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Author Topic: foundationless and popsicle sticks  (Read 1307 times)

Offline patook

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foundationless and popsicle sticks
« on: May 21, 2009, 01:36:19 AM »
Hello, I am going to try foundation-less using glued popsicle sticks in grooves  of the top bar of my frames. I have a couple questions.

First, the popsicle sticks only protrude about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch if I seat them all that way in the groove. Is this enough?

Second, do you rub a little wax on the protruding sticks?

Thanks for the help

Offline Cheryl

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Re: foundationless and popsicle sticks
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2009, 01:49:16 AM »
I think it's better if they protrude more. And a lot of beeks paint the guides with molten wax on both sides of the strip.
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Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: foundationless and popsicle sticks
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2009, 02:10:37 AM »
It doesn't take much of a bump or ridge for the bees to use it as a guide, the important thing is that if you don't give them a guide they'll create their own and that's usually one side of the top bar or the other.
I don't wax the guides as it prevents the bees from securing the wax they make to the frames and the combs will collapse under their own weight and fall out of the frames.
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Offline charles

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Re: foundationless and popsicle sticks
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2009, 08:19:02 AM »
I have short popsicle sticks (abt. 5") that I put in two at a time with about an inch overlap in the middle. The overlap provides enough width that they wedge themselves in the groove, so I don't have to use glue. I don't put wax on them. The bees use them pretty well. I've only had to straighten cross-combing on a couple frames. They stick out about 1/6 inch.
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Offline WayneW

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Re: foundationless and popsicle sticks
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2009, 10:04:00 AM »
I didnt care much for the popcicle sticks either. Not enough showing.

What i did was to buy some foundation and cut it into aprox. 1" strips that i used for starter. The bees seem to like it, they are drawing them out VERY fast. Combs are a bit "shakey" until they attach to the bottom bars, but the hold on top is solid, just be careful tipping the frames during inspections on hot days, they tend to droop until fastened to the bottom bars.
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Offline bassman1977

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Re: foundationless and popsicle sticks
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2009, 03:05:09 PM »
Popsicle sticks didn't work for me.  I went to the fat tongue depressors.  Same length as the popsicle stick but about twice as wide.  The bees work them great.  I think they are called craft sticks if you buy a box of 5000 at a place like Wal-Mart.  They are dirt cheap too.
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Offline HomeBru

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Re: foundationless and popsicle sticks
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2009, 03:20:20 PM »
Since we made our own woodenware, we ripped the scrap 3/4" pine into strips that just squeeze into the groove on the top bars. That left about 3/8" showing and the bees are doing a bang-up job following the line.

Offline Natalie

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Re: foundationless and popsicle sticks
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2009, 06:01:31 PM »
I did not use popsicle sticks, I had the bars made with a triangle guide but I did not use any wax on mine and the bees built them out fine.
I have heard that some people prefer paint stirrers over popsicle sticks.

Offline bassman1977

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Re: foundationless and popsicle sticks
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2009, 06:04:59 PM »
I did not use popsicle sticks, I had the bars made with a triangle guide but I did not use any wax on mine and the bees built them out fine.
I have heard that some people prefer paint stirrers over popsicle sticks.


I have no doubt that paint stirrers would work great.  Same concept.
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Offline tlynn

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Re: foundationless and popsicle sticks
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2009, 01:52:07 AM »
Mine are building fine using the wedge strip.  I did glue them in place with a little wax run into the bottom, but I didn't coat the wood.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: foundationless and popsicle sticks
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2009, 11:48:27 PM »
I think the tongue depressors are a better width, I suppose.  But anything protruding 1/8" or more seems to work fine.  The wax is not only not necessary, but as Brian pointed out, will not be attached as well as the bees will attach it.
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