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Author Topic: Homemade foundation sheets  (Read 3629 times)
Rex "Hawk" Smith
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« on: January 19, 2012, 12:32:39 AM »

I came across this YouTube video today from the (Hawaiian) Organic Beeswax Foundation project.  

Does anyone here on BeeMaster make their own foundation sheets?  If so - do you use a similar method as shown in the video?

Part 3- Dipping Boards to Make Sheets: Volcano Island Honey Co.- Making Organic Wax Foundation


Thanks,
Rex "Hawk" S.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 01:52:13 PM by Robo » Logged

CapnChkn
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2012, 10:33:46 AM »

Hawk, you cant embed an Iframe into the BBCode.  What you want to do is to input the actual URL into the body of the post.

In other words, you want to post the Internet Address without quotes or anything.  The URL:
Code:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVXhAI5uejA&context=C3690bdbADOEgsToPDskLpvDRCaCuK_95jD_6A6J4u
produces this effect.

treedeers.flv


As for the Foundation, there've been posts concerning pressing foundation.  The machinery costs a few bucks though.  I actually use the same process to create wax strips without the press.  I've tried the popsicle sticks, wedges turned sideways, and bare frames without the results I actually want.  A strip of wax the length of the frame, 3 dips thick, and an inch wide seems to have them building the comb the "right" way.

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Rex "Hawk" Smith
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2012, 11:02:46 AM »

Thanks for the heads up on the embedding.  As soon as I had posted it - I saw that something went awry.   rolleyes

Yes - I'm not really wanting to do the embossing / imprinting of the foundation - as I'd rather the bees just produce what they are going to produce as far as cell size.. but was curious as to the making of blank sheets - or even cutting those into small, thin starter strips to place/melt to the wooden wedge strips in my frames.  I've seen some folks say it's not worth the extra effort as long as there is a point for them to use as a guide... and others swear by adding the wax .  I'll most likely try both just to see which I prefer. 

I suppose I don't need a big tank setup like they had in the video if I decide to make starter strips (my wood strips are already glued into my frames) - just a shallow tub deep enough to keep warm...  But then again - I may be over-complicating things just for the romantic notion of "making my own" and - simply rubbing some wax on the wood strips may suffice.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2012, 11:04:40 PM »

Blank sheets will slow them down compared to no sheets.  Foundationless gets drawn faster than embossed foundation and even faster than blank foundation.  It is a lot of work for them to soften up the wax to work it.  No need for starter strips if you use wood strips instead they will last longer and work just as well.
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Michael Bush
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Rex "Hawk" Smith
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2012, 09:45:09 AM »

Thanks for the info Michael!!  I believe that I'll just leave my wood-strips as-is, then.   (And Thanks Robo for fixing my post!)

Now it's time to go find some oil-based "oops paint" from Lowes or Home Depot to paint my hive boxes & swarm traps this weekend.  We're lucky enough to be expecting temps in the 70's this weekend!


Blank sheets will slow them down compared to no sheets.  Foundationless gets drawn faster than embossed foundation and even faster than blank foundation.  It is a lot of work for them to soften up the wax to work it.  No need for starter strips if you use wood strips instead they will last longer and work just as well.
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CapnChkn
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2012, 06:25:54 AM »

Quote
No need for starter strips if you use wood strips instead they will last longer and work just as well.

Michael, I've done it with the wax strips,

and have been doing it with the wedges in the commercial frames turned sideways and planed to an edge.  There're also some frames with paint sticks, some scrap bits ripped off lumber, and so on I didn't make.  All centered lengthwise in the frames.


The wax strips produced nice straight comb, and whatever went awry I trimmed and pushed into place letting the bees fix it.  I only had to fix one wonky comb by cutting a 45° angle section out.  The wood edges, on the other hand, had comb set perpendicular, all odd places, and this between frames of drawn comb.

The only variable I can think of is the time of year.  The wax went on in the spring and early summer.  The wooden strips later when we were going through a dearth.  So far I favor the wax strips, but will be continuing the wood because I'm pretty much out of the wax.  We'll see...
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2012, 07:15:20 AM »

>The only variable I can think of is the time of year.

That has more to do with how things get drawn than anything.
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Michael Bush
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Jim 134
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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2012, 08:06:18 AM »

Quote
No need for starter strips if you use wood strips instead they will last longer and work just as well.



 This as what works the best for me and my bees KISS


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley


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CapnChkn
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2012, 04:57:24 AM »

Quote
This as what works the best for me and my bees KISS
I love you too Jim!
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Jim 134
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2012, 06:44:27 AM »

Quote
This as what works the best for me and my bees KISS
I love you too Jim!

And I like you

   The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complex, therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
Rex "Hawk" Smith
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2012, 08:21:44 PM »

Just wanted to give a quick update.  My hive *had* consisted of a 10-frame deep and a shallow super.  3 weeks ago, I added a deep, and checkerboarded my frames - adding 5 foundation-less frames to each box, and spreading the brood through the 2 boxes... and added a medium (with foundation-less frames as well) above the deep brood chambers, but below the stored honey in the shallow super.

I'm amazed at how fast the ladies are drawing out comb!  In the top deep box, only one of the frames is lacking comb... and 3 of the new frames have fully drawn frames of comb.  ( looks like one of them is about 80% drone comb, though)
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2012, 02:31:37 AM »

It's odd to me that no one in the scientific community since Huber seems to take the process of building comb into account.  The way bees build comb is they hang in festoons and they build two sides of a comb that are exactly lined up on one another, where the walls on one side make the angles of the bottom on the opposite side.  These are paper thin and precise.  This requires communication.  With foundation they determination of where they will be is the embossing, but they bees don't get to communicate as they usually do, they just have to accept it, which they will eventually.  With a blank sheet they have no guidance and have to figure out with the two halves of the team separated by a wall of wax.  They build comb much faster when they can do it their way while communicating between the two sides.  Huber has much detail on this process and it's quite fascinating.  It's in volume two of his work, which unfortunately is not usually in current editions of his work.
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Michael Bush
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SerenityApiaries
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2012, 03:43:11 AM »

I am no expert but have heard that in honey production, using foundation is the best way when using a honey extractor because it keeps the comb sturdy in the frame. Going foundation-less can cause the comb to break apart in an extractor and that selling comb honey is best when using no foundation. What is your experience with this? I'm willing to experiment but love feed back on what others have already told me.

Khalen
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Rex "Hawk" Smith
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2012, 12:25:36 PM »

That, too is a concern of mine. 

I'm deliberating as to whether to wire my honey supers (which I'm not adverse to doing), or sticking with foundation for my honey supers only.  I've bought an 8-frame honey extractor (shallows & mediums - 4 frame if deeps) and want to make best use of it - while providing an optimal environment for the bees.

Since I'm definitely "Hobby/small" production - I might be able to wrap each frame to extract with a few rounds of string or rubber band or some such to keep the comb in place whilst spinning.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2012, 07:03:36 PM »

That, too is a concern of mine. 

I'm deliberating as to whether to wire my honey supers (which I'm not adverse to doing), or sticking with foundation for my honey supers only.  I've bought an 8-frame honey extractor (shallows & mediums - 4 frame if deeps) and want to make best use of it - while providing an optimal environment for the bees.

Since I'm definitely "Hobby/small" production - I might be able to wrap each frame to extract with a few rounds of string or rubber band or some such to keep the comb in place whilst spinning.


    Why not Huh


     BEE HAPPY Jim 134 Smiley
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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/
Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2012, 12:20:44 AM »

>I am no expert but have heard that in honey production, using foundation is the best way when using a honey extractor because it keeps the comb sturdy in the frame.

What keeps the comb sturdy is that it's drawn and aged enough to get tough, which has no bearing on foundation or foundationless.

> Going foundation-less can cause the comb to break apart in an extractor and that selling comb honey is best when using no foundation. What is your experience with this?

I extract them all the time.
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm#extract

>I'm willing to experiment but love feed back on what others have already told me.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Joe D
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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2012, 01:04:27 AM »


I am fairly new, got 3 hives from an estate in dec, woodware in bad shape.  A month ago I change the 1 brood box per hive and added a second brood box. They had 9 frames,
I took out 1 frame from side and added 1 foundationless frame to each side.  Put the drawn frame in the middle of 2nd brood box.  Oh, I used paint stirring sticks cut in half,hot glued in with 3 or 4 drops of glue.  Checked first of this week all had frame in 1st box done, strongest hive has finished building comb in 5 frames of 2nd brood box, next strong hive has several done week hive has 4 started from bottom of frame.  What is neat is to check bees and see 10 frames of festoon, bees hanging from top to bottom of frame, and side to side.

Joe
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« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2012, 02:29:59 AM »

Thanks for the info Michael.
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