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Discussion Starter #1
I've been accumulating a mass of equipment for some time now and several months ago found frames by WTK that have a slot cut across the top to allow the user to drop in the foundation from the top. Is this groove a hiding place for SHB's? If s,o how could this problem be resolved? :scratch: Thanks in advance for your input!
Andy
 

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I have used them with no problems. The bees will fill the grooves with propolis in no time at all.
i've not used these frames, but that was my first thought. the bees will likely 'trap' the beetles in those grooves and propolize them in there. i've only assembled frames once, and putting the wax foundation in was the most aggravating part. slipping it in through a groove is a good idea.
 

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I'm sure you will be fine... You will have SHB regardless of whether you have slots on the tops.

My only concerns with the Kelley frames, were that I had a lot of splits. I switched to Mann Lake frames, but you might want to look at soaking your endbars in water. I've "heard" that it helps, but I've never tried it.
 

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I use the slotted N frames from Kelley, and like others have said, the slot gets filled in short order. Just make sure you get the right foundation to go with them.

I like them for the Pierco foundation or the prewired natural wax in the supers. With natural wax, you have to use the pins to hold it in place.
 

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I have used these frames for a couple of years now. The small hive beetles will be hiding or corned in the slot and I will run my hive tool down into the slot killing the beetles. I have not had any problems with the bees not being able to handle the beetles due to the slotted frames.

Robert
 

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I would still use them...but I no longer use that style, switched to sgx with plastic

The bees will propolize the gap in the top bar but the beetles and/or wax moths can borrow thru it creating tunnels and hiding spots. Normally its just a few frames, not really a big problem or anything.
 

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The problem I had with them was when I had to put new foundation in a used frame the end bars were a pain to clean out in order for the new foundation to slide in.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everybody for your perspective. That helps more than you know! I'll hang on to what I've got and ride this out. March is quickly approaching and I'm getting a bit anxious with the arrival of my new neighbors.
 

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Sharpbees, This is the clean out tool that Joseph mentioned...
http://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=91_29&products_id=59
I'd highly recommend having one. :)

Alpha11,
Are you using wax foundation? Up until now I've used wax foundation with WTK's N-Style frames and have been satisfied. I think most of the points have been covered...Yes, your bees will propolis a lot of the slits, yes some SHB's will use it as a hiding place. As someone mentioned, running your hive tool down the slit is a great opportunity during inspection to dispatch quite a few SHB's. :)
The reason I ask about your foundation choice is because it sounds like some are using wax with the N-Style frames. I haven't assembled yet, but bought some Pierco foundation just to give it a try. WTK, advised me to go with the SGX frames b/c the plastic wouldn't work with the N-style frames. However, it sounds like some are using it with them. :scratch:
 

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Joe,
I know but that's just more work to clean up the frames.
 

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I know but that's just more work to clean up the frames.
Sharp,
I've never used anything besides the N-style frames, so really don't have hands on experience with any other way, but when you say, "more work to clean up"...What's the option with less clean up?
To me, the slotted top seems like an easier option to clean and re-foundation then the traditional frames where you split off a piece of wood, install wax with hooks and have to reattach it. That method would require me to both remove that strip of wood, and reattach it. Running a metal tool down the slit in the N-style frames seems like an easier option to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
When I ordered these frames I wanted wax foundation and told the customer service rep and she told me what WF would work with the frames. Never thought much about using plastic. However I'll also be using foundation less frames as well. Prolly going to alternate in the second box but go all foundation in the bottom box. Hope this helps.
 

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The SGX frames work better with the Pierco, but you can get it to work with the N style. If you go foundationless, you can still use the slotted frames. Just glue popsicle sticks in the grooved slot and coat with wax.

Kelley it pretty good about only selling people what will work.
 

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When I ordered these frames I wanted wax foundation and told the customer service rep and she told me what WF would work with the frames. Never thought much about using plastic. However I'll also be using foundation less frames as well. Prolly going to alternate in the second box but go all foundation in the bottom box. Hope this helps.
Alpha,
Not sure if I'm misunderstanding you or not, but if you are saying that you are considering trying to do some foundationless by alternating it with foundation...My understanding is that WILL NOT WORK, and will make a huge mess. You need to alter your foundationless frames with frames that already have drawn comb, not just foundation, be it wax or plastic.

I haven't personally tried foundationless as of yet. While I think it has its merits, I think a new Beek has more than enough to learn without worrying about trying to keep comb straight. I plan on getting a few more years under my belt before giving that a try.
 

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Sharp,
I've never used anything besides the N-style frames, so really don't have hands on experience with any other way, but when you say, "more work to clean up"...What's the option with less clean up?
To me, the slotted top seems like an easier option to clean and re-foundation then the traditional frames where you split off a piece of wood, install wax with hooks and have to reattach it. That method would require me to both remove that strip of wood, and reattach it. Running a metal tool down the slit in the N-style frames seems like an easier option to me.
I have one of the scrapers but for me it's more of a pain scraping those slots than to pop off the wedge and put it back on.
 

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My only concerns with the Kelley frames, were that I had a lot of splits. I switched to Mann Lake frames, but you might want to look at soaking your endbars in water. I've "heard" that it helps, but I've never tried it.
When nailing by hand, if you will dull the point on the nail, it will greatly reduce splitting.....it's an old carpenter's trick, and it works!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Alpha,
Not sure if I'm misunderstanding you or not, but if you are saying that you are considering trying to do some foundationless by alternating it with foundation...My understanding is that WILL NOT WORK, and will make a huge mess. You need to alter your foundationless frames with frames that already have drawn comb, not just foundation, be it wax or plastic.
So having drawn comb comb is the key? If I were to start a hive body on foundation and then once that body is nearly drawn out could I move some frames of the first to the next body to be installed? And by then alternate just a few?
 
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