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Author Topic: Foundationless/Starter Strips  (Read 4172 times)
PeskySquirrel
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« on: June 27, 2008, 11:08:45 PM »

Sorry if this topic has been beaten to death (I did do a "search" before posting), but I have two questions about starter strips: 1) has anyone seen pictures of a "typical" set-up? I haven't seen pictures of a starter strip set-up (prior to being built up by the bees). I've read the descriptions of how to use starter strips, but a picture or two sure would be helpful; 2) according to Mr. Bush (the bee guru, not the commander in chief), you can use an extractor on foundationless frames, but are most people using crush and strain or cut comb to process their foundationless honey supers vs extracting?
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annette
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2008, 11:14:26 PM »

I do not have a photo, sorry. I am using the foundationless starter strips with great success. I do not plan on using an extractor because I just do not think they would hold up in the extractor. Now if the comb is built out on all four sides and attached, then as more experienced beekeepers here say, they would hold up.

I plan on doing just crush and strain. If I find a nice thick frame, well then perhaps comb honey.

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Flygirl
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« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2008, 12:05:39 AM »

Hi Annette ~

I think Linda (beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com) has pictures of this on her blog.  I went there to look at her pictures of how she set-up the frames & starter strips.  She also talked about the wax tip thing to drizzle the melted wax into the groove to hold the strip in place.  If you do a search on her site it should come-up.

FG
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Robo
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2008, 07:24:08 AM »

Here are some before and after pics




You need at least 3 sides of the comb attached to the frame, which can be a real challenge at times, before attempting to use an extractor.  pre-wiring the frames really really helps if your gonna extract.
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randydrivesabus
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2008, 08:28:19 AM »

i find that the edges on the sides and bottom of the comb aren't always attached so that when you pull the frame to inspect you have to be real careful if you hold it flat because gravity will bend your comb and maybe break it off the frame. how do i know this?  Lips Sealed
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2008, 09:32:47 AM »

i find that the edges on the sides and bottom of the comb aren't always attached so that when you pull the frame to inspect you have to be real careful if you hold it flat because gravity will bend your comb and maybe break it off the frame. how do i know this?  Lips Sealed

DOAH!   Now you tell me Wink   That is exactly why I wire all my frames.  I know there is those that say it is not needed and a waste of time,  but I haven't broke a comb since.
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annette
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2008, 11:26:19 PM »

It is true. I am using just the foundationless frames now and when doing inspections sometimes I do not remember that I cannot just flip the frame over to check the other side. Boy oh boy do those frames start to swing out. Especially here it is so hot now. Have to be careful or else.

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Ross
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2008, 11:42:09 PM »

I extracted 40 gallons a couple of weeks ago, all foundationless and I've never wired anything.  My frames look like the center one here.....
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2008, 10:12:50 PM »

Green (new) comb will bend so handling of comb without supports like foundationless requires inspecting at eye level and by turning the frame, easy once you do it a few times.
Once the comb is attached at the top and both ends some ripping can happen even with green comb.  Once it's attached on all 4 sides inspect like regular frames with foundation.
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annette
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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2008, 12:42:34 AM »

Hi Annette ~

I think Linda (beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com) has pictures of this on her blog.  I went there to look at her pictures of how she set-up the frames & starter strips.  She also talked about the wax tip thing to drizzle the melted wax into the groove to hold the strip in place.  If you do a search on her site it should come-up.

FG

Yes, this is where I learned how to do the starter strips. I even have that wax tube fastener that Linda bought from dadant. It works like a charm.
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annette
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« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2008, 12:44:08 AM »

I extracted 40 gallons a couple of weeks ago, all foundationless and I've never wired anything.  My frames look like the center one here.....



Nice Ross and a wonderful photo of the frames you are using.
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Ross
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« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2008, 09:30:12 AM »

The safe way to produce them is with a simple sled on the table saw.....


The blade is buried in the cut and never exposed. 

Cut one side then break out the wedge.
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Frantz
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« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2008, 09:31:41 PM »

Very nice photos Ross, thank you very much. It always helps to have a quick visual. Much appreciated.
Frantz
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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2008, 04:05:26 PM »

Ross, you just break off the wedge and the bees draw from the remaining protruding piece of top bar?  If this is a correct assumption, I may stop using starter strips.  Seems as though the comb would be stronger if just attached directly to the frame. 

As for the wax tube, not having luck with it.  It was tricky at first, used it once.  Pulled it back out the other night and the tube has already become detached from the handle.  So, I just melted the wax in the microwave in a disposable storage container, tilted the frame and poured a little wax on edge of strip and the wax just rolled down the top bar easily.  I may have used more wax this way, but much easier to do for me.

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PeskySquirrel
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« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2008, 05:18:38 PM »

Thanks everyone for responding. This is awesome information.

So my next question is: Is anyone using foundationless/starter strips in the brood chamber deeps (for natural cell size and better mite control), but using "normal" (wax or plastic) foundation for the supers? My thinking is that going natural in the brood chamber helps with pests and diseases, but using wax or plastic for the supers makes for more durable extracting. Not sure if the bees would go for it, but it seems like a good idea. Anyone care to comment on that idea?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2008, 10:06:11 PM »

Thanks everyone for responding. This is awesome information.

So my next question is: Is anyone using foundationless/starter strips in the brood chamber deeps (for natural cell size and better mite control), but using "normal" (wax or plastic) foundation for the supers? My thinking is that going natural in the brood chamber helps with pests and diseases, but using wax or plastic for the supers makes for more durable extracting. Not sure if the bees would go for it, but it seems like a good idea. Anyone care to comment on that idea?

Either works anyplace you put it.  Just keep like with like, starter strips with starter strips and foundation with foundation.  I use foundationless (wood or wax strips) throughout, brood chamber and honey supers.  Once the comb is at least 3 weeks old abd attached on at least 3 sides it can be extracted in a extractor.  Radial is best, the basket style will blow out wired frames if not ramped up and down in speed properly.
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Ross
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« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2008, 10:30:04 AM »

Yep, bevel cut one side of the frame, break out the wedge and assemble.  The bees attach directly to the wood without any problem.  And yes, I do think you get less collapsed comb this way.  The only other thing you might do is a bottom popcicle stick.  It sometimes encourages them to attach to the bottom.
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Frantz
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« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2008, 10:59:15 AM »

I use popsicle sticks in the top, never thought about the bottom. It encourages them to attach to the bottom, eh?? Better try that.
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marliah
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« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2008, 11:52:29 AM »

I use popsicle sticks in the top, never thought about the bottom. It encourages them to attach to the bottom, eh?? Better try that.


thats what I do too. and so far they have securely attached all the combs to the sides and bottom of the frame.
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derrick1p1
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« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2008, 02:37:55 PM »

Just bought popcicle sticks on my lunch break today.  I'll be assembling some mediums and frames this evening to put on the hives tomorrow.  I plan to mix with capped frames to encourage them to draw straight.  Wish me luck.
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