>Brian, I keep forgetting to ask the point about strips.
The bees need something to start on. If you want natural comb, you let them build what they want.
>how is the strip of foundation kept in place in the frame?
You can nail it with the wedge (as with full sheets of foundation) or wax it in with a wax tube fastener (my preference if I use strips)
> The frames I get have the groove in the top and bottom bar.
The wax tube fastener will be the easiest. It's the easiest for full sheets as well.http://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=231http://go.netgrab.com/secure/kelleystore/asp/product.asp?product=102
Look at item number 165
>Is slipping the foundation strip into the top groove enough to hold it in place?
>Do you have a picture of what the frame's foundation looks like once the bees have regressed the size of the comb from the standard size on the strip.
Here's a start:http://www.bushfarms.com/images/PrimaryCombOnBlankStarterStrip.JPG
It was a plain (unembossed) strip made by dipping a wet board in beeswax, but the strips of foundation work the same way.
>If you use starter strips, what supports the comb as only one side would be attached? Particularly if you use an extractor.
Actually I usually use a triangular top bar, but the end results is the same. The bees will eventually attach it all the way around. Here's a foundationless frame, drawn and ready to extract:http://www.bushfarms.com/images/FoundationlessDrawn.JPG
>You can place wires in the frame and the bees will build the comb around them.
I've never bothered with the wires, but you could.
>had thought of the melted wax, but wondered if it would work.
Not only does it work but it works MUCH better and easier than nailing a wedge.
>i'm thinking i can get by without extra support of wires?
As long as you don't turn combs sidways and you're gentle with them until they are attached a little on all four sides and the wax has matured a bit so it's not soft like putty.
> also, if i were to do it on deeps do you think you'd have to use wires if the deeps were on used for brood.
Actually you don't have to. Charles Martin Simon never does.
> i'm worried about sagging or melting in heat.
Even with foundation it will do that.
>as i said, my goal is good wax. i only intend to do this with one hive. good wax is worth more than honey!!
Actually you can't make very much money raising wax. Better to raise honey, sell it, and BUY the wax.
> but you don't get so much