Kelley Foundationless Frames
I recently ordered some shallow foundationless "F" frames from Kelley and they came in last week. I've assembled maybe 50 or so of them.
The frames are well-made though the wood is quite soft. That would make it easier to insert eyelets, if you do that. (I don't wire my shallows, so that point is moot for me in this case.)
These frames are a bit short (length-wise) for my Mann Lake boxes. I had heard Kelley uses different dimensions for their woodenware especially in the way beespace is calculated. Inside length is apparently different, as well. I hope there will not be excessive burr comb on the end bars.
New beeks take note: There is NOTHING wrong with the way Kelley calculates beespace - it is simply different from the manufacturers I normally buy from (Miller Bee Supply and MannLake). You will want to avoid mixing woodenware of different manufacturers unless you know they are compatible. I knew this applied to the boxes, but now know the frames make a difference, as well.
I don't know that I will assemble any more of these unless I just need them for this season. I may sell them or trade them off to other local beeks who use Kelley boxes and go back to using the MannLake frames even though I will have to remove the wedge and turn it sideways and deal with the grooved bottom bar.
Re: Kelley Foundationless Frames
Mix and Match:
Originally Posted by dixiebooks
As the data in the graph reveals, every manufacturer makes its frames distinct from the rest. You can mix and match frames from different manufacturers, however, and not have an issue with them fitting horizontally into a Langstroth hive body, as they self-space 1-3/8” apart, center-to-center. Yet where you will notice variation is in the frame bee space vertically between hive bodies (the space created between the top bars of the bottom hive body and the bottom bars of the hive body that sits above it). As we measured this area, we found that manufacturers fell into two groups.
Comprising Group One, Dadant/Western, Mann Lake and Shastina frames all have the same top/bottom bee space. Likewise, in Group Two, Betterbee, Kelley and Miller have the same top/bottom bee space (Beeline falls between these two groups). If you were to therefore combine any of the frames of the members of Group One, regardless of whether they are placed in the top or bottom body hive position, they would consistently create a bee space measuring between 7/16” and 1/2”. You might be surprised to know that the same measurements apply to Group Two, as they also create a bee space of between 7/16” and 1/2”.
You are probably asking, “So…what’s the difference then?”
The difference arises when you use frames from Group One and Group Two within the same hive. Any frame from Group One in the bottom hive body position with any frame from Group Two in the top body position will create a 3/8” space between frames. Conversely, any frame from Group One in the top position paired with any frame from Group Two in the bottom position will create a 1/2” space between frames. This may or may not become an issue for you, but we could see where it may pose a problem when frames with burr or brace comb on the top or bottom bars are moved around within the hive.
Re: Kelley Foundationless Frames
I have ML and Kelley frames mixed in my deeps. Both foundationless. Haven't had any issues yet. I only have a few Kelley hive bodies floating around, so not too worried about it. Have 100 of the foundationless frames in various stages of being drawn or being stored with no comb. I don't think I'll be buying from many places other than ML from now on, though. Prices and shipping speed can't really be beat for a guy buying in quantities like I am.