in. Heck, that savings just "paid" for another package/nuc of bees.

    Anyways, you don't care about that, so back to starter strips. I made up some foundationless frames to test out and used plastic foundation as a starter strip. i cut the leftover sheets to about an inch or so. I then took the top bar of the frames and ran them over the table saw to cut a small groove in them. I forget the exact width required, but I made the groove just a bit wider than the foundation...and I mean just a bit...like thousandths of an inch. I squireted a bit of titebondIII in the groove, and then pressed in the 1" strips of plastic foundation. Just in case, i rand 4 narrow crown stables through the top bar perpendiculat to the "foundation" so that they go through the top bar and foundation to mechanically secure it. This will give the beest a few cels headstarts and a nice guide to get them going with their own comb making.

    This is all just an idea though. i happened to have some extra plastic foundation sitting around, and wanted to try foundationless. I won't know if this works for a few months, so you may want to take the advice of someone more experienced. I think i have a solid plan though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Oceanside, New York
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Starter Strips

    I have been able to make two TBH without virtually purchasing anything. It is usually pretty easy to find scrap wood around the neighborhood when people are throwing away furniture, etc, which is what I have done. the only item I purchased was a couple of hinges and bolts for the legs and the hinges for my window. As far as the strips, I used paint stirrers, cut in half to optimize the number of strips from each stirrer. went in to Home Depot and asked for them, no problem. otherwise you can make the strips out of any 1/8" piece of wood and router out a strip in your top bar, then glue the strip into it. works like a charm.
    thanks and good luck.
    larry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,379

    Default Re: Starter Strips

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm#guide
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundat...htm#whichguide

    I like most anything but the wax filled groove ok, but I prefer wood over wax as it's more permanent and doesn't get deformed easily.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vermontville, Michigan
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Starter Strips

    Thanks everyone. I've been pretty excited about doing a TBH since last fall, and this was the missing link for me.

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