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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Buffalo,Tx
    Posts
    3

    Default Foundationless frames in East/Central Texas?

    I am getting 10 hives and wanted to do foundationless frames. I will be using medium frames and I live in East/Central Texas (Leon County to be exact). It can get quite hot here in the summer, some days between 105 and 110 degrees, although 110 is only a couple days in the summer whereas 105 is sometimes the norm in August. I know that if it is this hot that I will have to put my hives in the shade where it might be 10 degrees cooler. I am concerned about the combs collapsing in the heat and if I needed to put wires in the frames to act as support, but if possible I would rather not have this because it would get in the way with harvesting. Also, if I do have to put wires in the frames, how many and what direction, so that I can make harvesting easy as possible and not a burden. I have a nice area with a lot of trees by a medium sized pond that I could use as shade for them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Foundationless frames in East/Central Texas?

    Here is one method;

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwYrT8XhKf4

    Mann-Lake sells nylon rods that replace wire or line., They also sell a pin that looks like a bobby pin.

    I think some folk use 1/16 dowels and/or bamboo skewers. Folk make crosses, ladders, angular (45 Degree?) . horizontal, vertical, you name it.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Anderson County, Texas
    Posts
    1,254

    Default Re: Foundationless frames in East/Central Texas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Five Ponds View Post
    I am concerned about the combs collapsing in the heat and if I needed to put wires in the frames to act as support, but if possible I would rather not have this because it would get in the way with harvesting.
    The combs will collapse even on plastic frames or foundation. I pm'd you so call me sometime or I can call you if you send your phone number. If you do wire or use mono filament [fishing line] I would criss cross X the frames. I assume you will be using wooden frames. If you stay out of them in the hot weather and they are in the shade, they have good populations, and access to plenty of water, you might get by without the support.

    Quote Originally Posted by Five Ponds View Post
    but if possible I would rather not have this because it would get in the way with harvesting.
    How do you intend to harvest. Wires won't be a problem with an extractor.

    Kindest Regards
    Danny Unger
    Last edited by DRUR; 04-01-2013 at 08:49 PM. Reason: add X
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,016

    Thumbs Up Re: Foundationless frames in East/Central Texas?

    Quote Originally Posted by DRUR View Post
    The combs will collapse even on plastic frames or foundation.
    Danny, please explain the conditions in which you have experienced collapsing comb on plastic foundation. My hives have afternoon shade, but are exposed to 110 + F (during the hottest days of summer) yet, my Rossman & Mann Lake plastic foundations have been rock solid and the comb has remained intact so far. Just wonder what I'm missing here.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Anderson County, Texas
    Posts
    1,254

    Default Re: Foundationless frames in East/Central Texas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lburou View Post
    Danny, please explain the conditions in which you have experienced collapsing comb on plastic foundation.
    During the late 70's through the mid 80's I ran all deeps, brood boxes and supers. Fairly standard practice back then. I used "Duragilt". This is a plastic base with cell imprinted wax. My bees back during that time was a great escape from my desk job and I was always going through them and observing them. I would always [and still do] pull a frame from the end of the box and set it outside. Then space the frames and examine which ever ones or all, that I wanted to. I use to love to pick up a deep frame, completely sealed with honey, and just admire their hard and beautiful work. On more than one occassion, on these Hot days, while returning the frames, one would slip and be jarred into its slot, and the wax and honey would just slide off the duragilt foundation. My bees were situated with a large pine tree just south and a pond on the other side of the pine tree. In all honesty though these colonies were exposed to a lot of sun. Now I try to place my colonies where the trees are on the West side so that later in the evening they become shaded quite early around 4-5Pm. I am not foundationless now and use small cell Plastic frames from MannLakeltd.com, but I don't examine them during the heat of the day now as usually its to hot for me during that time period. But that being said, frames of sealed honey are much heavier than brood and I have no doubt that if jarred during the heat of the day the honey and comb would slip from the plastic frame.

    Kindest Regards
    Danny Unger

    Kindest Regards
    Danny Unger
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,804

    Default Re: Foundationless frames in East/Central Texas?

    Topbar hive combs collapse because the only attachment point is the top bar. Combs in foundationless FRAMES should not be a problem. They are most likely attached to the sides of the frames and not HANGING from the topbar. They are probably also partially supported by the bottom bar.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,016

    Default Re: Foundationless frames in East/Central Texas?

    Thanks Danny
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,461

    Default Re: Foundationless frames in East/Central Texas?

    You can wire fondationless frames.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm#canwire

    I don't like to as the wire seems to be in my way if I want to cut out a queen, or in the way if I want to cut the honey comb up for comb honey. You can extract without wiring.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm#extract

    I would not handle a foundationless frame on a very hot day if the frame is not fully filled out and partially capped. Hot, new wax can be very soft.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Buffalo,Tx
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Foundationless frames in East/Central Texas?

    I'm going to be harvesting by hand .... crushing the comb and putting it through a cheese cloth

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,300

    Default Re: Foundationless frames in East/Central Texas?

    I wire most of my foundationless frames. Cutting combs of honey off of horizontal wires, is rather easily done.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Anderson County, Texas
    Posts
    1,254

    Default Re: Foundationless frames in East/Central Texas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Five Ponds View Post
    I'm going to be harvesting by hand .... crushing the comb and putting it through a cheese cloth
    If you do decide to support the mono filament might be easier to cut, if you decide to go that route. Or you might just try them without the support.

    Michael Bush in a post brought to our attention that Kelleybees https://kelleybees.com/Products/#cat...3330&category= [F style are the foundationless frames] sells a foundationless frame. Go to their products site and search foundationless frames. I called them and asked them about collapsing of the foundation with hot weather. I was told by Kelley that they do not recommend these foundationless frames if you will be moving your bees around as collapsing foundation will be a problem. I am on small cell and of course the next step for me is also foundationless.

    I like the idea because you can easily remove the old foundation every couple of years as a preventative measure with regard to AFB; although so far I have not had any, a stitch in time will save nine [Ben Franklin methinks?]

    Kindest Regards
    Danny Unger
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Foundationless frames in East/Central Texas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    You can extract without wiring.
    Maybe if they're medium frames but don't do this with deep frames. One of the most frustrating things I went through last fall was extracting deep frames that were foundationless. Complete pita, mbush runs all mediums and you said you were going to be using all medium frames five ponds so perhaps you'll be fine. Be wary if for one reason or another you switch to deeps though.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,251

    Default Re: Foundationless frames in East/Central Texas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Five Ponds View Post
    I'm going to be harvesting by hand .... crushing the comb and putting it through a cheese cloth
    Somewhere I read that you should not use cheesecloth as a filter, as the tiny fibers that get mixed in will cause the honey to crystallize more rapidly.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,332

    Default Re: Foundationless frames in East/Central Texas?

    I run all foundationless in mediums in east Texas. When it was hitting 118, I had a few new frames collapse, but in general they held up pretty well. In a normal summer where we have a few days of 105, I don't have problems. As MB says, new wax is extremely fragile always. Even more so if they are honey frames. By extracting time, they have generally toughened up.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Foundationless frames in East/Central Texas?

    If you're concerned, and you want to harvest by cutting the wax out by hand, then I'd go for a compromise approach....
    Drill a 1/4" hole in the dead center of the top bar for each frame & insert a piece of 1/4" dowel through that hole, down to the bottom bar; cut the dowel off flush with the top of the top bar, then glue in place. Now you have a frame with a "Center support" dividing the comb into 2 now much stronger (the middle is usually the first place to blow out in the heat), and still should be quite easy to cut-out...just 1 more piece of wood to cut around.

    It's obviously not the only solution, but, given the situation, I think it's one that you're likely to be happy with

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