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Author Topic: Wax fastener panic attack!  (Read 3953 times)
tillie
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« on: March 12, 2007, 03:01:29 PM »

My bees are here - two new nucs - and I have to pick them up tonight.  My hives are ready but I haven't fastened the starter strips in the frames because my wax tube fastener isn't here yet.

I have a garage sale double boiler and beeswax from last year to melt in it, but not a tube fastener.  Any creative ideas for ways to get the wax into the groove to hold the starter strips?

I've thought perhaps a spoon, a drinking straw with my finger over the top like a pipette, a metal wire to drip from......

All ideas welcome as I panic over this.

Linda T excited about new bees but panicked over starter strips!
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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2007, 03:13:48 PM »

Spoon or straw should work fine in a pinch.

I've used a spoon to construct TBH bars as shown here.
http://bwrangler.farvista.net/tmyt.htm

Not the most eligent solution but does work.
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tillie
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« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2007, 03:51:59 PM »

Thanks, Robo - maybe I can do it!  I'll post pictures of the mess I make.....

LT somewhat relieved in Atlanta
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2007, 09:00:02 PM »

I used a metal meat injector that you find in the bbq section at the grocery store or walmart with the grilling stuff. It dose a nice neat job and easy. Don't touch the wax starters until they have cooled or they will rip apart.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2007, 09:28:20 PM »

>Any creative ideas for ways to get the wax into the groove to hold the starter strips?

An old spoon bent to have more of a spout will work. Not as conveniently of course.
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Michael Bush
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tillie
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2007, 12:30:54 AM »

Thank you everyone for the suggestions.  I got word at work today that my bees were in and that I needed to pick them up tonight.  Well, I teach at Emory on Monday nights and wasn't through until 9 - then I drove 30 min south to get the bees, so by the time I got home it was almost 10:30.  I put the nucs on the deck where the hives are and came in to do the starter strips.

I had the empty frames and the small cell foundation.  So first I cut the foundation into strips.  It helps to be a quilter - I used my cutting board and a rotary cutter:



Then I melted the beeswax from last year in a junk double boiler - now that I'm done I understand why it has to be a junk double boiler - always from hence forth used for wax. 

I appreciate everybody's suggestions about how to substitute for the wax fastener.  I thought about the meat injection thing - which I don't have - so I got out my turkey baster but decided it was too big and inaccurate.  Then I got a spoon to try Michael's idea about bending it but I only had a set of pliers and I needed a vise, I guess, to bend it.  I walked past the place where my baby grandson was playing the other day and there was a tiny bread pan he had used (one that I bake bread in at Christmas for small gifts) and went AH HA!!!  So that's what I used:





It worked GREAT!  I probably used more wax than I needed to but I poured a tiny line of wax into the groove and then set the cut SC starter strip in it and YAY - it worked:





So I have 12 frames ready to go - six for each hive to go on either side of the four frames from the nucs.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everybody who always helps me on this forum - what a gift!

Linda T on a late bee night in Atlanta  shocked
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2007, 01:30:03 AM »

tillie,

Great pictures. It is nice to know you got your nucs. I wish you best of luck with the upcoming season.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2007, 07:07:57 AM »

I guess the pan has the spout right.  Smiley  I wouldn't have thought of it because I was thinking of something to hold a small amount of wax.  Looks like it worked well.

As long as you keep the package fed you can keep them for a few days in a cool dark place like the basement if you aren't ready to install them yet.
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Michael Bush
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tillie
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2007, 07:12:45 AM »

I'm sure with the pan I wasted some wax - but I tried every time to get about a tablespoon which would run the length of the groove.  It was fun!  Somebody has already asked on my blog why I used just strips - that a nuc will need more help than that, but I'm a believer, Michael, and I'm excited about giving them small cell this way.

Linda T, happy for bee season to start in Atlanta Wink
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2007, 03:27:30 PM »

tillie, like someone said before, what a lovely set of pics! and very educational, at least for me!
now, this is a package, which means bees without frames, so are you gonna put only starter strip frames in, or do you have some already built frames? if not, tell us, or better, post pics of how bees built the frames-if they did it completely verticaly or went a bit to the left/right Smiley

best wishes with your bees
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tillie
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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2007, 04:25:33 PM »

Hi Mici,

I have nucs - which means I got four frames of bees and brood with a queen for each hive.  I put those four built out frames into the center of each hive. 

On either side of center are these frames (pictured above) that have only a strip of small cell foundation as a starting point for the bees. 

I just installed them today - I'll post pictures on my blog tonight - so the girls will not have drawn out anything from the starter strips for a while.  As I put the nuc frames into the hive (the bees arrived at my house at 10:30 last night) a number of the girls on the frames had pollen on their legs - so they had already started foraging from the nuc!

Linda T in Hotlanta
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Mici
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2007, 04:39:34 PM »

ouuuu, darn my bad. don't know where i got the idea you got package bees huh
anyway, thanks!
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TwT
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2007, 07:16:42 AM »

thats one reason I like wedge frames instead of grooved !!!
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« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2007, 09:32:35 AM »

Linda, good going, your account of your trials and the tribulations was fascinating.  You did it, you should be proud, your bees will be grateful to you too.  Have the best day and good luck with your new start in the bee's world, things will be well.  Best of the days, Cindi.
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Eve Sylvia
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« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2007, 01:57:43 PM »

If you don't have too many, just chew up some honey comb and use the gum.
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« Reply #15 on: March 31, 2007, 09:45:08 AM »

Eve, ha!!!  Now isn't that the most simplest of ideas that I have ever heard.  Why not, I love to chew on the honeycomb and yes, the wax is so pliable.  Wonder what it would be like if a little propolis was chewed in it too (LOL).  Rather sticky I would think.  Have the best of the great day!!!  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2007, 03:40:09 PM »

This thread answered a lot of questions I had developing about getting starter strips, etc.  Thanks Linda.  Gonna put on my thinking cap and come up with a plan to switch over to natural cell as well as converting to 8-frame medium boxes.

(Hard to think to taking a loss on all the equipment I've invested in already.  I have 20+ shallows - I only want 2 - 4 hives at the most.  Wonder if I could do a medium/shallow set up.  Is it possible to cut down 10-frame equipment to 8-frame?  Would still have the disadvantage of different sized equipment. . . . hmmmm)
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Lauren, aka BeeLady
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2007, 05:11:07 PM »

>Is it possible to cut down 10-frame equipment to 8-frame?

I cut all my deeps down to mediums.  All my ten frames to eight frames.  All my deep frames to mediums.  Added to all my shallow boxes to make mediums.  I wish I could figure out how to add on to a shallow frame to make it a medium...

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeseightframemedium.htm
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Michael Bush
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2007, 01:51:29 AM »

>I have 20+ shallows - I only want 2 - 4 hives at the most. 

With 4 hives that 5-6 boxes per hive. You'll find that you might not have enough.  I plan for 8 mediums per hive--4 or 5 for brood production and the remainder for honey harvest. 

The advantages of having everything interchangeable should be obvious.  When consolidating at harvest time, putting a medium frame of brood into a deep can cause problems, the other way around is impossible.  Uniformity is serendipity.   
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