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Thread: Strip foundation brood frame with bamboo

  1. #1
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    Default Strip foundation brood frame with bamboo

    Not my idea ... I read somewhere (perhaps on this forum) about using bamboo sticks instead of wire (or fishing line) in a brood frame - so I tried it out: It works, and the bees seem happy with it. You can also see one of Jon's queens.

    Kitta

    IMG_20160621_115953.jpg

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    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    Nice one Kitta. I've seen that (Michael Bush perhaps?) and always meant to try it ... did you use BBQ skewers?

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    Is the first one drawn as drone comb Kitta ?

    Sent from my LIFETAB_S1034X using Tapatalk

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    Senior Member fatshark's Avatar
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    DR ... my experience with foundationless frames is that they mix'n'match drone and worker as they want depending upon the time of the season. At times they draw drone throughout. I've got a swarm on (fishing line) versions of these frames from about 10 days ago that has filled a box with about 60-70% worker. Often in the same frame.

    I see a real advantage of the type that Kitta posted is that you could easily cut out the section with drone brood/cells and allow them to rebuild it without necessarily trashing the frame.

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    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    Yes, Fatshark, they're barbecue skewers from Lakeland. It's been sitting with my other beekeeping stuff for a year now, and came in handy just now as I've run out of wired foundation.

    I've never used any extra support in my brood frames when using strip foundation. I just handled the combs with care, but it can be tricky when the comb starts to flop over - so this time I've decided to give them extra support. I also did a few with horizontal wires, but I haven't seen the results yet.

    I think it's drone comb in the first two sections, DR, all of different sizes for different sized drones. The third section seems to be worker cells. I didn't inspect it too closely as I didn't want to upset the queen. I just quickly clicked the phone's camera and hoped for the best.

    Kitta

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    Hi Kitta,
    That's quite a fun setup. Before I saw the picture, I'd imagined horizontal skewers. But it looks as if having them vertical means the bees have to start separate crescents of comb in each section, which probably means the structure & design of each section is more independent, for if you did want to take just one section out as FS suggested. It certainly looks like an abrupt change to worker cells on the right.
    At the top - is that a wooden starter strip? or the wedge turned through 90 degrees? or is it simply an empty frame? I'm still experimenting with comb guides in mine.
    Emma

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    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    It's the wedge turned 90 degrees, Emma. I used a very narrow starter strip and pinned the two bamboo skewers in place at the top and bottom using gimp pins of which I've nipped off the tips with wire cutters (the longer pins are too long; and shorter ones too short). I also used the wire cutters to shorten the bamboo skewers once fitted. I'll see if I can get some follow-up photos.
    Kitta

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    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    I forgot, Emma - I have a before photo. It might be easier to see what I've done.

    Kitta

    Bamboo frame 20160607.jpg

  9. #9

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    That's great, yes, thanks. I hadn't thought of a wax starter strip as well - I don't use those these days.

    Did the wax have to bend around the skewers, or did it lie straight?

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    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    Just straight, Emma. The strip, then the sticks, and then the wedge. Nailing down the wedge and the bottom brackets caused them to bend, or curve, somewhat around the sticks to hold them in place.

    I think the wedge on its own without the wax might work just as well.

    Kitta

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