Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

Foundationless frame extraction

2013 Views 13 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Harley Craig
Extracted about fifty deep foundationless frames really works. I had about three blowouts and two out right breakages, but out of fifty frames that were just added this March, I thought that was pretty good. Full disclosure, it was just a two frame hand crank, no high speed radial extractor, but I kind of was expecting a mess, it wasn't. I think I am done with foundation.
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Good to hear, I will be extracting my first foundationless in a couple weeks. Im like you, bout done with foundation. G:thumbsup:
They are unwired. I use the wedge type frame, I take out the wedge and put sideways creating a comb guide. The breakages I had were not attached at the bottom, so my fault for putting them in the extractor. All the other frames were attached somehow on all four sides.
Matt - Do you put anything on the wedges in your foundationless frames (like rubbing them with wax) or do you just put new frames with the wedge turned in there?

I have a bunch of new frames I'm assembling but have run out of wax foundation. I was wondering whether to buy more foundation (expensive!) or just turn the wedge and try it foundationless. I've been wanting to go foundationless, but I wasn't planning on going full force, I figured I'd just put them in among other frames. Does it stress the bees to put an entire super of empty foundationless wedged frames in there?
I don t coat the wedge with anything. I do however, put the foundationless frames next to one that has been fully drawn out. When adding the supers this spring with the foundationless frames, I would pull a fully drawn frame from the brood box and put it in the middle of the foundationless frames. Either that or I would checkerboard the hive with the foundationless frames. I have started hives using only foundationless frames, but at least one of the frames had a three inch foundation strip installed. Once they get to building straight, on one frame, they will build straight on all the frames. I don t think it stresses the bees out at all, in fact they will draw out comb faster using foundationless rather than foundation. Keep in mind that I am running all deeps, so I can switch out frames at will. Also these are not my ideas, I got them from Michael Bush s website, but I can say they do work.
They are unwired. The breakages I had were not attached at the bottom, so my fault for putting them in the extractor. All the other frames were attached somehow on all four sides.
Matt, one thing you can try, although a bit messy if single handed. Is when you have frames not attached at the bottom, after decapping I use rubber bands to prevent blowouts. Works great.
I saw where somebody put kabob skewers through the bottom area so bee would attach and this seems better than wire
Different styles of extractors and frame depth can make a big difference on your success. Some extractor cages catch only the frame and give no support to the comb. Some tangential cages give full support of the full face of the comb against a flat mesh surface; that style would extract even a slab of comb totally unattached to a frame. That would not work so good with a radial spinner!

I think foundationless frames get attached better when drawn and filled in the honey supers. I have had foundationless deeps drawn in the bottom box for drone and later filled with honey and were not attached at all to the bottom bar and very little on the sides. I dont think I would risk it in a radial but it would extract OK in a tangential. Flipping the frames three times to extract in stages sure slows things down, (you have to work for the money you save on that style of extractor) but it cuts down on the stress on the comb.
Glad to hear this works. Thanks.

I'm using foundation less too(deeps)... so far they only attached the sides. I'm using very basic frames, no wedge, no wires, nothing inside. I put them btw. 2 drawn frames. I don't like that I constantly need to check for abnormalities in comb building so far. I would try to find a better way to avoid checking that often for rightness in comb building. You say that if they build a straight frame all other will be straight. That's nice to know. I'll try that.
I run a lot of foundationless and I started stringing weedeater line on a few of them and really like it, you could probably blow one out if you tried hard enough but I think you would have to try pretty hard lol
Some of the alternatives to frame wire would seem to be a lot more expensive. It is so simple to wire foundationless frames and only a bit of potential problem to nip a wire if it happens to be where you want to cut a queen cell from a frame.
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.