question about wooden frames....

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Omie, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I am planning an order for wooden frames and wax foundations, both in medium super and deep box sizes.

    The nearest supply place to me for driving (to avoid shipping my new hives) is BetterBee.

    here are the choices they give for wax foundations:
    http://www.betterbee.com/departments2.a ... 121&bot=83
    and for wooden frames:
    http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=348

    I plan to order two deeps and one medium super for each of my two new hives. I plan to leave the deeps for brood (we are in NY state, cold northeast) and only extract honey from medium top supers.

    My question about the wax foundation is:
    Should I get non wired wax foundation for the deep brood boxes, or the wired deep foundations? (will not be taking honey from there)
    (I do plan on getting wired wx foundations for the medium supers.)

    And my question about the wooden frames is:
    I'm confused about their choices for "grooved, wedge, or split" tops and bottoms of the frames.
    Can someone guide me here as to what I'd need based on my hive plan?
    I'm thinking that I would want wedge tops to use with my wax foundations? But what about the frame bottoms?

    thanks for any help! :confused:
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I recommend crimp wired foundation for both deep and medium, whether used for honey or brood. Non-wired deep foundation doesn't have the body to stay straight until it is drawn out. Also, there may be the occasion where you want to extract a deep frame or two just to get them emptied.

    I like the wedge top, split bottom frames. They are easier to assemble, easier to clean and reinstall wax, and are more adaptable for different waxes.

    PS. I noticed that betterbee sells 50 frames for less money then for 40 frames. "DWF50" Check it closely when ordering.
     

  3. TwT

    TwT New Member

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    same thing I use......
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    iddee writes:
    PS. I noticed that betterbee sells 50 frames for less money then for 40 frames. "DWF50" Check it closely when ordering.


    tecumseh:
    a one liner out of my last presentation at our bee club was... since each hive will require about 5 bodies X 9 or 10 frames/box it shouldn't take much of a math wiz to figure out why you need to consider buying frames in lots of 100. iddee has (above) suggested just how much $ saving buying in numbers can amount to...

    I personally am very old school and use wood frames which I then wire with horizontal wires and plain foundation which I embed with an electrical 12 volt power supply. this requires a bit of technique and practice, practice, practice has made this chore at least look much easier over time. if you have the ability to melt wax then the grooved top bars can save you one step (nailing in the top wedge which in itself sometime not so easy to do properly). if you are anywhere in an active shb area (which I think you are not) the one piece grooved bottom bar is the only way to go.

    another option which seems to have merit is the plastic sheet foundation with a thin layer of bees wax added. this appears to limit problems of constructing the frame (eliminates support wires) plus the plastic sheet itself seems to somewhat limit the wax moth and the shb. some folks have suggest that this kind of foundation is also somewhat more difficult to have pulled properly.
     
  5. arkiebee

    arkiebee New Member

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    I just have a quick question. This is my 2nd year to keep bees and I have only known the Duragilt foundation. My bees have drawn out the comb nicely and when I extracted honey this year, it held up. I have been in my hives pulling out the frames and I have never had a problem with it falling apart. :confused: I know a lot of beekeepers don't like it - for one it is more expensive, but I don't have the method or time to draw the wire out and crimp the wax to the wire with the regular foundation???
    I am getting ready to purchase new equipment for next spring and would like your advise

    Thanks
    Sandra
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Once dura-guilt is drawn out, it is fine. You were lucky. Bees don't like to draw it out.

    Many times the bees will remove the wax from the plastic in large areas. Once they do, they will never go back and fill it in.

    If you buy the crimp wired foundation, you can cross wire it on not. Many do, many don't. With it, if it is damaged, the bees will fill it in and continue to use it.
     
  7. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I ordered my wax foundations today- all with pre-crimped wire installed sheets.
    I got all wooden frames with wedge tops and split bottoms.
    Thanks for your help here. :)

    I didn't get a queen excluder. Scary...hope I did the right thing! =8-o
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Queen excluders are good for traction under the wheel of a stuck vehicle.
    That's about all I would use them for, tho.

    Others will say otherwise.
     
  9. TwT

    TwT New Member

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    Queen excluders are good for mouse guards, put between the BB and bottom hive body, the only time I use them is for protection of a cell builder.
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a queen excluder can be somethink like a quality skill saw... an excellent tool in skilled hands and something that will cut your leg off if you are not so skilled.

    at one time I didn't use an excluder so much and taking the que from my commercial mentors (two) always considered a queen excluder a honey excluder. then not so long ago I read an article in a fairly old (well not as old as I) bee magazine that got me to wonderin'. now I employ queen excluders more and more... soooo if you have no need for those old excluders besides gettin' your truck unstuck just send'em to me.

    a queen excluder can when properly employed add a bit to your honey crop, liberate you from worring so much about wax moth and decongest the brood nest (which can somewhat to highly impact swarming).

    ps... the plastic queen excluders that cost about $3 each work just fine. if money was not so limited and you are in an active shb area I would suggest you pay the fare and acquire the wood bound variety of queen excluder only because they allow for proper bee space on both sides of the queen excluder.
     
  11. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Do I live in an active shb area? I'm near Albany NY.

    Would a varroa screen work just as well for keeping winter mice out of the hive? (assuming I also put a mouse guard of some sort on the main bee entrance). We do have mice around here always looking for warm winter quarters...
     
  12. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I'm in Erie, and have not had problems with SHB. They are generally an issue farther south. At least for now.

    As for the queen excluder, I used mine once, and none of the bees would cross it into the super. I have since found it handy for supporting honey frames while I uncap. Honey production is not my top priority, so I just don't extract if there is brood in a super frame.

    A screen bottom and entrance reducer should serve to keep the mice out. Personally, I like to keep the mice in my house so they do not get into the bee hives. :roll: :lol:
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I would think?? given your location that a screened bottom board over the winter months might not be the best of ideas. Most folks use an entrance reducer and sometimes (if you wish to get fancy) a small piece of old queen excluder over the reduced entrance to keep the mice out. some of the store bought hive entrance cleats (ie entrance reducers) are made small enough to somewhat limit the mice from entering the hive without the addition of any screen.
     
  14. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Thanks Tecumsah,
    Interestingly, I have met a couple of BK around here who do swear by wide open screen bottom boards. Others don't use them.

    I am planning to have a varroa screen that sits on top of a regular bottom board and has a tray that can slide out the back. This will greatly limit the 'open air exposure' factor, preventing the cold winter winds from just blowing up from the bottom into the hive. there will be a solid bottom board under the screen.
    Here is the setup I'm getting, which seemed to make sense to me:
    http://www.betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=307
    The screen will keep mice out too, and I do plan on inserting a mouse guard over the hive front entrance for the winter. We do have plenty of field mice running around here.

    Of course, I won't be putting any of this in place in my 'gifted hive' coming in a few weeks, since they'll have enough of a disruption just being moved to my place, so my goal after they get moved here is to leave their established hive alone as much as possible until Spring, when I can get in there and maybe move them to a new wooden hive or at least replace some of the old parts that don't look so good. For now, I do know that that hive has a plain solid bottom board, which I will leave as is over the winter.
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    omie writes:
    This will greatly limit the 'open air exposure' factor, preventing the cold winter winds from just blowing up from the bottom into the hive.

    tecumseh:
    as I think you recognize??? cold wind is a much more significant factor in survivability than cold itself. projecting a bit from this observation I would quess a well shielded hive with a screen bottom board might/could work almost anywhere. there are however some locations (for example almost anywhere on the northern high plains) where creating an effective wind barrier for a hive would be almost impossible.