Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 47

Thread: Foundationless frames and fishing line

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Belfast, N. Ireland
    Posts
    5,104
    Blog Entries
    94

    Default Foundationless frames and fishing line

    Anyone else having a go with these this year?
    I got the idea initially from a post made by Steve (Rosie) on the old bbka forum.

    frame-natural drawn comb fishing line.jpg comb-fishing line.jpg

    I worked about a dozen frames between a few colonies last year and they seemed to work really well. They draw out the cell size they want at the time, usually drone but not always.
    Sometimes a frame is drawn out and laid up within a couple of days.
    I always place one of these between two existing drawn frames in the middle of the brood nest so that the bees are forced to draw comb parallel to existing frames.

    I bought 50 Thorne second deeps flatpack for 28 from their stand at the UBKA conference in March and I reckon that with the nails and the 30lb fishing line they cost about 60p each.
    I made up half of them this afternoon.

    But the main advantage is lovely clean comb.
    Last edited by Jon; 13-05-2012 at 05:31 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Somerset
    Posts
    1,852
    Blog Entries
    35

    Default

    I've gone back to foundation largely this year. I leave them supers to draw without foundation.

    My reasoning is simply that I want the drone brood in one place, I found my 14x12s with frame wire only worked rather well if you don't mind the odd bit of bees doing what they like. Fears of 14x12 frames disintegrating, with or without foundation remain unfounded. Each hive gets 10 frames of foundation and one "free", the next hive might not actually start drawing the comb there first, all worker, naturally.

    The difference between foundation wax and what they draw themselves though is stark. The pure, white wax is beautiful.

    A colony used to foundation will typically start drawing drone cells if you give them foundation less frames in an established colony, my swarm started at the back of a warm way oriented colony where the foundationless frame is and it is all worker cells, I'm leaving it there for now as its stores but I'm starting to move it inwards and will deal with it later as it is also totally unwired, an oversight on my part.
    Last edited by Neils; 13-05-2012 at 07:22 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Belfast, N. Ireland
    Posts
    5,104
    Blog Entries
    94

    Default

    I can see how it would be more awkward with 14 by 12 due to the extra weight and the risk of the comb getting damaged during inspections.
    It hardens up pretty well once a couple of generations of brood have been reared in it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    North Wales
    Posts
    639

    Default

    Although I like to put 3 frames of fishing line/starter strips in every decent colony, I have never tried it with my 14x12s. This is because I have been concerned that the tension in the line would bend the long side bars but if it's working for Jon I must have been wrong. To get drone comb in 14x12s I always cut a few triangles of wax out of a normal pre-wired sheet of foundation, so removing all the wax from between strands of wire. It has always worked very well apart from the fact that I have not been benefiting from the saving in foundation costs. You get neat alternating patterns of worker and drone cells filling the triangles between the wires.

    Thanks Jon for crediting me with the fishing line trick but I got it originally from Dave Cushman although I have modified the method a bit. The triangle trick is all my own though.

    Rosie

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Belfast, N. Ireland
    Posts
    5,104
    Blog Entries
    94

    Default

    Sorry, it's Neil with the 14 by 12s. Mine are all standard deeps, 14 by 8 and it works fine with those.

  6. #6
    Senior Member EmsE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Longbenton
    Posts
    404
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    I tried this last year and was happy in general with how the bees drew the comb down. One thing I won't repeat though is putting 3 of the empty frames together to be drawn out. I did this last year when I unexpectedly had a swarm to house. I didn't have any foundation available and just 2 drawn combs with stores in which I decided to put at either end. The result was 3 deep frames with comb interwoven between them meaning I couldn't separate them to inspect. They were separated a few weeks ago and are being worked out of the hive. As they have some stores in, I can't justify removing them just yet but have learnt my lesson in placing them between frames of drawn comb.

    As I've more drawn comb this year I shouldn't have that problem (she says)

    I've put 2 in one of my hives so far this season, one is mainly drone which suits me fine as it will hopefully reduce the drone brood in the other frames, and a good solid block will be good for the drone removal. The other is worker cells.

    If the frames are put into the top box of the double brood system, the bees draw the comb right down to the bottom bars, making it that bit more secure than those in the bottom box where the comb just falls short of the bottom bars.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Somerset
    Posts
    1,852
    Blog Entries
    35

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    I can see how it would be more awkward with 14 by 12 due to the extra weight and the risk of the comb getting damaged during inspections.
    It hardens up pretty well once a couple of generations of brood have been reared in it.
    I think stories of the fragility of 14x12s are mainly spread by those who don't like them. I made a thread on here including photos about how I do mine and they work for me. The frame with no wires is very fragile at the moment because it is only fixed to the top of the frame, I wouldn't hold the frame flat when they finish it either because unlike foundation it genally isn't fixed at all to the bottom of the frame and can be patchy on the last third.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Belfast, N. Ireland
    Posts
    5,104
    Blog Entries
    94

    Default

    I have never tried 14 by 12s so no opinions one way or the other. It is unusual for any of mine to need more than a standard brood box although the odd one gets a double brood. Any new comb is going to be delicate at the start and needs to be handled with care.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Somerset
    Posts
    1,852
    Blog Entries
    35

    Default

    If you've ever been lectured by a Top Bar Hive beekeeper about how terrible your choice of hive is then you understand how it feels to use 14x12s, the most vociferous opponents of them never seem to have ever actually used them (Mr Patterson I'm looking at you) but are quick to outline all the things you apparently can't do with them. I'm just bloody minded so set about doing all the things people tell me can't be done just to see if they're actually right. For the most part my considered opinion is that they're talking a lot of guff.

    Would I swing a 14x12 frame full of stores over my head? Probably not unless I do finally snap and go live in la-la land. When you forget to wire the frame that they're drawing and it's only 1/3 done then yes, you need to be careful. Funnily enough that applies to Super frames too.
    Last edited by Neils; 14-05-2012 at 11:12 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    North Wales
    Posts
    639

    Default

    I've never had much trouble with people criticising my 14x12s but nevertheless I am trying to gradually get my bees out of them. I Bailey changed them into them some years ago but Bailey changing them out of them is proving more difficult because they don't need the extra space so don't readily extend the nest upwards. Mine like honey above and nest sideways.

    I recommend people to use 14x12s if their bees are prolific but they are proving too big for my bees since my move to Wales.

    Half the problem with people with strong views is that they think everyone's circumstances are the same as theirs.

    Rosie

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •