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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I'm new to beekeeping, I acquired some equipment last year (that I plan on TRYING ti use this year) that I have been more closely inspecting. All of my frames, mostly hive body frames but also several small super frames, have no sort of wires or anything within the "space". I was visiting with a friend last night and all of his frames had some sort of wire going from the top of his frame's to the bottom. Should frames have several wires running through them? More importantly, do I need to purchase all new frames or can I just modify them by inserting some wiring in the correct dimensions( the proper gauge of course)?

I dont want to cut corners, but I am on a bit of a tight beekeeping budget. I'm trying to be as self-sufficient as possible so that I spend the money I do have on the more important things.

Any thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated!!

Dan
 

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The wiring is no huge expense and you can indeed use monofilament fishing line. The wires are to support wax foundation. Do you have any of that? If not, you need to acquire an amount necessarry to fill your frames or go foundationless. To do that search foundationless frames and read all about it. But this is the least of your concerns really. If I were you I would get foundation. It is much easier for a novice to manage the bees, or at least one less thing that can go wrong. Past that, do a lot of reading of old posts. Hundreds have come on this forum in the same place and space you are and probably every concievable question you may have has been already answered. My suggestion is to do some reading. The big concern you have is where you are going to get bees at this late date. There is a for sale section on this forum, read the old posts and you will find leads on bees to follow up. Welcome.
 

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Why not use plastic foundation? About the same cost, no wires needed, easier to install and the bees make perfect combs. You just need to feed as you would with wax foundation. Good luck
 

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This is my first year also but with small frames, to my understanding, you shouldn't really need wires or anything. The meds and deeps do, but didn't think the smalls do. The frames you got, are they drawn out? If they are, try sticking a needle through it and see if it is on plastic foundation that you might not see. If you are buying new frames, you might think about buying a one piece unit that is frame and foundation. If you have the frames, then plastic foundation is one of the easier choices. I got wood with plastic foundation, but would have gone Pierco if I knew about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They are OLD and I'm about 99% they are just wood. I have been reading alot today about foundationless frames. I think I'm going to take some heavy pound fishing line and "wire" the frames with that. I learn better through trial and errors, so we will see how it goes. My biggest thoughts about using foundations is that bees waste less time making combs and spend more time making honey. I've seen people wire their frames horizontal, vertical as well as an X from the corners. Does anyone have any thoughts on that matter?

Thank you everyone for the input!!

Dan
 

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If you aren't running the frames through an extractor (ie. using them for brood frames or crushing and straining to gather honey), horizontal only should be more than enough.

If you are going to try foundationless, I'd advise you to use some kind of comb guide (glued in popsicle sticks) on the frame to give them a solid place to attach the comb. Also make sure your hive is ABSOLUTELY level. You might want to do some reading on the Top Bar forum about getting the bees to build straight comb.
 

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The vertical wires come already embedded in wax foundation, it's called crimp wired foundation. If you use crimp wired medium depth foundation you don't need horizontal wires. For deep frames you will need the two middle holes wired even with crimp wired foundation. If you use your wood frames with plastic wax coated foundation no wiring is necessary. If you're going to try foundationless read up on the method long BEFORE your bees arrive. You will need a guide in each frame for them to attach comb to; can be either wood guides, as in popsicle sticks glued in the top groove or a strip of wax foundation attached in the groove. If you put nothing to guide them you will end up with a real mess of cross comb!
 

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With deep frames and crimp wire foundation, you can also use the support pins instead of 2 horizontal wires. That has worked well for me if I insert the foundation only just before I am putting it the hive, keep the frames upright and don't let them get hot in the sun. Keep the foundation from "warping".
 
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