Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 53 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've started using wire in my frames instead of fishing line. I've used fishing line in the past and so many times I find that the bees chew it in half. I've even seen a couple of times where the line was hanging out the front of the hive where the bees tried to drag it out of the hive. I'm wiring my frames for next year and decided to go with wire. I don't use foundation at all so I have to have the support.
So the only disadvantages I can think of would be that it may be a little more difficult to cut the comb out when I need to change it out and it would make it more difficult to cut queen cells at times. The bees seem to like putting cells right on the fishing line.
Anyone have any other disadvantages? I just can't justify using fishing line if on so many occasions they chew it in half.. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
did you tried w/o the supported wire? I started out with foundation on the brood boxes but for the super I used foundation less w/o any wire and have been slowly replace the brood with foundation less. There is no issue at all just to be careful in handling the frame instead of carelessly swing it around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,558 Posts
Maybe it is different bees, but I found they chewed 30 lb. test monofilament line. Maybee I have some of those "mite biter" bees!:rolleyes:
As to the pain and price of installing ferrules, I switched to T50 staples. You only need a staple where the pull will be splitting the grain. Cross grain does not bite into the wood, especially if you use the crimping tensioner. I would never go back to trying to tension by pulling on the wire.

I suppose with diagonal nippers you could still cut out the queen cells from wired frames; the bees will fill the holes but almost guaranteed drone though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
did you tried w/o the supported wire? I started out with foundation on the brood boxes but for the super I used foundation less w/o any wire and have been slowly replace the brood with foundation less. There is no issue at all just to be careful in handling the frame instead of carelessly swing it around.
During really hot weather, I've had several frames break right at the honey line even after being real careful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It needs tensioning, and it'll cut into the wood unless ferrules are used. Bees will only chew fishing line if it's thin - using thicker line is one solution.

Or - for foundationless, you could try using bamboo skewers, vertically or horizontally.
LJ
I am using the ferrules. I use the installer and it's no problem putting them in
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They will - try 50-60 lb sea fishing line. Only mice will chew through that (ask me how I know this ...) :)
LJ
Would I still have to use the furrules with line that thick? I'd think if wire would cut into the wood, fishing line that thick would too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,400 Posts
Quite the reverse - wire cuts into soft wood precisely because it has such a small diameter, whereas with the much larger diameter of heavy fishing line the pressure is spread over a larger area. Think about how a sharp knife cuts into wood easily, whereas a blunt one doesn't. Same principle.
Also, monofilament needn't be highly tensioned as it has a 'stretch factor', and doesn't need to be what I call 'banjo tight'. Just tight enough to give a 'thuck' sound when plucked. After all, it's function is only to prevent the comb from flopping excessively from side to side - a little bit of 'give' is perfectly ok - the comb itself doesn't need to be held rigidly.
LJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
328 Posts
We use the stainless steel wire. Pain to do it but it lasts a long time. Cutting comb is no issue if you need to do it. We raise our own queens so not an issue for us but if they are putting off cells they wont all be on wire. For the time it takes to wire a frame I would use something that gives me the greatest duration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,822 Posts
I had the same problem with the bees chewing through even 50lb test monofilament. Went to a chaff resistant line but the lack of "stretch" made tensioning too difficult. Finally went with wire and the ferrules. I made a wiring jig that bows the frame slightly to add the tension without me trying to pull the wire. I find the ferrules a PIA but the wire will cut into the wood, I may need to try crofter's staple method to see it speeds thing up.
I don't cut out that many queen cells but haven't had a problem when I do. I built my solar melter to accommodate full size frames and the super wax just melts off, brood comb needs a slight bit of help; a sharp knife also works but takes a little more care.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We use the stainless steel wire. Pain to do it but it lasts a long time. Cutting comb is no issue if you need to do it. We raise our own queens so not an issue for us but if they are putting off cells they wont all be on wire. For the time it takes to wire a frame I would use something that gives me the greatest duration.
This has always been my philosophy. Do it less often. It really hasn't been that much of a pain to put the wire on. I use pliers to pull it and the wire is tight. When doing something new, its good to ask people that have been there to hear the disadvantages before going any farther.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,291 Posts
For me the goal when using fishing line was just to keep the foundation flat until they draw out enough comb to stiffen the foundation so it would no longer bow. Preventing bowing was my main concern. It definitely will help in extraction to prevent blowout but if your careful the embedded vertical wires are usually enough.

Wiring or the need for somekind of support with wax foundation was the main reason I switched to plastic. Plastic has it's on problems but wiring frames was a task I hated. For just a few hives ide wire em, for more than a few ide use plastic. Deeps are a must, mediums not so important unless your using them for brood.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,400 Posts
For me the goal when using fishing line was just to keep the foundation flat until they draw out enough comb to stiffen the foundation so it would no longer bow. Preventing bowing was my main concern.
Which raises an interesting question - who decided the dimensions of frame sidebars ? The commercial flat-pack stuff I use (for sales) have side-bars 10mm thick ... or should that be 'thin' ? There's no reason I can see why side-bars couldn't be 15mm thick.

Deeps are a must, mediums not so important unless your using them for brood.
Agreed - extra-deep broods pose a particular problem in this regard. For my double-deep trials I've used 15mm side bars with 4 horizontal skewers, although 3 would probably suffice.

It did occur to me that support is only needed while combs are being drawn out - once drawn and a year or two old, they become fully self-supporting - so, with this in mind I've made a test deep (8.5") frame with 'withdrawable/removable' vertical supports. Will be testing it out this coming season.
LJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
....I just can't justify using fishing line if on so many occasions they chew it in half.
I use the same 10-pound-test monofilament line I use for trout fishing. I've never had the bees chew through it. That said, I prefer wire over monofilament and plastic foundation over wire. I have some of each in my operation, but plastic foundation is the only thing I know that won't break up in the extractor. (BTW, anyone here remember the aluminum foundation that hit the market back in the '60s?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,646 Posts
The use of fishing line was invented by people who didn't want to take the trouble to make themselves a wire tensioning jig. Fishing line for frames especially appeals to non conformist types who think wire is "unnatural", but fishing line of course, is "natural". Go figure.


If using comb foundation, fishing line cannot be heat embedded, so fishing line people go to elaborate processes to get the foundation to stay in the right place, instead of the few seconds it takes to electrically embed wire.

The only advantage I would see with fishing line is that if you want to make cut comb honey you can cut it without having to first pull the wire. But on the other hand, what customer eating their comb honey at the breakfast table wants to find a bit of string in it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
For my double-deep trials I've used 15mm side bars with 4 horizontal skewers, although 3 would probably suffice.
Where are you getting long enough skewers LJ? Presumably these are for National or wider frames? The longest bamboo I could find (though I didn't look that hard) were too short. Vertical bamboo work well and I like being able to slice out segments of sealed drone comb panel by panel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,400 Posts
Where are you getting long enough skewers LJ? Presumably these are for National or wider frames? The longest bamboo I could find (though I didn't look that hard) were too short. Vertical bamboo work well and I like being able to slice out segments of sealed drone comb panel by panel.
Hello David - for standard (8.5") deeps I found that the bog-standard skewers ex.Tesco were fine, installed vertically - I guess this is what you're using too. Those are around 3mm diameter.

For horizontal installation, I've been buying 16" (400mm) bamboo skewers at around 6 or 7 pounds a hundred from EWC in Manchester. These are much thicker at 4.5mm. EWC are currently offering this size at 22 pounds for 500, although I'm sure they'd sell you a 100 if asked. Ebay #121388772605

There's also a company https://www.skewers.co.uk/ based in Newark, who very kindly sent me some samples a while back - their prices are good: 400mm x 5mm x1000 for 25 pounds (plus VAT & 6 quid carriage) - but that assumes you want a thousand !

I agree - cutting out panels of comb is really quite handy :)
LJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,400 Posts
The use of fishing line was invented by people who didn't want to take the trouble to make themselves a wire tensioning jig. Fishing line for frames especially appeals to non conformist types who think wire is "unnatural", but fishing line of course, is "natural". Go figure.
What a load of rhubarb ...

As I've NEVER used foundation, I've never had any interest in using wire. I used to run unsupported foundationless (which wasn't entirely satisfactory) until a guy on the Scottish forum mentioned the use of fishing line, and so I gave it a trial. I had plenty of line line and the required drawing pins (thumb tacks) handy - so used 'em. Simple as that. Nothing to do with being non-conformist, or not having a jig or that absurd 'natural' argument you mention.

Anyway - fishing line proved to be better than unsupported, but not totally ideal as the bees would sometimes draw comb to one side of it. Which told me that they really don't like the stuff, and will only incorporate it if they have zero choice in the matter. So - I started using bamboo skewers for support instead.

Now they're not perfect either - but the difference is that the bees actually WANT to attach their combs to those long thin rods of wood. They actually LIKE using them for support. So - until something better comes along, that's what I'll use.

Would I ever use wire ? No. Why on earth would I want to ? The fact that ferrules are necessary in order to prevent the wire from cutting into the wooden frame tells me that that system is flawed. Wire might work well enough embedded within foundation, but then you won't find any embossed foundation within this apiary.
LJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,646 Posts
Would I ever use wire ? No. Why on earth would I want to ?
Because you said that the bees don't like your fishing line and your bamboo is not perfect either.

So - until something better comes along, that's what I'll use.
That better thing is wire, which typical non conformist, you have an opinion on but never actually tried. I say, rhubarbs to you. :D

.
 
1 - 20 of 53 Posts
Top