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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Saucier,Ms
    Posts
    139

    Default foundationless questions

    I am trying to use foundationless frames for my brood boxes. I am trying to figure out what you guys use for guides in these frames and how you install them in the frames?

    I am not sure if any of you use foundationless for your supers? I am not sure if I want to use foundationless frames in my supers for fear of messing up combs when extracting honey.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Marysville, WA
    Posts
    477

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    I have a quite a lot of foundationless frames both brood and supers. You can wire the frames and when is drawn out you can extract just fine.
    Beekeeper? Shoot, my bees keep me!
    100 hives in Western Wa State

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    I am switching over to all foundationless. I have been using a piece (1 inch x 6 inches) of foundation as a starter strip at the top of the frame with the wedge turned on it's side. So far I am having pretty good luck with this.

    I am going to actually try to make some frames from scratch. When I do, I am planning to make a long starter strip at the top (kinda like popsicle sticks) that will go all the way across the top of the frame.

    I have foundationless in my supers wired with fishing line and the bees have been attaching them very well to the bottom bar of the frame. I will be extracting some in the next few days, so I guess I will find out then if they actually hold up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    http://bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm#combguide

    If you have grooved top bars, I would put a strip of wood in (jumbo craft sticks, a split paint stir stick, an 1/8" of a one by ripped). If you have wedge top bars, I would turn the wedge 90% and nail and glue it back on.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Harvard, MA, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    I am in the middle of changing over as well.

    When I add a box, I bound each new foundationless frame with drawn out frames. I think it helps the bees stay on track.

    I wimped out and bought the foundationless frames from walter kelley premade: https://kelleybees.com/Products/Deta...3333&grouped=1

    At 25 cents per frame to build, I let them do it.

    I still used the standard wired frames for honey production as my bees tend to not attach the bottom part of the comb.

    Good Luck !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    I use comb guides with a triangular cross section-- an acute triangle with the short side up. It's easy to make them on the table saw. Set the blade at an angle, run stock of the right length through, flip workpiece, repeat. You can make a lot in a short time for next to nothing. I glue and brad them to the frames.

    My feeling is that the bees make a stronger attachment to comb guides of this sort, because the comb in shear has much more area to attach on the guide. Folks complain about combs curving off at the end, but none of my bees have done that yet, and I have bees from several different suppliers. My theory is that the starting point is so obvious--that deep sharp edge-- that it doesn't occur to the bees to begin festooning anywhere else.

    But I'm a beginner with only 5 hives, so take it with a dollop of salt.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    >My feeling is that the bees make a stronger attachment to comb guides of this sort

    I agree.

    >Folks complain about combs curving off at the end, but none of my bees have done that yet

    They probably will, but they do seem to follow the triangular ones well.

    >My theory is that the starting point is so obvious--that deep sharp edge-- that it doesn't occur to the bees to begin festooning anywhere else.

    I agree.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    I use comb guides with a triangular cross section-- an acute triangle with the short side up. It's easy to make them on the table saw. Set the blade at an angle, run stock of the right length through, flip workpiece, repeat. You can make a lot in a short time for next to nothing. I glue and brad them to the frames.
    .
    What are you using for the comb guides? some type of wood material?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Bells, Texas
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    I have heard of using popsicle sticks as a guide. I tried that on a few grooved frames, but it didn't work. The sticks were just barely sticking out of the groove and the bees used the edge of the frame instead. For that type of stick, probably a craft stick from Hobby Lobby that is wider might work. I have now started using wedge top frames and inverting the wedge to make a starter strip. I will see if that works.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    Quote Originally Posted by NewJoe View Post
    What are you using for the comb guides? some type of wood material?
    I use 3/4" thick stock of whatever scrap wood I have lying around. I crosscut the stock to a length that just fits between the end bars of the frame, and then rip it into comb guides in the manner I detailed above.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    I use 3/4" thick stock of whatever scrap wood I have lying around. I crosscut the stock to a length that just fits between the end bars of the frame, and then rip it into comb guides in the manner I detailed above.
    How do you get that into a triangular shape? Got pictures?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    >How do you get that into a triangular shape?

    Set a table saw at 45 degrees. Set the fence to cut the corner off of the board you are sawing (into a triangle). Run it through. Reset the table saw at 90 degrees. Set it to cut the triangle you have left, off. Set it back to 45 degrees and reset the fence again...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,198

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    > Reset the table saw at 90 degrees.

    Or make one angled cut, then flip the board end-for-end. Now make another cut close to the angled edge of the board you just cut, making the cut-off piece a triangle. Keep flipping the board end-for-end after each cut. With this method, there is no need to change the angle of the blade after it is set the first time.

    Before I decided to make the jig mentioned below, I had multiple boards I was cutting in the same session. By doing that you can make more than one cut at any given fence setting, then when you have completed that batch of boards, reset the fence and take another cut off each board.

    If you are going to make a lot of these triangles, once you get tired of moving the fence for each different cut, make a sliding table/jig that rides in the miter slots of the table and does away with the need for the fence.

    .
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 07-10-2013 at 02:31 PM. Reason: clarification
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pendleton County, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    I am using the Kelley foundationless frames with the built in guide. So far they haven't messed it up much, so I guess they figured it out just fine.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >How do you get that into a triangular shape?

    Set a table saw at 45 degrees. Set the fence to cut the corner off of the board you are sawing (into a triangle). Run it through. Reset the table saw at 90 degrees. Set it to cut the triangle you have left, off. Set it back to 45 degrees and reset the fence again...
    It's much easier to just set the fence to the base size you want-- I used 3/4". Then set the saw at an angle (mine are sharper than 45 degrees) and leave it at that angle. Run the stock through the saw. You discard that first piece if you're a perfectionist, and then flip the workpiece end for end and run it through the saw again. You get a perfect triangular cross section, then flip the workpiece again end for end. Repeat until the workpiece gets skinny enough to be scary, and don't forget to use a push stick.

    OOps. I see Radar already covered this. But I don't understand why you're moving the fence. I'm probably doing something dangerous. It's safer to have the cut-loose piece not between the sawblade and fence, but these are very light pieces of wood. Stay out of the line of the saw, and use a pushstick.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    If your using foundationless, can you extract from medium suppers?? I have some shallows that I plan to use for comb honey.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    892

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Franklin View Post
    If your using foundationless, can you extract from medium suppers?? I have some shallows that I plan to use for comb honey.
    Yes, I even extract deeps.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    Do you have to use wire in the frames of foundationless to be able to use an extractor?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    892

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Franklin View Post
    Do you have to use wire in the frames of foundationless to be able to use an extractor?
    I don't but I'm sure it helps. I extract tangentially so the basket supports the comb. also the older the comb gets the tougher it is.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Default Re: foundationless questions

    >If your using foundationless, can you extract from medium suppers??

    I do. That's the only size frames I keep now. I have no wire or fishing line either.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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