Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I remember this discussion from early this year when ML bought out KelleyBee. KB dropped the foundationless Style F from their options. I stocked up with several cases, but other local BK friends didn't and are asking me where to get them now.

Surely somebody out there is making them for a fair price. 10 minutes searching google didn't find any sources. Any recommendations? Medium and deep frames. Shipping to central Texas. Assembled or unassembled is fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I searched amazon. Do you have a link? I used several search terms, Foundationless frames bee, no foundation frame bee, wedge frame langstroth. Several different combination of key words. Note I'm looking for just the frames, not the whole hives. I'm not finding anything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,824 Posts
I had no luck finding a repacement for the F frame either; in the interim I've started using the wedged top bars and turning the wedge to form a starter strip. It requires more steps for assembly and is a PIA but I haven't found a better option. I also use the split bottom bar but only use one of the pieces of wood to deprive the shb of a hiding spot.

I just started using the above configuration so the jury is still out, and probably out until spring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,500 Posts
As foundationless frames are so much easier to make - have you considered making your own ? If this is really not an option, then simply glue popsicle sticks 'on-edge' into the top foundation groove of standard frames. Sometimes I give such starter-strips a lick of molten wax, sometimes I don't - doesn't seem to make much difference.
LJ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,832 Posts
As foundationless frames are so much easier to make - have you considered making your own ? If this is really not an option, then simply glue popsicle sticks 'on-edge' into the top foundation groove of standard frames. Sometimes I give such starter-strips a lick of molten wax, sometimes I don't - doesn't seem to make much difference.
LJ
+1
Indeed, once foundation requirements are removed from your life - consider reviewing your general setup.
Why even buy anything?
If anything, this is foundation-based wares you may have to buy.

Going foundation --> foundation-less is really trivial (since most any foundation-base equipment convert into foundantion-lees in a very straight-forward way).
The most obvious way that works for me very well - cutting out plastic frames - requires one-time time investment and minimal tooling (drill and jig saw for me) - you are set FOREVER with nice foundation-less frames with the immediately built-in comb guides on all sides.

PS: side-benefit - I partially prevent plastic frames from going to the dump (lots of people around get disenchanted with their plastic wares - well, just convert them foundation-less - really is stupid simple to do); if look around there are tons of plastic frames to be had for about nothing (new or used - choices are yours).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Murdock. Nice little company. But they have 'wedge top' frames (wax foundation), not foundationless frames. Decent prices, I might get some other things from there.

BTW, for others, I appreciate the comments about making your own foundationless frames. But I wasn't asking about how to convert frames (I've done some myself), I was looking for sources to buy as ready-to-go foundationless frames. Like the kind Kelley Bee used to sell.

As SeaCucumber said, I did find the KB foundationless were a tiny bit wider than other frames. But they fit in hive bodies just fine. I would notice this during assembly of the frames.
 

·
Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,884 Posts
I guess never having seen or used the F style frame, I don't understand the hoopla. I switched to foundationless myself this year but simply use a ML grooved top/grooved bottom unassembled frames, with holes, that I buy for around .88 each. After assembly I glue in a starter strip that I rip from a piece of 1x8 yellow pine cut 16-15/16" long and ripped approx 1/8" thick. I get 24 strips from each piece, so about 120 from an 8' board. After gluing, I paint each strip with a liberal coating of melted beeswax. I also string the frames with 20# test monofilament fishing line. I have already installed nearly 200 of these frames and am very happy with how the bees take to them. Finished cost for each frame is still under $1, or about 1/3 the cost of using foundation. During the winter, I can put together 20-30 in the evening after dinner, so getting a few hundred together does not take all that long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
339 Posts
My foundationless frames are regular frames without the plastic. Sometimes I put fishing line through them or just leave it like that and the bees build the comb.
 

·
Registered
4ish langstrom hives
Joined
·
1,459 Posts
I guess never having seen or used the F style frame, I don't understand the hoopla.
The best way to describe the F style frames is that they use a topbar hive style crossbar with standard langstrom sides and a bottom. They sort of look like this with sides and a bottom https://www.perfectbee.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Top-Bar-Hive-Precision-Milled-Top-Bars.jpg

I have started installing 1/8" bamboo skewers vertically in my foundationless frames. The bees dont seem to be bothered by the skewers and they seem to help support the comb well. I found that drilling a 1/8" hole in both the top and bottom, shooting a staple thru the side of the frame into the skewer, and then cutting of the ends with diagonal cutters was fairly easy. The skewer seemed easier than stringing fishing line.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
I guess never having seen or used the F style frame, I don't understand the hoopla. I switched to foundationless myself this year but simply use a ML grooved top/grooved bottom unassembled frames, with holes, that I buy for around .88 each. After assembly I glue in a starter strip that I rip from a piece of 1x8 yellow pine cut 16-15/16" long and ripped approx 1/8" thick. I get 24 strips from each piece, so about 120 from an 8' board. After gluing, I paint each strip with a liberal coating of melted beeswax. I also string the frames with 20# test monofilament fishing line. I have already installed nearly 200 of these frames and am very happy with how the bees take to them. Finished cost for each frame is still under $1, or about 1/3 the cost of using foundation. During the winter, I can put together 20-30 in the evening after dinner, so getting a few hundred together does not take all that long.
Would you happen to have a picture of the final process?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,824 Posts
have you considered making your own ?
I've considered and accomplish it, but the time involved in the set ups and quantity required made buying frames at a $1 and change more attractive. One of the attractions for F frame was the top bar was ready to go as is, less steps when assembling frames.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,078 Posts
I have never tried it, but if you removed a single disk from a dado blade and replaced it with a washer, seems like you could cut as many of these things as you wanted. It wouldn't be triangular in shape, but would look just like Frank's picture above. (Crofter).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Coal Reaper,

Any chance you have better pictures of his frames? The one picture he has at https://foresthillbeesupply.com/store/#!/Unassembled-Frames-6-1-4/p/33392810/category=8604205 is just fuzzy, and he doesn't have pics of each of the varieties. A few years back I mis-ordered 'wedge' top because I was thinking that was foundationless. It seems like a nice little company and prices are reasonable. But it's hard to put all the info needed out there and have time to actually run the business!

BTW, for everyone who keeps posting how easy it is to make regular frames into foundationless, I get it. I've done it. But I have 2 reasons I'm ignoring those comments. #1: For me I don't have the time to modify 100's of frames every year when instead I can just buy the right one in the first place. #2: I'm teaching newbies who are trying to get the basics... to explain construction to them is one more step. I don't want to get into that, I want to focus on the bee part of the teaching. (let alone I'm sure I'd hear the nonsense questions like "are lollipop sticks non-GMO wood? how long / how thick / it didn't work so come fix everything for me... sigh). Instead I say go to ___ website and buy ____ parts, and deal with them if you have questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
467 Posts
I have never tried it, but if you removed a single disk from a dado blade and replaced it with a washer, seems like you could cut as many of these things as you wanted. It wouldn't be triangular in shape, but would look just like Frank's picture above. (Crofter).
that's an interesting idea; however, there is no need to have such the 'guide' so deep. IMO, a much shallower cut than shown with the dado and washer would be easier and do the job as well.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top