Wired Frames
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Thread: Wired Frames

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Geauga Co., OH

    Default Wired Frames

    I'm just wondering, if I wire my frames, and add a starter strip of wax at the top, will the bees build onto the wires? I like the idea of the bees drawing their own comb, just using the wire for extra strength and stability. Also, is wire better accepted than say fishing line? Thanks!!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Evansville, IN

    Default Re: Wired Frames

    If you use standard wire, yes, without problems. Sometimes they don't like nylon fishing line and will leave holes around it, but regular frame wire is OK.

    make sure the wires are centered and your frames are exactly vertical, otherwise you will have rows of cells the bees won't use since there is a wire running through them. You want the wire to be embedded in the base of the cells, not sticking through the walls.


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Bena, VA

    Default Re: Wired Frames

    I agree with psfred. Been using medium frames with starter strips for 2-3 years now and found that wiring is very helpful. Didn't take but 1 time of flipping a frame and dropping out the comb to convince me to start wiring! I would think that on a deep frame it would be essential. Your hive can be have a tilt front to back but make sure it is level side to side. If the bees miss the wire for whatever reason, I've used a razor knife to cut a grove and push the comb back over the wire. Disruptive but works.


  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Cullman, Alabama, USA

    Default Re: Wired Frames

    Like others, I learned that some times the bees don attach the edges.
    I wire my frames horizontally ....I tried some vertically wired earlier to see how it worked out.
    ( I mention this in case you are thinking of harvesting comb honey)
    It was a little more work, I had to drill all my own holes, where the horizontal wire holes are pre drilled in store-bought frames.
    I am sure others have a better method of tightening the wires ... I use a sheetmetal mechanics crimper to tighten the wires. Good Luck ! CE
    Started summer of 2013, just another new guy, tinkering with bees.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Hampton, Georgia

    Default Re: Wired Frames

    Yes, they will incorporate the wire nicely if you do your part. As said the hive needs to be perfectly plumb (level is incorrect) side to side so that the frames hang perfectly plumb. The wires need to be tensioned enough to hold straight, you don't want loose wires bowed left or right. And the one thing not often mentioned when discussing foundationless frames, you must monitor that the comb does not develop a curve as it is being built. In natural comb built along the horizontal, think tree limb as oppose to vertical comb as in the tree trunk, bees naturally incorporate a shallow S curve plus the natural widening at the top (think honey storage cells) to act as stabilizers against side to side movement as the tree sways. I've removed enough wild comb from structures that I am absolutely convinced that my theory is correct as I have never seen perfectly straight, flat and consistant thickness comb such as we desire in frames much larger than a 12"x12" area in wild comb.
    My experience with foundationless also convinces me of this as comb started in the center of the starter strip will be perfectly straight to within a couple of inches or so of the end bars where it develops a slight curve in one direction, some bees more so than others.
    All this is easily corrected if you are closely monitoring the construction process and gently push things back in line while the wax is still white and maleable. It also greatly helps if these frames are drawn between two perfectly drawn frames, ideally capped so the "template" frames don't get drawn out at the top corners into the empty frame.
    Last edited by warrior; 02-07-2016 at 03:01 PM.
    Georgia Wildlife Services, Inc

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada

    Default Re: Wired Frames

    Exactly as Bwrangler says about multiple start points. The wires get seamlessly built over. This frame incorporates a built in starter strip and the bees were right on the mark all the way. I never thought to check on the housel positioning and I dont think the bees did either!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA

    Default Re: Wired Frames

    Excellent information by all. Nice photos, Frank.
    "Sometimes the best action, with bees, is no action at all."


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