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Author Topic: Easiest Frame Styles for Foundationless  (Read 10003 times)
winginit
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« on: July 07, 2012, 03:42:39 PM »

Hotter than a four-balled tomcat around here, so a good time to build frames in the cool basement. Unfortunately, I just realized that the box I ordered from Walter T. Kelley is a bit different. It doesn't have a slot where I can glue popsickle sticks. It has a little v shaped wedge on it (called their F-style frame, for Foundationless no doubt). I am not sure this will work as well as the sticks. The web site says to put some wax on it--I am probably not going to do that. I don't have the wax or the set up. I am more likely to find a way to put a slit in the top bar so I can glue in the popsickle sticks.

What is everyone else's experience?
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David McLeod
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2012, 03:56:42 PM »

I haven't handled kelley's f frames yet but if they are as described slap them together and put them in a box, no popsickle stick needed. If you want popsickle sticks order a grooved frame next time.
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beek1951
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2012, 04:54:36 PM »

The triangle is more durable and draws a better seal than the popsicle sticks.
I keep a crockpot full of beeswax in my shop and just brush a little on. I paint
tyhe whole triangle, I mean, a foundationless comb is what, over and inch thick.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2012, 06:22:39 PM by beek1951 » Logged
winginit
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2012, 05:03:48 PM »

I haven't handled kelley's f frames yet but if they are as described slap them together and put them in a box, no popsickle stick needed. If you want popsickle sticks order a grooved frame next time.

That's exactly what I'll do first. I just remember hearing someone say that this wasn't working for them.
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winginit
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2012, 05:07:12 PM »

The triangle is more durable and draws a better seal than the popsicle sticks.
I keep a crockpot full of beeswax in my shop and just brush a little on.

That is a great idea, Beek. Also gives me an excuse to buy a bigger crockpot for the kitchen.

Do you just draw a thin line on? If it isn't pencil thin, then I don't think I understand the point of the wax?
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Joe D
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2012, 01:14:23 AM »

Some say that the wax is to give the bees a waxed place to start.  Some say not to use the melted wax that it want hold a good as that the bees do from scratch.  I was using a small crock pot and a artist paint brush, now I just hot glue a paint stirring stick that has been cut half into long ways.  Good luck which ever you decide.  Here there seems to be a big demand for comb honey this year.  This didn't answer your question on the frame, I have a couple of different kinds of frames, but haven't tried those yet.



Joe
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AllenF
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2012, 06:13:03 PM »

My wife found me a 1 quart crockpot at a yardsale this spring that I have been using for melting wax.   Great find.   
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Beregondo
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2012, 01:23:55 AM »

I've used popsicle sticks in the past, but I think that using wedge top frames (not the kelley F frame, but the ones intended for foundation) with the cleat turned down and secured with two shots from a 1/4" staple gun is less hassle and much faster.
It works every bit as well as popsicle stick starters and is a little wider, if that matters to you.

The wedge on Kelley's F frame ought to work splendidly. Try it: if it doesn't work out, the worse thing that will happen is you'll have put some popsicle stick frames in instead, and it sounds like you're planning to do that already, so you've nothing to lose.

BTW, I have never waxed foundationless frames, and I've never had a problem with the bees drawing them out right away.
If it makes you feel better to do it, go for it...but who waxes the top of a hive cavity for the bees in a tree?
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Wolfer
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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2012, 10:16:35 PM »

 I've never used Kelleys F frames but I have several frames with a 3/4" triangle ( chamfer strip ) nailed to the top. I also have a lot of frames with Popsicle sticks,paint stir sticks, the wedge nailed sideways, small strips of no wire foundation and nothing at all. I also have wax foundation and plastic foundation. If placed between drawn frames the plastic takes the longest to start. All the others seem to be reasonably equal.

I crush and strain and I'll just pull out a few frames when their capped. The first frames done will always be foundation less. By the end of the season most of the foundationless will have been harvested several times while the plastic may not have been drawn. If I had the F frames I wouldn't hesitate to use them.
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winginit
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 10:51:41 PM »

Thank you all. I have used the wedge style as well- I just glue it but they never fit very well. I would be thrilled if the F style work because they are easiest... and I have a lot of them.

Here's to hope that the bees will cooperate.
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Nature Coast Beek
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« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2012, 12:29:00 PM »

Currently I'm just using a grooved style frame (available at all supply houses) with wood shims glued in the top groove. I just put them between two drawn frames and the bees do their thang. I've not bothered with anything else such as coating them in wax. So far, no problems and all the frames are taking nicely without issue. Tight frames...keep 'em tight, that's the biggest factor from what I've seen and read. Next batch of frames are on order and I'm going to be doing the 1.25" thing a la Michael Bush.

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Javin
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« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2012, 10:39:51 PM »

I'm going foundationless and here's what I've done:

I STARTED with twenty frames of foundation.  After those first twenty were drawn out, I took a couple frames of capped honey and crush extracted it.  I took the little wax that was left over, boiled it in water, and let it cool.  The thin sheet of wax left over, I then cut into about half-inch strips, and was able to put together another 10 frames with just a little half inch by 4 inch strip stuck into the tops of the dadant frames, anchored with nothing more than pressure.  The other two I'd pulled from just went back into the hive.  I then staggered the frames, putting the ones with strips between drawn comb (my hive ended up a mess between where brood and honey was stored, but the bees didn't seem to mind). 

After the bees drew those out, I shuffled the hive again, this time pulling out five frames, and crush straining those.  The ones the brood had mostly hatched out of, I moved to the top for them to put honey in, then staggered the dadant frames with the wax strips in them between those that were drawn out.

By the time I put my fifth hive body on (all mediums) I didn't have any foundation frames left. Everything was naturally drawn.  Now, my bees are about a mile from two different flower nurseries, so I think I've had an above-average experience for how quickly they were able to draw everything out, but I did start with foundation, and ended up foundationless in the same frames.

The ones you crush/strain from, I've left a small (VERY small) amount of comb around the rims to give them a guide, and they seemed to have no problem drawing out from there.  Once you have some drawn comb, they don't seem to be too picky as to how they want to draw things out from there. 

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adamhickman
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2012, 05:08:23 PM »

Some say that the wax is to give the bees a waxed place to start.  Some say not to use the melted wax that it want hold a good as that the bees do from scratch.  I was using a small crock pot and a artist paint brush, now I just hot glue a paint stirring stick that has been cut half into long ways.  Good luck which ever you decide.  Here there seems to be a big demand for comb honey this year.  This didn't answer your question on the frame, I have a couple of different kinds of frames, but haven't tried those yet.



Joe


I 2nd the paint stirring sticks. But to clarify, because I made the mistake, halve the paint stirrers lengthwise. If you don't reduce the size of the paint stirrer, the bees not build well on the space higher then the bottom edge of the stir stick. I also cut made the stir sticks go the entire length of the frame, and that worked well.
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marktrl
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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2012, 08:57:10 PM »

I use a wedge shaped top bar on my foundation less frames with no problems. I don't use any wax on them either.
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JPBEEGETTER
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2012, 04:35:06 PM »

Thank you all. I have used the wedge style as well- I just glue it but they never fit very well. I would be thrilled if the F style work because they are easiest... and I have a lot of them.

Here's to hope that the bees will cooperate.
[You don't have to melt the wax  just rub a stick on the v .        all you need to do../quote]
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JPBEEGETTER
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2012, 04:57:00 PM »

Go to outofabluesky, and watch McArtney Taylor make up foundationless top bar frames and you will see how I make mine, Top bar and Langs. works every time and is a lot easier than all the bull s** t that you have been going thru here....
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T Beek
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« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2012, 08:35:00 AM »

Kelly's wedge foundationless frames.  I buy them by the 100, have used them for at least 4, maybe 5 seasons now.  Sure beats gluing popcycle sticks into regular frames.
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JPBEEGETTER
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« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2012, 09:38:19 AM »

If you want to put wax on the wedges , you can take soldering iron and melt the wax off the tip onto the wedge. that is how I put on the popcicle sticks also. JPP
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T Beek
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« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2012, 09:46:02 AM »

I found that waxing the wedges (or sticks) did little so I stopped doing it. 

The primary requirement for foundationless is to have just "ONE" empty frame placed between drawn frames.  So if you have a 10 frame box you can alternate 5 empties and 5 drawn and the bees will make "mostly" straight comb on the empties.  Keep repeating until you've got as much comb as needed.
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