Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,021 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I will be going foundationless for the first time this year in Lang hives. Will be starting out 6-8 hives in all new equipment with package bees. I want to put wax starter strips in all the frames, by the way I decided to go with medium depth boxes for brood and honey, just to lighten up the weight of the boxes and for the advantage of interchangeability. What I would like to do is make the starter strips out of my own chemical free wax that I saved from my two existing TBH's when I harvested honey last year. Could I just make my own wax sheets, cut them into strips, say 1" high, and put them in the frames? Seems like it would work, it would be just like using popsiclesticks or something similar to give them a comb guide. I just thought that using a wax strip would increase the chances of them starting off right comb building. Looking forward to hearing any responses. John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
I am getting 3 foundationless langs started this spring also. I went with all 8 frame medium boxes for uniformity. I cut 1'' material, really 3/4" nominal, 16 1/2" long, and 1/8'' wide, and waxed them into the grooved top bar by melting the wax, pouring it into the grove and placing the strip into the molten wax. Seems like your idea except with a wood strip. Sounds like your idea would work though. Good luck!!!
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,192 Posts
I have made sheets of plain beeswax and cut them into starter strips. They work fine until a hot day causes them to fall out... but wood works just as well, is easier to find and lasts almost forever...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,021 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I have made sheets of plain beeswax and cut them into starter strips. They work fine until a hot day causes them to fall out... but wood works just as well, is easier to find and lasts almost forever...
I'm assuming that you had trouble with the wax starter strips falling out prior to the bees drawing them out at least partially and attaching the comb to the top bar. I've used wood triangular starter strips on my top bar hives with pretty good success, however the bees sometimes drifted or angled their comb building from one bar over to the bar next door, which makes it tons of fun to remove those top bars for inspection. One thing I learned in my first year of TBH's last year was to keep on top of their comb building progress until they get all the bars drawn out. That may mean going into the hive every couple days to make darn sure they are going straight, and correct them if they're not. Feeding in empty bars between two perfect combs will usually do the trick.
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,192 Posts
>I'm assuming that you had trouble with the wax starter strips falling out prior to the bees drawing them out at least partially and attaching the comb to the top bar.

Yes.

> I've used wood triangular starter strips on my top bar hives with pretty good success, however the bees sometimes drifted or angled their comb building from one bar over to the bar next door, which makes it tons of fun to remove those top bars for inspection.

Sometimes, but they follow the triangular ones as well as anything.

> One thing I learned in my first year of TBH's last year was to keep on top of their comb building progress until they get all the bars drawn out.

Always a good plan if you have the time.

>That may mean going into the hive every couple days to make darn sure they are going straight, and correct them if they're not.

For the first few combs, this is most important. After that it gets less so, but is still worth doing if you have the time.

> Feeding in empty bars between two perfect combs will usually do the trick.

Between two perfect brood combs, yes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,021 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Michael, I forgot to make it clear that empty bars should go between two straight drawn out "brood" combs. By the way, did I read somewhere that you shave off 1/16" off the sides of your side bars and run 11 frames in your Lang's to mimmick the natural brood comb spacing? Does that seem to help with getting natural comb drawn straighter? Thanks
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,192 Posts
>Does that seem to help with getting natural comb drawn straighter?

Yes. And with getting smaller cells. At 1 3/8" the bees seem to think it's honey storage. At 1 1/4" they know it's brood. :) Also they can keep the brood warmer (less space to heat).

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesframewidth.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
504 Posts
I've had the wax strips pull out also. Sometime the bees build a lot of comb on the strip before they build a strong attachement to the tob bar.

I like wood guides. However, next time I assemble frames I am going to bevel the edges of the top bar a bit. Last year I hived a swarm that insisted on building comb on the outside edges of the top bars even though I gave them fully drawn frames as guides.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
557 Posts
I've found with wood guides that are deep ( 1/2" or more ) the bees tend to build their combs one side or the other of the wood guide ending up with a comb that is set on the diagonal which is workable but can progressively worsen through each bar. I think a shallower guide (3/16th”) would work a little better. The straightest and most consistent centered combs were when I use 1/2" foundation starter strips.
 
1 - 11 of 11 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.
Top