Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 28
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default No more wiring frames for me

    For the last year or so I have been using bamboo skewers instead of wiring frames. Yes skewers.

    I hate wiring frames and the thin skewers don't take long to install. You just have to drill holes in the bottom bar if you don't have a groove.

    The skewers are the same thickness as foundation, so comb is fairly uniform. I have been making mostly foundationless frames, only using ice cream sticks for comb guides. The only issue is the occasional hole, which often has a queen cup or two (can you see it?). Though I've seen holes with frames of foundation too. Strips of foundation are working nicely as well.

    To install I just turn the frame upside down putting PVA glue in the groove of the top bar. Insert the skewers (blunt end first) then put glue around the part of the skewer that will be permanently in the bottom bar. Push down, then just break or cut the remaining part off.

    The comb is quite stable. I haven't used them in an extractor, but you could definitely use them in an extractor the second year. The skewers seem to help in getting them to attach the comb to the bottom bar as well.

    It's great for cutting out comb too.


    Here's some pictures:





    Last edited by MattDavey; 11-05-2013 at 04:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,582

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    Well I'll be a son of a......... Good idea.
    Let us know if they hold up to the extractor next season.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    hinesville ga usa
    Posts
    343

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    Great idea, they would work good with the beveled Kelly F frames that do not need a starter strip, think I will try them with a couple of colonies. Thanks for posting your idea.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    807

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    Looks good! I have wondered if bees would shy away from PVA but it looks like they work right up and onto it.

    Thanks,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    446

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    Matt,
    How much does it cost you to make a frame, and how long does it take you. I'm not very handy, but it's hard to come up with the money to expand. I can get rite cell medium frames for 2.65 each, includes shipping. And of course no work. But that's 26.50 for a 10 frame box. I need to add about 20 boxes. next year so it adds up.
    Thanks,
    Robbin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    Thanks for the hint and pictures too! What do you use to hold the wax strip in?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Jefferson Co, TX
    Posts
    635

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    I shoved toothpicks into the top and bottom groove next to the strip of foundation, but they are slightly thin, some tended to slide out. I think bamboo verticals would work great to hold the foundation in place.

    Man I am glad people have better imagination than I

    Matt - Many thanks good sir.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,488

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    I used fatbeemans tip of creating an X with fishing line. Kept the comb straight and the bees built comb right over the line. However they never did rear brood in those cells. Got tired of that and moved to plastic foundation. Much faster, easier and no worries about bowed or blown out comb.

    So far no issues with plastic, the bees take to it no problem.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,107

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    Yep, Bamboo Sticks, Corn Dog Sticks, etc: this is a great idea. In doing a quick search online I found that they can be ordered with different lengths, thicknesses, flat or round. Some fun experimenting will be going on in my yard this spring.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Buderim, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    Good work for an Aussie lad. Nicely drawn comb.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbin View Post
    How much does it cost you to make a frame, and how long does it take you.
    Cost:
    Both the skewers and the ice cream sticks are about 1 cent each. So about 5 cents per frame. (2 skewers and 3 ice cream sticks.)

    If I use 1" strips of foundation and 2 skewers it's about 18 cents per frame.

    Time:
    If you include drilling holes it takes less than 3 minutes per frame.

    If you use frames with a bottom groove as well as a top groove you could probably do it in 1 minute per frame.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    Quote Originally Posted by CaBees View Post
    Thanks for the hint and pictures too! What do you use to hold the wax strip in?
    The frame is upside down when I glue it, because the strips are short they don't need support to stay vertical.

    If you use full sheets of foundation you can use a cloths peg on the skewer to hold it in line with it. When the PVA glue is dry and you put the frame the right way up the foundation hangs vertically and the bees attach it to the skewers.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    I've found thicker sticks cause the bees to create three sections of comb. Often each section has different size cells, especially if you use ice cream sticks for comb guides.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,107

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    Do the sticks/skewers not cause the cells built directly on them to be too shallow?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    As the skewers and ice cream sticks are a similar thickness to foundation, the comb seems to generally be made deep enough for brood. Have a look at the top photo.

    You do get some cells that won't be used for brood. But you get that with wired frames as well.

    If the frame isn't vertical when the comb is built, the comb can go off to one side. So in that case the cells won't be used for brood.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Richland Iowa USA
    Posts
    154

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    NICE!! I use all mediums.. but one of those running lengthwise through the middle... hmmmm...

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Swansea,sc
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    Do you drill goles in the top and push through to the bottom bar? I was a little confused on your explanation. Or, is there no hole drilling if you have grooves in the top and bottom bars. Thanks

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Whitla Ab. Canada
    Posts
    408

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    For the last year or so I have been using bamboo skewers instead of wiring frames. Yes skewers.

    I hate wiring frames and the thin skewers don't take long to install. You just have to drill holes in the bottom bar if you don't have a groove.

    The skewers are the same thickness as foundation, so comb is fairly uniform. I have been making mostly foundationless frames, only using ice cream sticks for comb guides. The only issue is the occasional hole, which often has a queen cup or two (can you see it?). Though I've seen holes with frames of foundation too. Strips of foundation are working nicely as well.

    To install I just turn the frame upside down putting PVA glue in the groove of the top bar. Insert the skewers (blunt end first) then put glue around the part of the skewer that will be permanently in the bottom bar. Push down, then just break or cut the remaining part off.

    The comb is quite stable. I haven't used them in an extractor, but you could definitely use them in an extractor the second year. The skewers seem to help in getting them to attach the comb to the bottom bar as well.

    It's great for cutting out comb too.
    Hello Matt:
    It's good to hear that it's working out for you, because after seeing your previous posting about this I made all my deep frames with your method including using Popsicle sticks. Since I make my own frames I drill 1/8th inch holes in both the bottom and top bar after the frame is assembled. I grab 2 skewers at a time and dip their ends in glue, then each one is installed by first putting one end in the bottom bar hole sliding it down far enough to be able to push the other end up into the top bar hole, I push it up through the top bar until it's flush with the bottom bar then snap off the piece above the top bar. By sliding it that extra bit it spreads the glue around and it glues them in solid. I buy my skewers at the "Dollar Tree" it's $1.25 for 80. This method actually strengthens the frame somewhat. Thanks for the idea.
    Colino
    A Bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it rains.- Robert Frost

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee, USA.
    Posts
    398

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    I have used just empty frame several times before when I am short on strips. It works just fine and the queens appear to seek these frames out. I think it is mainly due to the holes and gaps the queen can move thru. Perhaps the fresh wax is attractive also.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: No more wiring frames for me

    Quote Originally Posted by Xcfamily View Post
    Do you drill holes in the top and push through to the bottom bar? I was a little confused on your explanation. Or, is there no hole drilling if you have grooves in the top and bottom bars. Thanks
    Up untill now I was drilling holes in just the bottom bar, as I had a groove on the top bar.

    I will be using frames with both a top and bottom groove from now on and cutting the skewers to the right length (all in one go), so then I can just slide them into place.

    Lauri has said she also does this and just uses the skewers to jam the foundation into the groove.

    I've found comb is built much better with a strip of foundation. Where the ones with ice cream sticks tend to have a hole or passageway left in the comb, down the length of the skewers. It takes some time for them to fill in those areas.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads