wire vs fishing line
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  1. #1
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    Default wire vs fishing line

    Last season I tried a few half-foundation frames and liked them so well that this season I'm gonna try a few foundationless frames. I use deeps only, so want to cross-wire them for strength. What I don't know is what difference--if any--between using wire and using fishing line. I have both. Any pros or cons I should consider?

    Thanks!

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper and Rusty's Bees.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    I use all mediums ... but have switched over to fishing line for new foundationless frames. I've found that fishing line works very well in securing the comb within the frame. The added bonus is the ease in cutting out sections of comb if necessary. Wire is no doubt "stronger", but I've never had blowouts or problems when using fishing line. If the bees happen to draw out comb that is off center or wonky it's much easier with fishing line to snip it and manipulate the comb into the proper position. Not so pliable with wire.
    To everything there is a season....

  4. #3
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    Thanks, Mike! This is what I needed to know. Fishing line it is!



    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper and Rusty's Bees.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    I have had the bees snip off lighter monofiliament; don't know what weight that was but I would go with something perhaps around 30 lb test. The larger it is the less likely to have it cut through fresh comb heavy with honey.
    Frank

  6. #5
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    x2 on Franks response, I tried using fishing line a number of years ago and made the mistake of using something around 15 or 20 lb test if I remember correctly and the bees cut everything they could get their mandibles on.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio Zone 6A, Never look down on anybody unless you are helping them up

  7. #6
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    I use 50 lb test, ask for chaff resistant. I tie a loop in one end of the line , thread the other end through , pull it tight and tie it off. I also use a woodworking clamp to squeeze the sides of the frame in while tightening the line, it makes the line much tighter when you release the clamp.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    That's interesting. I've been using 20# test and have never had an issue with bees chewing through the line, guess I've been lucky so far.

    You guys must have some of those old German "Rottweiler" Bees.
    To everything there is a season....

  9. #8
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    Not every frame gets chew nor does every hive. The warped humor part is when they chew one in the bottom box and try to haul it out as trash, they reach the end f their "rope" and buzz around like a little kite on a string.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    I may have to try some fishing line just so I can see that Eikel.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    Quote Originally Posted by Eikel View Post
    The warped humor part is when they chew one in the bottom box and try to haul it out as trash, they reach the end f their "rope" and buzz around like a little kite on a string.
    It'll be worth going foundationless just to see this!



    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper and Rusty's Bees.

  12. #11

    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    Tried it didn't like it. I could never get the line Tight enough for me. Plus the chewed Line. When back to wire and never looked back.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    I don't like them because after a season or 2 they
    are not as sturdy on the frames. The wire once stretched will stay
    in its position. I don't want to see the wobbly comb again
    this season. Will go back to the wire from now on. Maybe I am using
    the wrong fishing line. What brand do you use and how to you tie it on the frame anyway?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  14. #13
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    Using the same small nails to anchor and tie off the monofilament as you would with wire. Knots not good! I dont think it saves much compared to wire. I crimp my wire with the serrated roller gizmo and it makes for a nice grippy, stay tite job.

    Anyone notice they are getting a bit of wire corrosion from oxalic acid? I figure by the time the external wire rusts away, the comb will be well anchored in the frames!
    Frank

  15. #14
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    I too found that monofilament stretches and can sag. The stretch is great for doing the initial tightening but can continue to stretch doing use, so I went looking for a different type of line. During the research I found some lines are chaff resistant which seemed appropriate for the little beggars that liked to chew. I elected to go with a 50 lb chaff resistant line from the local Gander Mt , it more of a braided line with none to minimal stretch and is a smaller diameter than the 30 lb I was using. It was almost impossible, and hard on the fingers, to get a tight line in the frames. As a solution I used a woodworking clamp to squeeze the frame end bars, bowing them slightly inward. Thread the string through the side bar holes in the pattern of your choice, leaving the thread ends on the outside of the frame. Tie a loop on one thread end, run the other end through the loop and pull it tight (stay close to the frame). With a finger, press the loop against the frame to hold it while you throw a couple of half hitch knots to secure the "tightening string" to the loop. Release the clamp and the string should be "fiddle tight" and sing if you pluck it.
    Frame String.jpg
    Send me a pm if you'd like to try some.

    I only started using the new string in early 2015, the jury is still out but initial returns have been good or at least no negative findings yet.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    I don't like them because after a season or 2 they
    are not as sturdy on the frames.
    My experience with them has been different than yours. "Usually" after a season the bees have the comb pretty much anchored down on all 4 sides of the frame. At that point it doesn't matter too much if it's wire or fishing line, the comb is fairly secure. If I extract these frames the fishing line will hold the comb intact without blowouts if I don't extract at an extremely high speed.

    Fishing line is designed to stretch without snapping. Perhaps some that are having bad experiences with it are stretching it too tight when installing it on the frame. Just a thought. I pull mine tight enough when nailing so it will sing a little if plucked, but it is not stretched too tight.

    I don't use eyelets, so first I put staples in at the edge of the eyelet holes so the line is riding over the staple and not digging into the wood when tightened for nailing. I've found that without eyelets or staples the line can cut into the end bar wood and become loose over time, or end up snapping.
    Last edited by Mike Gillmore; 01-03-2016 at 09:22 AM.
    To everything there is a season....

  17. #16
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    That Spectra or Spider line may be more expensive than frame wire from Mann Lake. As far as cutting out a queen cell, my little nippers would not let the wire stand in my way!

    Some T50 staples are razor sharp on the edges where they are sheared and will cause your wire to break as you pull tight. The batch I had this happen on were stainless staples and I suspect other brands may not be so sharp. Someone mentioned using the office stapler which uses round wire instead of sheared sheet to form the staple, so they are smoother to pull against, (and much cheaper too)
    Frank

  18. #17
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    I used heavy line but had the problem of the bees chewing the foundation, actually dropping out the bottom of the foundation. When the foundation was drawn they would build QC all the route along the inside edge. I have gone back to wire.
    http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...ps27f716e6.jpg
    http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...ps79b247d3.jpg
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  19. #18
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    Do you use wire in an X pattern too ?
    To everything there is a season....

  20. #19
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    The bees will avoid the wire in the bottom of cells, so you can get a brood pattern where you can see the wires by the cells left without brood, guess the queen doesn't like it. Usually goes away with use, but it's fun to see.

    Occasionally they will not draw wax around fishing line, leaving you with an undrawn line around the line. Probably depends on the exact line you use, and if it's embedded in the wax or not. Ditto for wire not embedded.

    Peter

  21. #20
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    Default Re: wire vs fishing line

    For the rusty wires, after you finish wiring the frame, use
    a small block of wax to run over these lines. In doing so
    the wax should protect the wires.
    I have a good role of wire that is a bit rusty. Do I need
    to get the rust out first before using? Is it safe to use with
    the rust on?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

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