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Author Topic: frames  (Read 1751 times)
johnnie
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« on: February 18, 2011, 03:44:29 AM »

this may be a dumb Question but why is the bottom 2/3 of the frame tapered.And why cant they just be straight or tapered like a triangle
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BlueBee
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« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2011, 09:44:28 AM »

Not a dumb question.  At the turn of the century (1900), Bee Keepers like Danzenbaker and Quinby experimented with “closed frames” in which there is no gap as you speak of.  Some argued that having no gaps between frames allowed the bees to retain their heat more for better wintering.  However most were concerned that closed frames would end up squishing too many bees and the frames would end up getting propolized together.  Uncapping a closed frame design would seem more difficult too. 

The current end bar frames design (Hoffman style) avoids the problems of the squishing bees, uncapping, and propolis while providing an easy way to space your frames properly (by sliding them together).

A triangle design might work but it seems like the frames might be a bit wobbly in the box.  I’m making some homemade foundationless frames this winter to play with this summer.  I’m simply cutting all pieces to the same width for the top, bottom, left, and right and then gluing on little spacer boards on the end bars to make them into pseudo Hoffman end bars.   Those little glued on boards give me the spacing between frames I want.  It’s probably a dumb idea for me to make frames myself, but I like to try a little of everything at least once.  I’m logging how much time it takes just for fun!
 
Discussion on closed vs open frames Google books, circa 1907

http://books.google.com/books?id=6QlDAAAAYAAJ&dq=facts%20about%20bees&pg=PA7#v=onepage&q&f=false
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BlueBee
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« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2011, 10:52:00 AM »

Here’s a photo of a couple of my homemade half frames with pseudo Hoffman end bars. 

I wasn’t going to wire originally but Robo’s arguments in favor of wiring made too much sense to me.  So I will be wiring these.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us
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Robo
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« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2011, 11:05:34 AM »

1/4" staples also work well for frame spacing.  Less area for the bees to propolize and less issues with excess propolis screwing with frame spacing.

http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/double-deep-frames/
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BlueBee
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« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2011, 11:22:09 AM »

Robo, you’ve got lots of good ideas!

I like the staple idea for spacing, but how do you control the depth of the staples?  Are you hammering these in by hand, or somehow with an air stapler?  I'm guessing by hand.

Another advantage to your staple approach would be the ability to eaasily modify your frame spacing if you want to experiment with that too.  I like it.
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« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2011, 12:02:09 PM »

Ya, they where by hand and used a drill bit as a spacer to get consistent depths.   I haven't made any more frames since then,  but I do use standard push pins to provide bee space on my slide in slatted racks.   The push pins are much easier.
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windfall
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« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2011, 03:49:59 PM »

Robo,
I saw those pics of your double deep frames a while back. I liked the simplicity, and the reduced contact area. I couldn't tell how you were attaching side bars to top bar. Is it just vertical nails and glue or do you have some joinery/metal in there? How has that style of construction held up for you...it would seem mighty week to pullout...if just nail in end grain and butt glued.
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Countryboy
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2011, 10:14:49 PM »

this may be a dumb Question but why is the bottom 2/3 of the frame tapered.

That recess is known as a beeway.  When the frames are in a box and the frame rests touching, the beeway allows the bees to climb around the end of the frame, rather than having to climb to the top or bottom of the comb.

Different frame sizes have different size beeways.  Different frame manufacturers cut different size beeways - I've seen some medium frames with a one inch beeway at the bottom of the frame.

Some of the European hives use frames that don't have beeways at all.

And why cant they just be straight or tapered like a triangle

They can be straight, such as some of the frames in European hives.  Tapering them like a triangle would make it harder to maintain beespace.
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Robo
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2011, 07:50:21 AM »

Robo,
I saw those pics of your double deep frames a while back. I liked the simplicity, and the reduced contact area. I couldn't tell how you were attaching side bars to top bar. Is it just vertical nails and glue or do you have some joinery/metal in there? How has that style of construction held up for you...it would seem mighty week to pullout...if just nail in end grain and butt glued.

There is a slight dado that the side bars fit into, but I did have the same concerns when I built them.  I did not have any problem with them, but that is not to say that the joint is not the weak spot.   They where in a polystyrene hive, so there was minimal to none brace comb between the hive body and the comb.  I was also very careful to slide the frames sideways before pulling them up.
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kbenz
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2011, 08:17:31 PM »

I like the staple idea for spacing, but how do you control the depth of the staples?  Are you hammering these in by hand, or somehow with an air stapler?  I'm guessing by hand.

I used a hand staple gun with 1/2 staples. put zip ties around the staple gun to space it away from the frame some. worked quite well
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BlueBee
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2011, 09:15:28 PM »

Thanks for the tip kbenz!

I’ve been building up more foundationless frames, and am just about to the point of dealing with the spacing again.  I like Robo’s staple spacing idea, but I sure didn’t like the thought of hammering all those staples in by hand.  I’ll give your stapler method a try.
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Robo
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2011, 09:53:17 PM »

Go with the push pins.  Doesn't get any easier than that.
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kbenz
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2011, 09:56:25 PM »

this was quite simple and cheap
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BlueBee
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2011, 10:27:22 PM »

Robo, I’m going to sound like an idiot for asking this, but aren’t push pins ½” long?  Isn’t that more bee space than I want between frames?  Do they make push pins in 3/8”?

Late edit, I guess we’re only talking about an extra 1/8” here, not much and the bees will certainly extend the comb.  However I still wonder if you can buy 3/8” push pins for brood frames?
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Robo
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2011, 07:32:38 AM »

yes,  but you can easily compensate for that by making your end bars 7/8.
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"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


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