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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Roy, Wa
    Posts
    1,859

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    Talking about queen cells, here are a couple frames I made this year. Knowing how bees will sometimes prefer to make queen cells on the edges of natural comb, I thought I'd try this configuration with my grafts. I never got the chance to try it however..too late in the season. But heres the frame:


    Here is another frame I did use, but it was after the flow-so no foundation was drawn out.



    I had problems with well fed finisher hives making burr comb over capped queen cells. In order to avoid this, I was messing around with frame arrangements of the cell placement.
    I concluded though, my queenless starter and finisher hive did a perfect job of both starting and finishing queen cells with no messy comb issues.



    Ripe queen cells with no messy comb! I like it!

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,585

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    I use only grooved top bar Hoffman frames and wired wax foundation. I cross wire using the two center holes...two horizontal wires. I find wedges and nails to be a PITA. Timely to install, broken wedges when re-installing. The grooves are easily cleaned with the tool designed for the job...available from any bee supply catalog. Dip top bar in hot water...scrape wax from groove.

    The foundation is installed with hot wax using the hot wax tool from any bee supply catalog. I will never nail wedges again!

    Wood is good, wax is best.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,038

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    >I don't think we heard from anyone that uses grooved frames with a full sheet of wax

    I have for 40 years used only grooved top and bottom bars with vertical wired foundation and a full set of horizontal wires. I find wedge topbars a nuisance to assemble and a nuisance to renovate. Here are before uncapping and after uncapping pictures of an 11 1/4" deep frame assembled as thus.



  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,123

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    Michael and odfrank, have you had any wired foundation that was a bit tight top to bottom with grooved frames? I have hit some batches that seemed to have wires projecting enough so that the foundation wanted to bulge to one side or the other. Had to nip the ends of the wires to make it hang loose! No biggy but would make the foundation more prone to going wonky I think.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    I used to rely on wedge frames but switched 100% to slotted-top (groove) frames. I do not cross wire. The foundation slips in, and into the hive body. I use these on deep and medium frames. My experience is the less wire, the better when it comes to brood laying - the queen rarely lays eggs on top of wires.

    I have had one frame where the foundation didn't behave and buckled, but I think it was because of my original installation.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    5,038

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    >have you had any wired foundation that was a bit tight top to bottom with grooved frames?

    Yes. Sometimes the wires are too long, or I am renovating a solid bottom bar frame with the wrong foundation. And sometimes I get free foundation with hooks that I snip off. And vertical wired small cell foundation only comes with hooks that I snip off.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,585

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    Yes crofter, of course. But, that foundation was made oversize. I've got hundreds of pounds like that and returned it to Dadant.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,137

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    Quote Originally Posted by jwisnewski View Post
    Unless I missed it I don't think we heard from anyone that uses grooved frames with a full sheet of wax.
    In Michael Bush's book he states he prefers groove top bars. Apparently there is a plastic insert that wedges the foundation in the groove.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,034

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    Crofter. I used grooved only for a bit. Most batches I had to snip wires. You can tell the wires typically get longer from one end to the other. I used an X of mono but found it warped too much or fell out anyway, unwired foundation anyways.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,123

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    Some batches of wired foundation seem to have very little bend tied up in the wire and might even stay straight if not cross wired. Others will take near a half inch wow in a deep. I have to think that users who got away without cross wiring maybe just got lucky. One warped foundation can mess up itself and the frame on either side of it. No fun when the bees build their own panel of comb in the extra space created by a wonky frame.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,123

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    In Michael Bush's book he states he prefers groove top bars. Apparently there is a plastic insert that wedges the foundation in the groove.
    I thought Michael Bush was foundationless. I think he has experimented with different things in the past but really grooved top bars are designed mainly for plastic foundation. so would be curious to see the context of that info. Haven't heard of the plastic insert device. There are things that a person can jerry rig on a frame or two for some experiment but unless the method is quick, easy, and foulproof it is not going to be seriously considered if you have many hives.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,178

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    I thought Michael Bush was foundationless. I think he has experimented with different things in the past but really grooved top bars are designed mainly for plastic foundation. so would be curious to see the context of that info. Haven't heard of the plastic insert device. There are things that a person can jerry rig on a frame or two for some experiment but unless the method is quick, easy, and foulproof it is not going to be seriously considered if you have many hives.
    What a frame is designed for and what they are used for are two different things. I switch to grooved frames when I go without foundation also. It has a ready made place to put the starter strips. I also use them with plastic foundation. I use wedge top bars with wax foundation and do not find them quick easy or foolproof. More often than not wax foundation causes problems. is chewed out by the bees and is a complete waste of money. hince the going to plastic. It has problems of it's own. in fact I have not seen anything foolproof in beekeeping yet.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,137

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    I thought Michael Bush was foundationless.
    He is but he has also been beekeeping for a long time so it is unlikely that there isn't much he hasn't done. I can't find the reference on his site and I am not going to copy the words out of his book.
    Anyway if you are not going to use a wedge top bar with hooked wire foundation then you should be using a grooved bottom bar so the wire can actually support the comb.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,585

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Anyway if you are not going to use a wedge top bar with hooked wire foundation then you should be using a grooved bottom bar so the wire can actually support the comb.
    IMO, having the wires support the foundation at the bottom is asking for trouble...bowed foundation and combs that break away from the top bar.

    The hot wax tube sold by Kelley and others is what you should use to install wax foundation in grooved top bars. Buy hookless, wired foundation.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
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    10,137

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    The hot wax tube sold by Kelley and others is what you should use to install wax foundation in grooved top bars. Buy hookless, wired foundation.
    Maybe that is what MB was referring to.

    The thing is if there is no hooks supported by wood then aren't the wires just going to sag until they hit the bottom of the groove in the bottom bar?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  16. #36
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
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    1,123

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    Maybe that is what MB was referring to.

    The thing is if there is no hooks supported by wood then aren't the wires just going to sag until they hit the bottom of the groove in the bottom bar?
    So did you misspeak about the plastic insert?

    Taut and well embedded cross wiring in all the holes will do a better job of holding the foundation in place than having it sit unaligned on the bottom bar. It depends a lot on the particular foundation, how naturally straight it is, how hot it is and how ready to go to work the bees are. If conditions are right they will do the permanent attachment well in less than a day I think.

    The dont have any technology to straigten warped foundation but they do have work-a-round solutions you wont be happy with!

    Will have to try that wax tube sometime!

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,137

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    So did you misspeak about the plastic insert?
    Page 70 "... plastic or wax tube fasteners"
    He also mentions a split top bar that is usually used for comb honey. The foundation is dropped down onto a solid bottom bar with no fasteners. You would not cross wire a frame for comb honey.

    The dont have any technology to straigten warped foundation
    You can straighten it pretty easily even after it is in the frame.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,754

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    Acebird, do you know what a "wax tube fastener" is?

    I have never heard of a plastic insert...
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    10,137

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    Acebird, do you know what a "wax tube fastener" is?

    I have never heard of a plastic insert...
    No, do you have a photo that I could see one.

    Hey maybe I misunderstood what he wrote. Now that I read it again he is talking about plastic foundation. So what is a wax tube fastener?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,754

    Default Re: Grooved vs Wedge

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    No, do you have a photo that I could see one.

    Hey maybe I misunderstood what he wrote. Now that I read it again he is talking about plastic foundation. So what is a wax tube fastener?
    Do your own search..... Good grief!
    BeeCurious
    5 hives and 8 nucs................... Trying to think inside the box...

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