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Since I already have top grooved and bottom grooved frames. I know I have to use Popsicle sticks to make a guide for the bees. Does the below picture look correct. I have them on both top and bottom on this test frame.

Also when using beewax to get the smell on the area where the comb should be build. Do I use a paintbrush and brush on some melted wax or do I just take the block and rub the area just to get the smell on the comb area?
 

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Another ? The frame I purchased does not have the holes on the end bars. I bought these thinking I would be using ritecell.

Since I will be going foundation less, I need to drill some holes. What size are the normal holes? I will be using the metal eyelet so the wood is not damaged.

I need to make some sort of jig so I can make sure they are all even and consistent.
 

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What do you need the holes for? there is no need to 'wire" brood combs as they wont be extracted. It is arguable whether they need to be wired for extraction. I think that might haeva lot to do with the extractor itself and teh speed at which it is run. Assuming you are going to wire them, I'll bet "close enough" is close enough for the spacing of the holes.
 

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I thought it would be best to wire the deep frames. I was not planning on using wire for the supers that is mediums.
 

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Putting in horizontal wires is probably not necessary on foundationless brood combs, as the brood combs will stiffen up considerably after a season of brood cycles raised in them. Some claim that foundationless combs without wires will sag with time, stretching the cells downward, probably caused by overheating in extremely hot weather, and wiring will help keep this from happening. Personally, I would not wire them.
 

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Yours look similar to mine that I put in spring of 2013. I only used 3 popsickle sticks, centering them in the top of the frame. I did not put them into the bottom bar, and I did not put any wax on the sticks. I also did not wire them. The girls took to them well. As Mr. Bush mentioned, the wider craft sticks that look like tongue depressors would probably be better.

Phil
 

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Trust me, drilling holes in the end bars and running line through them is a waste of time, I did it with about 30 frames and found no difference in structure integrity between them and the ones with out wires. The real pain in the butt comes when they chew the string and try to drag it out the entrance only its still connected to the comb!! Just run large popsicle sticks in the top groove with some glue and that's it, don't worry about sticks in the bottom as the bees usually leave that area open as a travel way anyhow. Oh ya, I run deeps in the brood chamber as well, and I travel for pollination..........no combs have broke out yet, infact, I have to cut them out when they either mess the comb up or I am cutting out drone comb.

And don't wax them either, bees know what to do and where to do it.
 

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Are the Popsicle sticks really required? Last season I just stuffed a bunch of empty frames in, no foundation, no guide, no strings, nothing. Just the four wooden bars on each. They built the whole thing up pretty fast, and with the exception of the comb not really being merged with the side of the frames, looked like any standard frame of built comb. I didn't try this on a large scale, though, just this one hive with 3-5 empty frames and the rest in undrawn plastic foundation.

The only time I got wacky comb was with plastic frames that ended up with too wide a gap between them. If they can draw nice comb with no guides whatsoever, and wacky comb from one-piece plastic frames, the guiding sticks seem kind of moot, no?
 

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>Are the Popsicle sticks really required? Last season I just stuffed a bunch of empty frames in, no foundation, no guide, no strings, nothing. Just the four wooden bars on each.

I have done a whole box with solid top bars and with no guides except for one drawn comb in the middle and they built things fine. I wanted to see what the natural spacing would be. I expected them to totally mess it up, but they did not. But that doesn't make it a good plan. Comb guides are very helpful. Some bees just won't mess up anything. Some bees will mess it up with full sheets of wax foundation. Most bees just need a bit of guidance.
 

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If I want the comb to actually be in the fraems the stick are necessary. from what I can tell the width of the fraems is not quite right for my bees. they may get the first one started in the right place. but each additional frame is a little more and more off. until they have a comb attached to two separate frames at some point. they will cross the comb from one frame to another also. it seems to me the bees want to build comb in an arc. fraems serve to keep them building them straight. I will add frames with no sticks between two drawn frames and not have much of an issue. sometimes they start a bit off center but the comb is still within the frame this can cause some alignment problems for removing frames later. The sticks serve to keep the comb to within 1/16th of an inch of where I want it.
 

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I started a TBH last year, obviously foundation-less, and yes the combs can have some curve to them, but from what I've seen on foundation-less frames the ends help to curb that habit a little.

I am starting with foundation-less frames in my Lang's this year and am hoping for the best. I do have a fellow Beek who is giving me a couple frames of already drawn comb to help as a starter comb for the package.
 

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they do tend to curl the ends, but I have found that if you kind of straighten the ends they will fix it and keep going
 

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My bees seem to like to start there comb on the edge of the top bar. Often even if there is a stick to start from. I have several times had to move an entire frame full of comb back to the center of the frame. I simply cut the center at the top and if necessary the bottom and push the mid part of the comb back to the center. I then give it back to the bees . they will re attach the comb to the bar. on the next inspection I cut away each end and push them back. a day or two later this is also re attached and the comb is centered in the frame.

I do the same thing to keep comb in a Top Bar straight. but it requires a lot more correcting. Overall I am not much of a fan of the Top Bar hive. I would sell the one I have if someone came along that was interested in it. It is a perfectly good hive, just not my cup of tea. I would rather have the money in queen castles for this spring.
 

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If you don't run wires through your brood comb frames, you better know what you are doing when you inspect them in the summer. I don't live far from you, and can guarantee you if you turn the frame the wrong way in the summer time (and the bees have not connected the bottom) your brood comb will end up on the ground. I have medium foundationless brood frames and have lost a couple that way. My bees only connect the bottom comb on about 50% of the frames. if you are inspecting your hive on a hot summer day and you are not careful the comb will fall out. I use paint sticks in mine, with no wax.
 

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I noticed that most of those advising against horizontal support wires in foundationless frames, live where summers are rarely warm/hot enough for beeswax to get soft. Down here in the desert southwest, I sometimes have combs fall from top bars, even inside the hives, with the bees - sometimes they just can't cool it well enough. Last week I had one comb of almost solid honey, in a medium foundationless frame, with two horizontal wires. As I held it, partially towards the horizontal, so I could see it better, it broke free of its attachment to the Top Bar (it was attached along its entire length). Fortunately the two horizontal wires held it in the frame. I gave it back to the bees and in a few hours the bees reattached it to the Top Bar.

BTW, to answer your question, the holes are usually 1/8" diameter.
 

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If you don't run wires through your brood comb frames, you better know what you are doing when you inspect them in the summer. I don't live far from you, and can guarantee you if you turn the frame the wrong way in the summer time (and the bees have not connected the bottom) your brood comb will end up on the ground.... My bees only connect the bottom comb on about 50% of the frames. if you are inspecting your hive on a hot summer day and you are not careful the comb will fall out.
Amen, one wrong turn of the comb and it hits the ground!!! Not good when you're in shorts and flip flops. I've got a few frames that I put long bamboo bbq skewers from end bar to end bar. It was faster than wiring. I'll let y'all know how the bees like them.
 
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