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2 weeks ago I captured a swarm, and for the first time I have bees. The brood box i put them in was new (never used) but 5-10 years old. There were 9 new frames with wax foundation and one that already had comb in it, bought on the recommendation of the guy who sold it to me. Now 2 weeks in, there are eggs in some of the existing comb and new comb on one of the new frames. Looks to me like the bees are setting up shop. My problem is that in most of the other new frames the wax foundation has melted and fallen down. Some were starting to sag at the top even before I put the bees in, I just thought that might be because they had been sitting for years.
I see i can order wax foundation and replace it pretty easily, but should I do that or get some other type of frames? The hive is in a warm place that gets direct morning sun until ~1:00 pm, not sure if the foundations melted from just heat or a combination of heat, age, whatever else. Do others have their boxes in the sun?Any advice here will be greatly appreciated.
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You could try rubber banding the foundation back in place for the frames the bees are using and/or that are not as bad, but I would just put new foundation in the frames that are falling down bad. If the foundation is wavy you will probably end up with wonky comb.

Plastic will not sag in the heat, but some bees do not like it as well as wax. Once the bees start using the wax foundation they will probably attach it on top with more wax. so it should not sag unless the hive bakes in the sun. The bees will usually keep a hive cool enough to keep the foundation from waxing as long as they do not have to much space.
 

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2 weeks ago I captured a swarm, and for the first time I have bees. The brood box i put them in was new (never used) but 5-10 years old. There were 9 new frames with wax foundation and one that already had comb in it, bought on the recommendation of the guy who sold it to me. Now 2 weeks in, there are eggs in some of the existing comb and new comb on one of the new frames. Looks to me like the bees are setting up shop. My problem is that in most of the other new frames the wax foundation has melted and fallen down. Some were starting to sag at the top even before I put the bees in, I just thought that might be because they had been sitting for years.
I see i can order wax foundation and replace it pretty easily, but should I do that or get some other type of frames? The hive is in a warm place that gets direct morning sun until ~1:00 pm, not sure if the foundations melted from just heat or a combination of heat, age, whatever else. Do others have their boxes in the sun?Any advice here will be greatly appreciated.
View attachment 63275
2 weeks ago I captured a swarm, and for the first time I have bees. The brood box i put them in was new (never used) but 5-10 years old. There were 9 new frames with wax foundation and one that already had comb in it, bought on the recommendation of the guy who sold it to me. Now 2 weeks in, there are eggs in some of the existing comb and new comb on one of the new frames. Looks to me like the bees are setting up shop. My problem is that in most of the other new frames the wax foundation has melted and fallen down. Some were starting to sag at the top even before I put the bees in, I just thought that might be because they had been sitting for years.
I see i can order wax foundation and replace it pretty easily, but should I do that or get some other type of frames? The hive is in a warm place that gets direct morning sun until ~1:00 pm, not sure if the foundations melted from just heat or a combination of heat, age, whatever else. Do others have their boxes in the sun?Any advice here will be greatly appreciated.
View attachment 63275
Whatever you do needs to be done very soon or those bees will build comb anyway they want on those frames. An experienced beekeeper could get wax foundation to stay in those frames but being new I would suggest you buy plastic frames with plastic foundation in them and make sure it has extra wax. Bees don't like cheap plastic foundation with only a thin coating of wax. If you are within driving distance of a supplier I would suggest getting new frames ASAP. If they build crazy comb you will have to cut it out and secure it in your frames with rubber bands or cotton string. Not a fun job with bees on the comb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Ok, ordering new foundation. Just wondering, though, is there any drawback to removing the damaged frames until I can get them repaired and put back? In other words, would having only 4 frames in a 10 frame box for a week create a problem?
 

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I think if you keep the good frames (at least five) in the middle of the box, you could take out the ruined frames. If you can get some new frames to fill out the box within a week I do not think the bees will have much time to build out crazy comb. And you can cut off any extra burr comb.
I recommend Mann-Lake waxed plastic foundation frames. I've never had a problem with bees building comb on them. And their shipping is pretty fast if you go through their site.

And also there may be a feed store or hardware store that has beekeeping supplies in your area.
 

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I have experimented with three kinds of plastic foundation- black, yellow, and white. Bees seem to build on the black faster, the yellow not so fast, and poorest on the white. As always, your mileage may vary.
 

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As stated above they will build comb wherever they can find for sure. Looks like your frames already have wire so I would suggest removing the bad comb and put some of the new comb on the top of the frames where the top of the foundation was. The new wax they are building will be soft so just break off a couple of small pieces from the edge of their new comb and stick it to the top of the frames where you want them to start drawing. It'll give them a starting place and they will take off from there and as they build down the wire will support the new wax they make. This works and will surely hold them till your new stuff comes in.
 

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just replace with what ever you want to "go forward" with. Keep the old it can be cut into 1 inch strips and used for starter strips on supers.
also keep in mind that not all frames are the same some take different size foundation, read carefully the foundation description, too small is less hard to fix that too big.

GG
 

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When using wax foundation you need the wedge top bar to hold it in. For deep frames I use wired foundation with hooks, the hooks go under the wedge and hold it in place. Looks like you only had non wired foundation.
You could remove the wax foundation you have and cut starter strips out of it and place them back in the frames. They will draw out the comb from there.
You can embed the cross wires with a spur wheel or melt them in with an electric embedder.
When working with wax foundation a "form board" is most useful. Make one yourself out of a 2 x 12, don't but the light weight ones out of the catalogs. The form board will hold your frame in place, allow you to install the foundation and nail the wedge in place. While in the form board it will support your wax foundation to allow you embed the cross wires.

I am NOT a fan of plastic myself, and have never even used it.
 

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It also looks like you have grooved bottom bars on the frames. Split bottom bars work much better for wax foundation. This gives the foundation some where hang and expand if need be.
If your cross wires are loose and wire crimper will make them tight again.
 

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When using wax foundation you need the wedge top bar to hold it in. For deep frames I use wired foundation with hooks, the hooks go under the wedge and hold it in place. Looks like you only had non wired foundation.
You could remove the wax foundation you have and cut starter strips out of it and place them back in the frames. They will draw out the comb from there.
You can embed the cross wires with a spur wheel or melt them in with an electric embedder.
When working with wax foundation a "form board" is most useful. Make one yourself out of a 2 x 12, don't but the light weight ones out of the catalogs. The form board will hold your frame in place, allow you to install the foundation and nail the wedge in place. While in the form board it will support your wax foundation to allow you embed the cross wires.

I am NOT a fan of plastic myself, and have never even used it.
I was wondering the same thing. Those may be grooved top bars, the original owner may have installed the wrong foundation. Or maybe the weight of the bees caused some of the wax to collapse if it wasn't wedged in tight enough. It would be good to know if the frames are wedge or grooved top bar.
If grooved I would recommend plastic foundation.

Alex
 

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Wrong foundation or frame,depending how you look at it. You might be able to support them with the rods and pins they sell if you didn't want to change them out. J
 

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Well,as usual I am out of step with the majority. I would salvage some of that foundation and use it to make starter strips for the remaining frames. Melt the extra wax and use it to secure the starter strips. Bees will draw the starter strips faster than foundation. The downside to that is that you will get some extra drone comb but at this point that is a minor consideration. The upside is that you can do this immediately.
 

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Assuming Langstroth hive, better to have empty frame than no frame. many beekeepers don't use foundation at all, just a frame with wire or fishing line to support the comb that the bees make. Since you have frames with foundation already you can remove the sagging foundation from the bad frames put on the outside of the other frames till they build out a couple full frames of brood. Then move the empty frame between two frames OF DRAWN COMB and they will build new comb to maintain bee space between the brood frames and the new comb. or put the empties on the outside till you can get some wax foundation for them ... another thought - you should have some spare frames ready to swap out when you need them. you should have a second brood box/super ready as well. How are you feeding your hive? they use a ton of food to make their comb.

2 weeks ago I captured a swarm, and for the first time I have bees. The brood box i put them in was new (never used) but 5-10 years old. There were 9 new frames with wax foundation and one that already had comb in it, bought on the recommendation of the guy who sold it to me. Now 2 weeks in, there are eggs in some of the existing comb and new comb on one of the new frames. Looks to me like the bees are setting up shop. My problem is that in most of the other new frames the wax foundation has melted and fallen down. Some were starting to sag at the top even before I put the bees in, I just thought that might be because they had been sitting for years.
I see i can order wax foundation and replace it pretty easily, but should I do that or get some other type of frames? The hive is in a warm place that gets direct morning sun until ~1:00 pm, not sure if the foundations melted from just heat or a combination of heat, age, whatever else. Do others have their boxes in the sun?Any advice here will be greatly appreciated.
 

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2 weeks ago I captured a swarm, and for the first time I have bees. The brood box i put them in was new (never used) but 5-10 years old. There were 9 new frames with wax foundation and one that already had comb in it, bought on the recommendation of the guy who sold it to me. Now 2 weeks in, there are eggs in some of the existing comb and new comb on one of the new frames. Looks to me like the bees are setting up shop. My problem is that in most of the other new frames the wax foundation has melted and fallen down. Some were starting to sag at the top even before I put the bees in, I just thought that might be because they had been sitting for years.
I see i can order wax foundation and replace it pretty easily, but should I do that or get some other type of frames? The hive is in a warm place that gets direct morning sun until ~1:00 pm, not sure if the foundations melted from just heat or a combination of heat, age, whatever else. Do others have their boxes in the sun?Any advice here will be greatly appreciated.
View attachment 63275
buy new foundation
 

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2 weeks ago I captured a swarm, and for the first time I have bees. The brood box i put them in was new (never used) but 5-10 years old. There were 9 new frames with wax foundation and one that already had comb in it, bought on the recommendation of the guy who sold it to me. Now 2 weeks in, there are eggs in some of the existing comb and new comb on one of the new frames. Looks to me like the bees are setting up shop. My problem is that in most of the other new frames the wax foundation has melted and fallen down. Some were starting to sag at the top even before I put the bees in, I just thought that might be because they had been sitting for years.
I see i can order wax foundation and replace it pretty easily, but should I do that or get some other type of frames? The hive is in a warm place that gets direct morning sun until ~1:00 pm, not sure if the foundations melted from just heat or a combination of heat, age, whatever else. Do others have their boxes in the sun?Any advice here will be greatly appreciated.
View attachment 63275
Cut the foundation into one-inch strips and attach with melted wax to the center of the top bar. The bees will draw it right if the hive is level.
 
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