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Thread: Wiring Frames

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    St Johns County Florida USA
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    Default Wiring Frames

    I've decided to try keeping a couple of langstroth hives. I've been successful with my TBH but want to expand. My question is, are all wax foundations wired? Even the foundations that come with embedded wire? Do you wire the frames in the brood box? If so, why? I do plan on using an extractor. I do plenty of crush & strain with the TBH. It might seem like a silly question, but it would be dumb not to ask. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Default Re: Wiring Frames

    I use horizontal embedded wires in all of my frames, except those with rigid plastic foundations, such as PF-120's. That includes foundationless, or any using beeswax foundation, even those that already have embedded vertical wires. How do you know which combs will be the ones you will be extracting, until it's harvest time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spot View Post
    . . . If so, why? . . .
    I like my honeycombs, either, empty, or full of honey/brood/pollen, to remain in their frames, until I decide they should be removed. Here, the heat can quickly remove combs from their frames, even those with horizontal wires. But those with wires, generally, are less likely to be lost prematurely.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wiring Frames

    Thank you Joseph,
    I'm from a warm area as well, so I will keep that in mind, and keep wiring. What do you think about monofilament instead of wire?

  4. #4
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    Jun 2013
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    Default Re: Wiring Frames

    Quote Originally Posted by Spot View Post
    I've decided to try keeping a couple of langstroth hives. I've been successful with my TBH but want to expand. My question is, are all wax foundations wired? Even the foundations that come with embedded wire? Do you wire the frames in the brood box? If so, why? I do plan on using an extractor. I do plenty of crush & strain with the TBH. It might seem like a silly question, but it would be dumb not to ask. Thanks
    Hi and Happy New Year. I am relatively new to beekeeping but i have learned a few expensive lessons. Without wiring in the frames preferably 4 wire, the extractor generally destroys the comb. While that may not be a bad thing if you can use the wax if your focus is honey production you want to preserve the combs to reduce the time the bees spend building comb to store the honey or brood.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2013
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    Default Re: Wiring Frames

    Happy New Year to you too,
    Ha ha focus? Yes well, haven't decided what my focus is yet, still a new beek. You brought up a good question... when and if (probably when) a frame falls apart in the extractor.... Do you have any tips on how to clean up the mess and get going again? I usually learn from experience, although its not my intent.

  6. #6
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    Default Re: Wiring Frames

    I've used monofilament on a few frames. It can work okay. I prefer wire. For me, it's a little easier to use. I have plenty of both. My wife and I are avid fishermen, and my brother is an aviation mechanic (he uses lots of stainless steel wire), and shares his wire, for a decent price.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  7. #7
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    Jun 2013
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    Westmoreland, jamaica
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    Default Re: Wiring Frames

    Quote Originally Posted by Spot View Post
    Happy New Year to you too,
    Ha ha focus? Yes well, haven't decided what my focus is yet, still a new beek. You brought up a good question... when and if (probably when) a frame falls apart in the extractor.... Do you have any tips on how to clean up the mess and get going again? I usually learn from experience, although its not my intent.
    Glad I am helping you to think it through. On the matter of the "frame that falls apart" unfortunately there is not much that can be done since the extractor is closed while extracting and you will not find out until the centrifugal process is completed. At that point before reloading release and strain the honey that has been extracted up to this point, remove broken comb for the bees to clean up after which you can melt it down. Of course large pieces of damaged comb will be removed by hand after the honey has been removed from the extractor. The key is to try to get out as much of the damaged comb as possible and to strain everything thereafter. If you are not a fan of straining mid process then you would need to remove the honey, large pieces of comb and wash the inside of the extractor before continuing with the process. The latter may be workable with a small extractor, I have a 20 deep so that does not work for me, continuing to strain is easier. I strain through the strainer bags which are inserted in the 5 gallon buckets. Best wishes. By the way you don't have to choice between honey and wax, you can do both. I am from Jamaica and there is such a shortage of foundation there so it makes sense for the operation of the apiary as well as income generation to do both.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Wiring Frames

    There are several reasons for cross wiring frames.

    As noted, they are less likely to blow out in the extractor. We've never had one blow out, wired or not, but we have a hand crank extractor and don't use much speed.

    You will also be much less likely to have the comb drop out, especially partially drawn frames in hot weather. Wax is very soft while in use by the bees when freshly drawn.

    And the cross wires will help hold foundation flat. I use wired foundation, and it always becomes slightly curved once the bees start drawing it. This causes all sorts of trouble as the comb then is wider that the frame and it's very easy to damage it or roll too many bees trying to get the comb in and out of the hive. Cross wires hold it nice and flat.

    Peter

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Wiring Frames

    >My question is, are all wax foundations wired?

    If you mean do they all come wired, no. Foundation is available unwired. If you mean do people always wire it, no. Some people use split pins etc. but the danger is that it will get hot and collapse. People especially do not when they are using surplus or thin surplus to do comb honey.

    > Even the foundations that come with embedded wire?

    A lot of people use both horizontal and vertical wires. A lot of people use only horizontal wires (pre wired is always vertical wires).

    > Do you wire the frames in the brood box? If so, why?

    The purpose of wire as expained in all of the old bee books from the late 1800s until the mid 1900s is to stop the foundtion from sagging before it's drawn. This is useful anywhere you have foundation, but also often gets in the way if you are wanting to harvest queen cells or do cut comb honey.

    > I do plan on using an extractor. I do plenty of crush & strain with the TBH.

    I don't wire or use foundation and I extract with no issues I wouldn't have with wire and with foundation. Start slow.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Viola, OR, USA
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    Default Re: Wiring Frames

    Embedding cross wire is my biggest issue. I know there are a couple methods but they all cause me troubles.

  11. #11
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    Clackamas Oregon
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    Default Re: Wiring Frames

    Here is how my Mono wired frames worked out (note no embedded wires):
    http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...ps27f716e6.jpg
    http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...ps79b247d3.jpg
    but maybe I did something wrong. Back to wire for me.
    As for cutting out the queen cells, my leatherman or dikes go right through that wire and leave the drawn foundation intact. You just need to have them handy or you will destroy that cell.
    New ones I am going to try doing just the center two frame holes.
    I embed the wires by hitting them with a battery charger for a couple of seconds. The wire heats up and the wax melts right around it. For foundation with wire in it already you need to do one wire at a time rather than all at one time (otherwise it just shorts out through the embedded wire).
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Wiring Frames

    Michael: I just got your 3 volume book, its good reading so far. Do you use an extractor with a motor or is it manual? Trying to figure out how you extract with unwired frames and don't destroy the comb. I have a 20 deep frame motorized extractor. I look forward to any pearls of wisdom you can share.

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Wiring Frames

    >Do you use an extractor with a motor or is it manual?

    It's a 9/18 motorized radial. Variable speed motor.

    >Trying to figure out how you extract with unwired frames and don't destroy the comb.

    Just make sure you use an extractor where you have variable speed. Start slow. Don't try to extract new white (soft) wax. The bees coat it with something that makes it slightly yellow and tough but not at first.

    >I have a 20 deep frame motorized extractor.

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

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