Old dog + new tricks = $@&#*%$

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by PerryBee, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    OK, so I bought a couple of these Mini Plus Nucs, my son and I painted 1 each. They come with 6 small frames for each "box" for a total of 12 for each nuc. They are assembled and prewired so all I have to do is add wax (supplied and precut to size). I managed to borrow one of those tiny little wheel embedders and made a crude jig. I lay the wax on my block of wood (cut to fit inside the frames) set my frame on top and then push the wire into the wax. Sounds good so far? For the first few it was OK but then after that, the wax stuck to my wood and when I went to lift the frame off, the wax stayed behind, stuck to the wood?
    :confused: :dontknow:
    OK all you wax afficianadoes, what am I doing wrong here? Is it a heat thing with the wax being too warm. I tried popping it in the freezer for a few minutes, no difference. I don't want to bother getting one of those electric embedders for the little I have to do (unless of course Iddee or Jack somehow convince me to go over to the dark side).
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Place the frame on the board and the wax on top.You should be able to see the wire through the wax enough to follow it with the embedder. Or change the wood every2 or 3 pieces. i think the wax is building up on the wood.
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I thought about laying the wax on the frame wire but it is such fine stuff it would be hard to see. Actually the little wheel has kind of a horseshoe shaped wheel that would make more sense doing it the way you describe Iddee. I went on youtube and could not find anything other than electric embedding and one by brushymountain using a different kind of "spur" wheel.
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    All the bee suppliers have the spur embedder. They have been around for many years. Want me to send you one. I have a couple.
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I use the old style spur wheel and do not have any problems with it. Wax is on the wood with the wire on top. Sounds like you have the newer style of spur wheel.

    I did have an issue at one time after I painted the board, it was trying to stick so I just scraped off the paint. The board that the wax is laying on is masonite.
     
  6. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    Perry, find a battery charger that has a 2 amp setting with shorting protection. Should work to melt the wires in and much easier than the spur embedder.

    In fact let me test the cheap Harbor Freight charger I have and I will see if it works tomorrow. It only cost $30.

    I have a constant current transformer, that I designed and built at college , set to 14 volts and 2 amp, works in about 20-30 secs to melt the wires into foundation.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    on whatever form you are using to set in the wax set, staple or glue some of the paper used to separate the sheets of bees wax.

    the wax stick to wood and will eventually build up on the 'embedder'.
     
  8. heinleinfan

    heinleinfan New Member

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    I was going to suggest this. If you are embedding into one side only (er, like not weaving through the cross wires...if that makes sense) then I don't see why you couldn't leave that paper on. Lay that down, paper side down, lay frame on top, press the wires down into it, lift it and pull off that paper. In my brain that works...might just work in real life too!

    I started using heavy weight fishing line instead of wire, because I was so bad at embedding that all my frames had these straight lines of unused areas across them, heh. As much as I don't like plastic...it goes so much faster, I don't need grommets on the side holes, I can pull the line tighter and straighter than I could the wire and the ladies just build their comb right on over it and make it part of the frame instead of having all those empty places.

    Here's what all my frames looked like, pretty much, when I was embedding. You could just see exactly where I'd wired! :lol:

    IMG_0658_2.JPG
     
  9. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Yep most of mine look like that too, the queen will not lay in the cells that are not perfect.
     
  10. afterburn001

    afterburn001 New Member

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    I have never done this my self. The wood it is sticking to... Am I correct that you are just using that as a working platform? If so, I would think a sheet of wax paper as a barrier would work.
     
  11. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Some UK beekeepers make their own foundation. They make a thin flat sheet of wax which is pressed between 2 nylon foundation impressed moulds. To make the sheet, liquid wax is poured onto a well wetted bordered board, the excess poured off and a thin layer remains. When set this sheet can be peeled off the WET board.

    I am puzzled as to why Perry is wiring the foundation going into his Mini-plus nucs. Are they intended to be extracted ? .:???:
     
  12. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    These are little half frames (wooden) and came pre-wired, with wax foundation cut to size to be installed.
    I had the option of plastic frames but they would still need foundation installed. These two half-frames could be connected to make a regular medium Langstroth frame and then unconnected to be used in the Mini Nuc again.
    There is no other way to secure the foundation.
    The manufacturer's name is Stehr and/or Nordpoor.
     
  13. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    I am still uncertain as to why the makers want the comb to be wired into their Mini Nuc Plus. Without the bits and pieces in front of me I maybe completely off track.

    If you had a medium Langstroth frame that you wanted to fit up with a sheet of thin foundation for cut comb, how would you secure the foundation ? :???:

    Without seeing the gear, I would be tempted to hold the foundation in place and use a few drops of liquid wax to spot fix the foundation edges to the frame. .:think:

    I am trying to be careful with terms. With a (mating) Mini Nuc, I think of a much smaller box (and frame) such as an Apidea, Kieler or Warrnholz. Quite a few of the Mini Nucs just use some form of starter on the top bar rather than a sheet of foundation.
     
  14. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    You are correct, that is exactly how their mnin mating nucs are set up, with a groove in the top bars to place a starter strip held in place with a few drops of wax.
    These are a different kettle of fish however, designed in my opinion anyways, purposely to overwinter nucs.
    I will try to take some pictures later today.
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a Barbarian snip..
    I am puzzled as to why Perry is wiring the foundation going into his Mini-plus nucs. Are they intended to be extracted ?

    tecumseh:
    they are doing this Barbarian as any self respecting german would. a bit over engineered and over built to my own way of thinking.

    ps... without the wires the baby nuc frames here quite often makes some very nice comb honey for placing in jars (chunk honey).
     
  16. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    These are the Mini Plus Nucs:

    (Son's colour choice. :lol:)

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  17. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Polystyrene Nuc Hive

    I decided to try a polystyrene nuc hive.

    www.paynes-beefarm.com

    This is a 6 frame National plus a built in frame-type feeder. Having used 4 and 5 frame wooden nucs, I was surprised at the size of it. The material is blue-grey so no need to paint.

    The main comment that would be relevant to Langstroth users relates to the lightness of the hive. I will have to secure the roof (bungee strap or brick). I can envisage the unsecured roof being out of sight after a windy day. In an exposed site, strong winds may tumble an unsecured hive.

    A plus point, for me, has the entrance level with the inside floor --- easier for the bees to remove debris. I am unsure about the built in feeder. I fear that a small colony may not move across to get the syrup/fondant. The hive incorporates a 6 x 12 varroa mesh in the floor. This may be useful if the colony is present for a long time but for a swarm build-up or in severe winter it needs to be covered. The varroa mesh is slightly recessed in the floor and I wonder if stuck debris may be propolized to partially block the floor.

    Apparently polystyrene hives are used in some European countries. It would be good to hear from forum viewers who have experience/knowledge of these. .:???:
     
  18. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a Barbarian snip..
    I am unsure about the built in feeder.

    tecumseh:
    I would suspect anywhere with small hive beetles this would represent a very bad idea. On the other hand those little home made frame feeder normally associated with baby nucs are a real pain in the rear to make certain they do not leak.

    my baby nuc frames look a lot like the one's Perry has photographed without the support wire. essentially two standard end bars and a small strip of wood for the top and bottoms with a groove cut in the middle of the strips. 1/3 of a sheet of medium depth foundation pops right into the groove without any wax or wire to hold this in place.

    my well known queen rearing neighbors just south of me baby nuc frames do not look anything like this with the end bars appearing to be shop built. essentially the end bars are square cuts of wood with two square notches cut mid way down the end bars.... the shape may well be for stacking and the notches I assume allows for passages.
     
  19. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    The ones I got have a hive top feeder, quite well designed.
    I wonder if perhaps I did not clearly think this whole thing through very well however. I now have these two nucs ready and I am puzzled by how to proceed. :roll:
    Do I just take a couple frames of bees and just shake them into this set-up and then add a queen (or cell)? And when it becomes successful, how do I transfer the bees and frames of brood to a standard Langstroth? Perhaps I got caught up in the novelty of trying something new and wonderful without putting in the neccessary forethought as to how to apply it in actual practice.
    Not the first time! :oops:
     
  20. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    I followed my uncertainty and made an eke for the nuc. I have had a small swarm installed for several days and am using a small contact feeder above the frames.