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I know that this may be splitting hairs, but does anyone out there have a strong preference regarding foundationless frame construction?

For example, WT Kelley produces a stock foundationless frame, but I know that many folks will use wedge top frames and simply nail/staple the wedge sideways to make a comb guide on the top bar.

Favorites? Advantages/disadvantages? Experience and results with different types?

Thanks for the input!
 

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I have one season of experience, but here is what I have observed: With normal frames that have the wedge nailed in sideways, they tend to build off center on the side of the wedge that is exposed more. I also bought some groove topped frames, and made a 60 degree triangle wedge for them to build on, and these worked fantastic. I just got an order of the WT Kelly foundationless frames, and wish that the triangle was a little sharper, instead of being rounded. Might not matter, but there have been zero wonky combs on my table sawn triangles.
 

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I've been using foundationless frames for 4 seasons. I've tried wedge top bars with the wedge turned sideways. I've tried groove top bars with paint sticks/craft sticks glued in and stapled as a guode. Last year I tried ff from Kelley. They save you some time in assmbly since the guide is built into the top bar already. As far as acceptance, bees have no preference. The most important thing is to remember that one good frame leads to another. I'll probably buy more from Kelley, especially since they can customize the order to provide 1.25" end bars if you ask for them.
 

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I've been using foundationless frames for 4 seasons. I've tried wedge top bars with the wedge turned sideways. I've tried groove top bars with paint sticks/craft sticks glued in and stapled as a guode. Last year I tried ff from Kelley. They save you some time in assmbly since the guide is built into the top bar already. As far as acceptance, bees have no preference. The most important thing is to remember that one good frame leads to another. I'll probably buy more from Kelley, especially since they can customize the order to provide 1.25" end bars if you ask for them.
Mine all came from cutouts, so the one side preference might have been attributed to crooked combs banded in that led to others offset in sequence.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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All of the common methods other than filling the groove with a wax bead, work fine. You need something that protrudes at least 1/4" and preferably 1/2". I like wood because it's permanent. I wax strips work fine (either from wax foundation or from plain wax sheets) but they are not permanent. If a hive goes queenless and the wax moths chew things up, I can just scrape off the webs and put it back if it's a wood guide. I have to take it back to the house and clean it up and wax a new strip in if it's wax.

To me the upside of the Kelley frames is you just put them together and you're done. Also you have no extraneous grooves for SHB and wax moths to hide in. The bottom bar is solid as is the top bar. I use whatever I have...
 
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