Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
693 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there a need to use support wire on foundation in the brood boxes? It's not like they will be going through an extractor; I can understand wiring foundation in the honey supers. It's a good practice for sure but is it necessary?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,188 Posts
Unwired wax can tend to sag and result in less than good combs and the combs are more fragile especially if handled in cold weather. Not necessary, but you get a better product if you do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,433 Posts
Cross wiring greatly strengthens the comb, and more important, will prevent the comb from bowing in the hive.

Wired foundation with vertical wires may be flat in the box when the wax is cool, but when it warms up, the wires "remember" that they were once wound on a core and the foundation curves. This is worst in slotted top bar frames, less in wedge type frames, but will give you endless fits. The curve can be bad enough that the bees won't draw the comb on the convex side, especially it if faces a frame with foundation bowing in the opposite direction.

I crosswire everything now. It's a pain, but the foundation stays flat and the frames are easier to handle. The bees tend to make less funky comb when the foundation is all flat, I've found. Still had a few problems with some foundationless frames, but that's a different issue.

I want my frames and comb strong, it's going to last quite a while so long as I'm keeping bees! Good comb can be used for quite a few years -- in the days before pesticide accumulations, brood comb was more or less a permanent fixture, just like boxes. Only got replaced if the frames fell apart or it got foul brood in it or something, otherwise it got used year after year.

Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,869 Posts
From my little knowledge, gained thru trial and error, Any brood frames I use foundation on in the future will be wired. 9 good ones arent worth the one sagger. G
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,404 Posts
From my little knowledge, gained thru trial and error, Any brood frames I use foundation on in the future will be wired. 9 good ones arent worth the one sagger. G
Here too. I've not had any problems with wired foundation, but in changing over to foundationless, they will be wired. I may use monofilament fishing line. I've got to read up on that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
693 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I guess it's pretty much all in favor of wiring so that's what I'll be doing. I've started with monel wire only because I have a large spool of it; it can be drawn very tight without any chance of breaking or stretching.

Thanks all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,433 Posts
Monel will work fine, but the traditional is carbon steel wire that is tin coated. The bees ignore it unless it is standing well proud of the surface of the comb.

Use the little brass inserts for the frame sides as well, otherwise it's easy to pull the wire completely through the end bars.

Yes, it's kind of a pain, but you should only need to do it once, you can remove all the comb and vertical wire and put new foundation in on the old cross wires.

Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,082 Posts
We were told it is OK to use bobby pins in place of wire in brood deep frame wax foundation. It certainly is easy, but I'll be interested to see if it messes up the comb where the pins are. It does not seem to be sagging so far. At some point I'll get the wire tools and start doing it right. At the moment we're using plastic foundation for medium honey frames, but I'd like to go wax for those and wire would be neater and stronger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,558 Posts
Phoebee, study post #4 about the vertical wires "memory" for returning to the curve of the roll it came from. This can vary from severe to none depending on the batch of foundation. The bobby pins may engage only the wax and not reach even the end vertical wires. Sometimes the bees chew out the comb all around the pins. Sometimes the bees draw the comb out and attach it quickly and this method turns out well. I tried it initially and regretted it. One warped foundation can mess up its neighbors by the domino effect. I have seen it occasionally recommended as OK thing to do but not may posters have said they regretted proper embedded cross wiring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,082 Posts
Yeah, Crofter, I wasn't recommending it. None of the frames we've done with bobby pins is fully drawn out yet, so it is still an experiment. But a number of people in our club use this on brood frames and don't report serious problems. They DO say it won't hold up for honey frames in an extractor.

We very much intend to get the wiring tools before doing any frames for next year. Our mentor is big on foundationless, and I we've watched what happens to the foundationless comb he allowed them to build with no wire present. Awfully delicate. He seems to have gone to at least wiring the frames.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,433 Posts
All you need for wiring is a pair of needle nosed pliers, the brass inserts, the wire, and some small nails. No need for anything fancy unless you are doing hundreds of frames.

The bobby pins are useless, the foundation moves all over the place when it warms up.

Peter
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top