Foundation-less frames - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Default Re: Foundation-less frames

    I have not seen a wire used as a bottom bar before. Makes good sense as the bees readily incorporate it into the comb, much like the bamboo skewers that some use. Is that a common way of doing it where you are?
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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  3. #42
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    Bedford, Massachusetts, USA
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    Default Re: Foundation-less frames

    I just did some cut offs from the bottom of med frame that was in my Deep. I only had cotton string so I tied it in but had the comb on the bottom of the frame figured they could built up. I will go back in om Monday when the weather is better to tie it to the top instead. I was rushed and didn't think there would be brood on that bottom part.

    Love the things you learn in FLF and being new
    -Linda

  4. #43
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    Default Re: Foundation-less frames

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Is that a common way of doing it where you are?
    Few years back I have asked at domestic forum how is wire functioning in frame and answer was "very good". (The idea is from Roger Delon I guess). But I didn't want wire instead of side bars, I think Hoffman style side bars are the best. With fondationless frames I didn't have good results with wooden bottom bars, there were two problems; attachment of combs and relatively big space (with no combs) between upper and lower frames. Wire resolved both problems. LR and AŽ are hives in use here and DB. Other hives are or experimental or because enthusiastic reasons.

  5. #44
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    Default Re: Foundation-less frames

    Linda, use the size #64 rubber bands, available at your local office supply store, to secure the comb to the foundation. It does not take long for the bees to attach it properly. You will know it is all good when you see the bees dragging the rubber bands out of the hive
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #45
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    Default Re: Foundation-less frames

    Wire as a bottom bar - why ? What's it supposed to do ? If you don''t like a wooden bottom-bar, then just don't include one - the bees will then draw comb down to within a bee-space of whatever's below that frame.

    I tried Roger Delon's wire frames a few years back - yes, they supported the comb ok, but didn't set any boundaries to it (which a wooden frame will) - the bees simply incorporated the wire into the comb, and kept on drawing outwards and downwards in the same way as they would with fixed-comb. So, if you're not careful, you can end up with a fixed-comb hive.

    If you want comb attachment to a bottom bar, just make that bottom bar as narrow as possible - a skewer or similar would be fine. But - it won't then act as a boundary.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  7. #46
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    Default Re: Foundation-less frames

    No bottom bar? Frame will collapse if it is placed in an extractor. Bees will also attach the frame to the ones below which makes for a mess when separating a box from one below. So it's wooden bottom bars for my hives.

    I have enough trouble with keeping the bottom bars attached to the frame end bars because of the way they are cut to accomodate plastic foundation. And I try at all costs to avoid cutting my own frames, I do make some solid bottom bars, which are much stronger, for replacement occasionally. And popsicle sticks in conventional grooved frames work well enough for me, although I have had great success in the past with turning the wedge on that style of top bar.

    I dropped the idea of triangular top bars once I realized how difficult they would be to make. I guess I'm in the KISS camp as far as bee equipment is concerned.

  8. #47
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    Default Re: Foundation-less frames

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Wire as a bottom bar - why ? LJ
    Why not?
    Thick wire as a bottom bar works for the BS member from Slovenia with his little frames (I forgot his nick but he posted pictures).
    No issues documented.

    Bottom bar on a frame (be it from wire or wood wood) has the same function - added frame strength and, thus, has the same benefit.

    If I had limitless supply of thick wire for free, I would totally use it as a bottom bar piece instead of wood (but I don't have such supply).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  9. #48
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    Jul 2016
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    Default Re: Foundation-less frames

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    So, if you're not careful, you can end up with a fixed-comb hive.
    LJ
    That is not in my experience, see Crofter's pictures in this thread, where combs end and where bottom bar begins, that is typical in foundationless frames. The same is happening with (bottom) wire and top bar in lower row.

  10. #49
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    Default Re: Foundation-less frames

    Quote Originally Posted by Gino45 View Post
    I guess I'm in the KISS camp as far as bee equipment is concerned.
    Off course, 'simple' is important but making triangular top bars is more simple than making regular LR top bars. (See post #19.)

  11. #50
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    Default Re: Foundation-less frames

    Quote Originally Posted by Gino45 View Post
    No bottom bar? Frame will collapse if it is placed in an extractor. Bees will also attach the frame to the ones below which makes for a mess when separating a box from one below. So it's wooden bottom bars for my hives..
    My omission - I should have made it clear I was talking about brood frames - where bottom bars are completely unnecessary from the bees' point of view.

    Yes - I too use wooden bottom bars, both to impart strength to the frame and to impose a boundary to that comb.

    What I can't figure out is this human obsession with getting comb attached to the bottom bar of brood frames, as if it's really important - 'cause it's not. Have people never seen older combs drawn on wax-foundation, where the bees have deliberately removed the bottom half-dozen millimetres of comb (that next to the bottom bar), thus exposing the support wires ? Why do people think they do this ?

    There was an idea floating around for a while that bees actually need the bottoms of their combs unsupported - something to do with it acting as a vibration sounding board - or something along those lines. Not sure I agree with that, but then I've never seen any real evidence one way or the other.

    I think it's always useful to bear in mind that in a natural setting, there are no such things as 'brood' combs, 'stores' combs, or bottom bars - there are just combs. One single continuous comb running down from the equivalent of a top bar, and attached to the equivalent of side-bars at the sides of the cavity, with the bottom of that comb always hanging free.

    Many of the contraptions we humans have invented inside beehives are done for our benefit, and not for the bees - I think it's always useful to bear that in mind when considering whether something 'ought' to be included or not. Just because some entity has become standard practice (and thus familiar), it does not necessarily mean that it
    Quote Originally Posted by Gino45 View Post
    No bottom bar? Frame will collapse if it is placed in an extractor. Bees will also attach the frame to the ones below which makes for a mess when separating a box from one below. So it's wooden bottom bars for my hives..
    My omission - I should have made it clear I was talking about brood frames - where bottom bars are completely unnecessary from the bees' point of view.

    Yes - I too use wooden bottom bars, both to impart strength to the frame and to impose a boundary to that comb.

    What I can't figure out is this human obsession with getting comb attached to the bottom bar of brood frames, as if it's really important - 'cause it's not. Have people never seen older combs drawn on wax-foundation, where the bees have deliberately removed the bottom few millimetres of comb (that next to the bottom bar), thus exposing the support wires ? Why do people think they do this ?

    There was an idea floating around for a while that bees actually need the bottoms of their combs unsupported - something to do with it acting as a vibration sounding board - or something along those lines. Not sure I agree with that, but then I've never seen any real evidence one way or the other.

    I think it's always useful to bear in mind that in a natural setting, there are no such things as 'brood' combs, 'stores' combs, or bottom bars - there are just combs. Each being one single continuous comb running down from the equivalent of a top bar, and attached to the equivalent of side-bars at the sides of the cavity, with the bottom of that comb always hanging free - natural 'fixed-comb'.

    Many of the contraptions we humans have invented inside beehives are done for our benefit, and not for the bees - I think it's always useful to bear that in mind when considering whether something 'ought' to be included or not. Just because some entity has become standard practice (and thus familiar), it does not necessarily mean that it's essential - or even desirable.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  12. #51
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    Default Re: Foundation-less frames

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    What I can't figure out is this human obsession with getting comb attached to the bottom bar of brood frames, as if it's really important - 'cause it's not.
    LJ
    I have shallow boxes and frames also in brood section and while it is not extremely important it is better if gap between combs is smaller.

  13. #52
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    Default Re: Foundation-less frames

    Quote Originally Posted by viesest View Post
    I have shallow boxes and frames also in brood section and while it is not extremely important it is better if gap between combs is smaller.
    Sure - eliminating the bottom bar completely will do that. Even better is to move away from the use of shallow boxes and frames.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  14. #53
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    Default Re: Foundation-less frames

    Quote Originally Posted by viesest View Post
    That is not in my experience, see Crofter's pictures in this thread, where combs end and where bottom bar begins, that is typical in foundationless frames. The same is happening with (bottom) wire and top bar in lower row.
    With respect, I've been keeping foundationless hives probably longer than anyone else on this forum. (there may of course be one or two others I'm not aware of)

    I was specifically referring to the wire frames of Roger Delon, where he was maintaining the 'fixed-comb' characteristic of the non-framed Warre Hive, whilst providing the support which a frame provides.
    Although technically 'Top-Bar' - Warre himself describes his beehives as being fixed-comb, as the combs are only removable by cutting them out of the boxes.

    In his Climate-Stable article, Delon writes:
    The kind of beekeeping we support is simple, practical, standardised, healthy and productive. We propose:
    • a single type of mobile frame for 'auto fixation' (for the bees themselves to fix the comb to the hive sides)
    and later-on he makes a reference to his frames being easily removable,
    "When the hive is opened, the frames of the stable-climate hive are fixed but detached with ease. The wax of the comb attachments to the sides of the hive is soft."
    It was the fixed-comb nature of Delon wire-frames which caused me to abandon their use.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  15. #54
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    Default Re: Foundation-less frames

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Even better is to move away from the use of shallow boxes and frames.
    LJ
    I think I can write arguments for opposite, for not using deep boxes and frames.

  16. #55
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    Default Re: Foundation-less frames

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    It was the fixed-comb nature of Delon wire-frames which caused me to abandon their use.
    LJ
    Off course, using wire instead of side bars is impractical and side bars are probably good for bees also.

  17. #56
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    Default Re: Foundation-less frames

    Quote Originally Posted by viesest View Post
    Off course, 'simple' is important but making triangular top bars is more simple than making regular LR top bars. (See post #19.)
    Part of my 'simple' is not cutting frames,,,in fact that's an important part. Thus no triangular top bars for me. There was a discussion where somebody used a dado with center blade(s) replaced by a spacer to form a raised central line. Were I doing it, I think that would be easier and would work well. A raised center line needs to be no more than 3/16". Even 1/8" would probably work fine, IMO.

    As far as the wire is concerned, I was not thinking of what I would call wire rods. I can see how a stiff wire 'rod' could be used if placed to hold the end bars apart.

    Wire to me is something that combs in coils. My bad for misunderstanding the concept.
    Last edited by Gino45; 05-26-2020 at 10:49 AM.

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