How do you attach your foundation sheets to the top bar of the frame?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by efmesch, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Been preparing my frames for what I hope will be a good season. My general practice has been to slip the sheet of foundation in the slot of the top bar of the frame and to electrically heat the support wires to hold the sheet in place. I've tried on several occasions to stick the sheet to the top bar with bees wax but not with much success. The result is that, sometimes, because it is unattached, the weight of the bees pulls the sheet out of the slot before they can attach it to the bar with newly built comb. Then the foundation folds over and makes a messs of the new construction.
    Can any of you experienced foundation-fixers give me your "secret" method for preventing this problem?
    Do you wax your foundation to the top bar and if so, how?
     
  2. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    Just the wedge and same as you, heat the wires for deep frames. Mediums I dont bother too much, have not had an issue yet , but only 3rd year
     

  3. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I dont know if you have the same general frame configurations as we have on this continent so I could be way off. My experience is that if the top bar has only a groove that is for plastic foundation and if if is for wax or wired wax foundation the top bar has a break out wedge bar that gets nailed or stapled after jambing tight against the foundation which firmly fastens the top in place. You may be able to press a very slender sliver into the top groove beside the foundation if it is not a dedicated wedge top bar. They definitely will sag down if not somehow supported at the top. IMG_0242.JPG Not a real good picture but you can see the wedge strip at the right nailed tight against both foundation and top bar.
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    First, I buy this frame. It is the wedge top as crofter explained.
    https://kelleybees.com/Products/Detail/?id=3336333133373333&grouped=1

    Then I buy this foundation.

    https://kelleybees.com/Products/Detail/?id=3336333833323337&grouped=1

    Then I crosswire the foundation and embed the wires with this.
    https://kelleybees.com/Products/Detail/?id=3336333233313335&grouped=1
    Click on "select a product option" and get the transformer and embedder.

    And this.

    https://kelleybees.com/Products/Detail/?id=33323332333033343336
     
  5. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I myself am now using slotted top and bottom bars. foundation slips into these slots and 'should be' fairly tight <recently it seems some of Dadant's foundation is not cut so accurately and about 1 in 10 of the foundation is a bit too wide.... I trim this but you can cut it too short which means it doesn't fit snugly into the slots which can allow the sheets to wiggle around. I also wire (sometimes 2 and sometime 4 wire depending on foundation type... plain foundation or ripple wire) and then electrically embedded the wire.

    even after all this on some occasions the embedded wire pops loose and the foundation can bow to one side < this is more related to how you handle the frames or boxes of frames from the time you get them together till the time they go on the hive... failure to cover the box and prevent wind from blowing over the top of the frames is the real problem here along with (at least for me) vibration in the back of my pick up truck.

    I do shallows without wires and these I simply bees wax the foundation into the top slot and use alignment pins for the sides. If there is trick to applying the bees wax it is in having the wax as cool as possible or stated in another way problems can arise if you get the wax too hot. I do have to handle these in much the same way as mentioned above.
     
  6. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    All of my frames (and boxes) are deeps. Most of my frames have only a slot, and even though I electricaly embed the 4 wires into the foundation, (after my transformer got ruined by rain I took advice I found on the forum and now use my automotive battery charger for the job) I still have the problem.
    Tec--you've come to the issue I want to hear about. How do you apply the wax? Do you spoon it on? do you have some kind of applicator? What works best?
     
  7. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    If the frame top is just a slot, can you not create a wedge effect, by using something like an ice cream stick, or thin wood wedge. If you create friction in the slot then the tops won't fall down and out.

    I use the same frames Iddee does , well of course I do ( he is after all my mentor ) and the wedge is nailed tight against the wax to hold it. I think I have some pics on the Boy Scout blog, need to go looking for you.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    How do you apply the wax?

    people like Kelley and Dadant have a wax application tube. you could likely make this yourself since it looks like a 1" piece of copper tube cut flat on one end with a wood handle and a small hole (allows you to vacume lock the fluid in the handle.... after I bought mine I had to add a screw to keep the handle from falling off) and the other end is cut at about a 45 degree angle with the seam soldered shut except for the very tip end.
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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  10. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Thanks Tec and Zulu. :thumbsup:
    Necessity for a "fast fix" gave me an Idea while I was attaching them on Friday---the weather was cloudy so the collected wax in my solar wax extractor was soft, not liquidy. Using my hive tool's corner, I scraped strips of wax and formed them into little soft balls that I wedged on both sides on the top of the foundation. 3-5 wedges like that on each frame seem to have given a good firm hold to the foundation after hardening. The idea came to me as a combinaiton thought from both of your posts.
    Tomorrow I hope to place the three supers I have prepared on my hives. Two more to go.