Newbee: Wax with wired medium/Illinois frames?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Intheswamp, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Crazy8days' thread about foundation got me to thinking, and then tecumseh's last post to the thread ("almost any frame and wax choice can be made to work. some choices will make you pull out more of your hair in absolute frustration than other choices.") made me think even harder...will someone call 911, I think I hurt myself! :eek:

    Anyhow, I didn't want to hijack Crazy8's thread so I figured I'd ask opinions here.

    I'm in the deep south, south central Alabama and I'm going with 8-frame mediums for all of my hives. For my first colonies I have been planning on going with wax foundation (not crimped-wire) with two horizontal wires in the frames. The foundation is going to be electrically imbedded. I've got wedge-top/grooved bottom frames. My mentor has been using crimped wire but is making the move back to unwired and basically left the choice to me. Any thoughts on crimped-wire versus no-wire for a new beekeeper going with wax?

    Something my mentor has recommended is that if I opt for crimped-wire foundation is to go with the foundation without hooks. He has had problems in the past with the hooks not being bent at the proper angle and bowing out the foundation. Anybody got thoughts on the hook/no-hook choice?

    Thanks,
    Ed
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    For extracting, crimp wired.

    For non-honeyflow times, crimp wired.

    For installing during honey flow and never extracting, doesn't matter. Plain wax embedded is fine.

    The hooked wire will stay in better. If the cross wires are embedded, the wax won't bow.
    Always embed the wire closest to the top bar first. That will help the wax lay down.
     

  3. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    Crimped wire is basicaly a rebar in the wall that bees will build, and I believe it would be a wise choice for you considering temperatures in South Alabama.
    I started with no hooks crimped foundation in wedge top, groove bottom frames, and those are really strong frames.
     
  4. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    You can use any frame type with purely horizontal wired foundation. You certainly do not need wedge or a groove at all. No groove will strengthen the frame just a little and eliminate a hiding place for intruders.
    I ran horizontal wired grooveless for brood and honey for many years. Just be careful and do not spin it as fast the first time. It never sagged comb or blew out in Florida for me. We only had 50 hives between my Dad and I so perhaps someone with more experience will know better.
     
  5. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

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    Too funny! I just asked this question! Glad you did Ed.
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    an intheswamp snip..
    For my first colonies I have been planning on going with wax foundation (not crimped-wire) with two horizontal wires in the frames. The foundation is going to be electrically imbedded.

    tecumseh:
    prior to last year when I began playing around with plastic based foundation all my mediums depth frames were made up in the fashion you describe above.

    the basics are pretty well covered in iddee post above. if I wanted to produce some comb/chunk type honey I would do some frames without any wires <for myself when I wish to do this I typically use shallow frames... a better size for chunk honey.
     
  7. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Well, my head's still foggy on what to do. I'm beginning to lean toward the crimped wire foundation. Just not sure whether to go with hooks or no-hooks. If I get crimped wire with hooks and it bows my mentor will definitely let me know about it.<grin> I do like the security aspect of the hooks, though.

    Later on, and with any swarms I might catch, I'm hoping to go foundationless. I figure the wedge-top frames can do double duty for foundationless.

    Ed
     
  8. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    I understand where crimp wired is better for extracting, but what about the non-honeyflow times??...I can't see why it would be better then.

    Thanks for the tip on embedding the top wire first.

    Ed
     
  9. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    The heat down here has been on my mind. What made you opt for the no hooks foundation? I'm glad to hear the no hook foundation worked well for you.

    Ed
     
  10. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Gary, the grooved bottoms were recommended to me so that's what I've got. I had wondered about the groove being a place for beetles or whatever, especially if I use some of them for foundationless. I've already got some foundation without crimped wires so I may order some crimp wire foundation and decide which I like the best. It seems that if a beekeeper can get past the first year using plain wax that the comb toughens up and gets stronger. Just gotta remember to spin it slow. ;)

    Ed
     
  11. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp New Member

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    Thanks for that note, tecumseh. I've read a lot of your posts and I appreciate that comment coming from you. It's good knowing other successful beekeepers have done it that way. It seems there's pros and cons to the different ways, eh?

    Ed
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    in regards to the choice of frames...
    I would suggest to you intheswamp that most southern bee keepers and some not so southern beekeeper would be well advised to move away from split bottom in their frames. kelley now offer frames that split along the top bar and I would also avoid these. same goes for most plastic frames.

    reason... those little slits and the indentions in plastic frames are great little places for the shb to hide. likely (imho) the slit bottom bars are the worst since this allow a shb to roost here, lay eggs and expand right up the center of a frame without the bees having any access to evict this intruder.

    ps.. at some point in time I will likely go back to standard frames, plain wax and horizontal support wires. I just like these. my playing around with plastic based foundation is really more about trying something before you recommend it (or not) to others.

    good luck..
     
  13. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    You answered your own question. Plain wax won't hold up in the heat without comb being drawn on it. It will curl, sag, and fall. They only draw comb during a flow.


    ""I understand where crimp wired is better for extracting, but what about the non-honeyflow times??...I can't see why it would be better then.""

    ""The heat down here has been on my mind.""
     
  14. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    It was the only wax foundation available at the only bee keeping store in Toronto :lol: