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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Memphis, Tn
    Posts
    26

    Default What frames to get for foundationless

    I'm getting ready to purchase some beekeeping equipment.I'm looking at Mann lake catalog they have two types of frames..wedge or groved.
    I'm planning on going foundationless and would like to know which frame type to get. Ive seen where someone used a thin strip of wood and pushed it into the grove on a frame to give a starting place for bees. I'm wanting to melt a little beeswax and brush it across right where the bees will start to draw out the comb. I'm wanting to know if this is possible with the wedge kind or better off with groove type. Any advice appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,533

    Default Re: What frames to get for foundationless

    Michael Bush has some comments that may be of use to you.
    Bees need some kind of guide to get them to draw straight comb. Any beekeeper has seen them skip the foundation and build combs between or out from the face of the comb, so we know that sometimes they ignore those clues. But a simple clue like a beveled top bar or a strip of wax or wood or even a drawn comb on each side of an empty frame will work most of the time. You can just break out the wedge on a top bar, turn it sideways and glue and nail it on to make a guide. Or put Popsicle sticks or paint sticks in the groove. Or just cut out the old comb in a drawn wax comb and leave a row at the top or all the way around. The main thing is that there is an edge that protrudes, preferably at least 1/4". Waxing wood guides is not only not necessary but I don't recommend it. The wax you put on won't be attached as well as the bees will attach it.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Hiltons,Virginia
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: What frames to get for foundationless

    You can use either frame, just give them a good straight edge to start and they will in most cases do the rest.


    www.poorvalleybeefarm.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Downingtown, PA
    Posts
    250

    Default Re: What frames to get for foundationless

    I pretty much use all foundationless in Medium boxes for both brood and honey. I've tried various things since I started. The easiest has been working the best. I setup my table saw to safely cut strips to fit the mann lake groved top bar - just a little friction fit ... then glue them in a couple spots. That's it, no wax. The bees will build nice comb for you. When you are just starting and don't have any comb, I did use some foundation to get them started then mixed in the foundationless between brood frames. I never bought any of the wedge style frames to try.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    hinesville ga usa
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: What frames to get for foundationless

    Look at Walter Kelly , I have did most of the above suggested things and they all work, but my first shipment of Kelly frames and I knew I had found my solution. I do wish I had started with mediums though because they do not need extra support such as wires or fishing line.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,554

    Default Re: What frames to get for foundationless

    Walter T. Kelley has foundationless frames. The nice thing is there is no groove in the bottom bar for the wax moths and small hive beetles to hide in and you don't have to do anything for the guide as it's built into the top bar...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Memphis, Tn
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: What frames to get for foundationless

    Thanks for the help. Ill check out Walter Kelly frames. My next question was should I be concerned that the comb would blow out on a medium frame in the extractor going foundationless but believe that's been answered above also.

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