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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to have my supers foundation less with all medium frames. I would like to be able to get comb honey if someone requests it. I will be using a radial extractor so the blowouts should not be too much of a concern.

I am already committed to hive bodies with foundation (rite cell) I already have the foundation on hand and the grooved top and bottom frames.


What setup would work best for my situation. I searched but I have been overwhelmed with the numerous options.


My thinking is using Popsicle sticks as a guide for them to build upon.

Should I wire the frame if they are all mediums?
 

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If you are extracting, wiring the frames will give them strength, even in a radial extractor. If you are going to do comb honey, then don't wire the frames. If you use the popsicle sticks, putting them in both the top and bottom grooves gets the bees to attaching the comb to the top AND bottom bars better, which gives much more strength than if they don't attach the comb to the bottom bar. With medium or shallower frames, this may be enough strength without wires for extracting.
 

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popsicle stick or ripped pieces of 3/4 boards will work.

Wiring the frames seem to be a preference thing. I have been wiring mine with fishing line, But I do not plan to wire anymore. It seems that they see the wire as a bit of an obstruction....they will draw around it, but it seems they recognize it as an obstacle before they build around it. I have not extracted any medium foundationless, but I have spun out some first year wax in shallow frames and they did fine...with and without the "wire"
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
would the grooved top and bottom frames form mann lake work well for this. With the Popsicle sticks?
 

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would the grooved top and bottom frames form mann lake work well for this. With the Popsicle sticks?
yes....and you could actually put the sticks in the top grove (glue and nailed or just nailed) and the groove on the bottom will get filled with wax by the bees.
 

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I have been using the mann lake grooved top/bottom frames for foundationless - I just insert/glue a wooden starter strip into the groove - it does not need to be much, just 1/8th to 1/4 inch has proved enough. Others use the wedge style and just turn the wedge on its side to provide a starter strip.
 

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I want to have my supers foundation less with all medium frames. I would like to be able to get comb honey if someone requests it.

Should I wire the frame if they are all mediums?
Why do you want to do foundationless?

If you want to get comb honey wires will be in the way.

You could use a starter strip of foundation. That's how Buster makes his comb honey.
 

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>I am already committed to hive bodies with foundation (rite cell) I already have the foundation on hand and the grooved top and bottom frames.

Most of the main reasons people are doing foundationless is to get clean comb and natural cell size. If you are doing large cell plastic you already won't get natural cell size.

>What setup would work best for my situation. I searched but I have been overwhelmed with the numerous options.

Assuming you have grooved top bars, then popscicle sticks (jumbo craft sticks to be precise) will probably be the simplest.

>Should I wire the frame if they are all mediums?

I don't. You want comb honey, they will be in the way. They extract fine without the wire if you are gentle.
 

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I am exclusively foundationless both in brood chamber and in supers. I use wedge top frames, pop the wedge out, turn it 90 degrees, glue and staple it back in and you have a starter lip for them. Once you have that, it's much more important to follow the rest of the rules than what exactly you have at the top for them to get started on. In depth video on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38SPvuWvVkc&list=UUUJpugtC8DATt5CampP4RtA&feature=c4-overview
 

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I am exclusively foundationless both in brood chamber and in supers. I use wedge top frames, pop the wedge out, turn it 90 degrees, glue and staple it back in and you have a starter lip for them. Once you have that, it's much more important to follow the rest of the rules than what exactly you have at the top for them to get started on. In depth video on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38SPvuWvVkc&list=UUUJpugtC8DATt5CampP4RtA&feature=c4-overview
That was wonderfully informative, thank you.
 

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One problem I have found with using a wedge turned 90 deg. The wedge is not exactly centered on the frame and the bees will often continue that and make off centered comb that will attach to the next empty frame.

To correct this, I turn the wedge 45 deg this gives more of the foundationless frame look with a beveled edge centered in the frame for a comb guide.
 
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