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Author Topic: Falling foundation  (Read 526 times)
TheFroehleFamily
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Our family's excursion into Beekeeping


« on: May 11, 2013, 11:06:45 AM »

We are having a small problem with the foundations of our Langstroth hive. Shortly after installing the packaged bees, during our hive inspection, we discovered that that the bees had eaten the wax around the support pins, causing the foundation to fall from three of our frames. The foundation ended up at the looking like badly shelved books, leaning against the adjoining (and still hanging) foundation and our girls had already started pulling comb to connect them. Because we were just doing a check for the queen release, and the group was only two days out of the box, we decided to leave it so they didn't get too stressed by us trying to fix it right then, but we looking for some opinions about our plan to rectify the problem.

We have ordered wired foundation(original foundation is unwired), extra support pins & a queen excluder. We plan on setting up a new hive body, containing 10 frames of the new foundation, placing the new box on top of the old with the queen excluder between them. We plan on moving the queen to the new area and leaving the old comb in the lower box to be tended but not used for brood, other than what already inside it. After the 21 day cycle for those eggs our queen has laid in the lower box, we will cut and save as much comb from the lower box as we can & replacing the damaged foundation with the new.

Suggestions are always welcome & we are looking forward to hearing from you!
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2013, 11:20:14 AM »

wow.  first, a confession.  i am a lazy beekeeper.   grin

why not just cut out the mess and let them build their own comb.  put the foundation that is not sagged in between the empty frames.  if you want to, you can put a strip of foundation across the top of the empty frames as a guide.  then call it good . the bees will draw it all out.

do a search for "foundationless" and you'll get plenty of info.

one thing about wonky comb. the quicker you fix it, the less you lose and the less you disrupt.  i know you don't want to be in a new hive to much, but if the queen was still caged, that would have been the perfect time to fix the mess.

another thing to consider, and i don't remember where you are, but if you give the hive that much space, are you asking for problems like SHB? 

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Finski
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2013, 11:30:00 AM »

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If you melt wax and pour it to the neck of foundation and frame bar, it keeps foundation fixed.

.it is  quick when you make them first ready and as last job glue all with liquid wax.

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L Daxon
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2013, 01:17:19 PM »

Are you using the wedged or slotted tops?  If using the wedge, you are not tacking the wedge bar back in tight enough.
 
And instead of the expensive pins, try using bobbie pins. cheaper and longer.  Or do what Kathy said and go foundationless.  You will enjoy watching what they do all by themselves. But make sure you hive is level, especially side to side, as gravity influences how they draw the comb out (front to back not quite so important).

Linda D
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linda d
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2013, 01:39:48 PM »

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I have never seen pins. I use 2 wires in Langstroth and in medium.
When I started to use 2 wires, wax started to collapse from top bar.
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L Daxon
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2013, 04:46:53 PM »

Finski,

The pins (either metal or plastic) are about 1-1/12 inches long and fit in the holes on the sides of the frames where others might run wire through.  They are sold in all of our major catalogs but most experienced bkeepers consider them less than a "must have".  As I said a regular bobby pin would work as well, if you wanted to anchor the foundation to the sides to keep it straight.


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linda d
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2013, 05:17:52 PM »

I run all mediums and use wired wax foundation without hooks....I use the frames from Kelleys that the wax slips through a slot in the top bar.  I considered using the pins but instead decided to wire my frames, which in light of what you're saying, I guess was a good decision...because it seems to work quite well.

However, in the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you this....I build and paint my own boxes, Nucs, inner covers, solid bottom boards, SBB's, migratory covers, telescoping covers and assemble my own frames.  Wiring frames without a doubt is my least favorite part of the entire process.  It may be the ONLY part of beeing a Beek that I really don't enjoy.  It's not "terrible", it's just not much fun.  Sad

Quite a few people go plastic for that reason....Something I'm really not interested in doing.  Others go foundationless as Kathy mentioned, I may eventually end up there...or not, that's a decision that I'll make down the road at some point. Smiley
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iddee
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2013, 09:43:48 PM »

I use wedge top, slotted bottom frames and crimp wired foundation with hooks. I then cross wire with 2 wires. My foundation stays flat and secure. Never have a problem with it at any time.

Yes, it is more work in preparation, but I think much less work than redoing the boxes and frames, not to mention the wax, brood, honey, ETC. lost while redoing. That loss may well be the difference in them surviving the winter or not.


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Finski
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2013, 10:53:41 PM »

They are sold in all of our major catalogs but most experienced bkeepers consider them less than a "must have".  As I said a regular bobby pin would work as well, if you wanted to anchor the foundation to the sides to keep it straight.


i suppose that no one use those in Finland. Foundations are straight when we wire the frames.

Important is that ther is a 10 mm gap at the bottom of of foudation. When it expands in the heat, a sheet makes a curve  if gap is too small.
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