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Author Topic: Frames - Build your own or buy?  (Read 486 times)

Offline Captain776

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Frames - Build your own or buy?
« on: April 11, 2017, 06:38:40 pm »
I have been doing a lot of reading, here and other Forums and I see a lot of info on Frames.
I like woodworking but don't have the space here at the house I built 2 yrs ago nor do I have the proper equipment.
You can buy a case of 20 frames, waxed and wired for 54.00 from Mann Lake, that works for me.

Thanks,

Bruce
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Offline jvalentour

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Re: Frames - Build your own or buy?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2017, 09:09:52 pm »
Bruce,
I've been having a little trouble with the ML foundation.  You should plan to paint wax on them before putting them in the hive. 
The problem is inconsistent but needs to be addressed.

Offline divemaster1963

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Re: Frames - Build your own or buy?
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2017, 11:01:09 pm »
buy the frames unassembled. you get more for the money. if room or cost is problem. get popcicle sticks and glue them in the top grove and apply some bees wax to them. run fishing line thru the side holes  across and then a large x across the lines. let the bees build the comb on to the frames and you can still spin them. they will build the size they need.

john

Offline little john

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Re: Frames - Build your own or buy?
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2017, 06:14:57 am »
Foundation-frames: buy commercially-made flat-pack - as it's a helluva lot of work to make them from scratch.  If you assemble them in a jig, twenty or thirty at a time, it's no great effort.

Foundationless-frames: why not make your own ?  Those for my own use I make from pallet wood, at near-enough zero cost. Quick and easy to make.  Nucs for sale have commercially-made frames though, as customers have 'conventional expectations'.

All my frames are now being fitted with verticle bamboo barbeque skewers for comb support.  Fishing line proved reasonably ok, but the skewers are so much better.
LJ
A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping - http://heretics-guide.site90.com

Offline Captain776

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Re: Frames - Build your own or buy?
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2017, 09:08:38 am »
Bruce,
I've been having a little trouble with the ML foundation.  You should plan to paint wax on them before putting them in the hive. 
The problem is inconsistent but needs to be addressed.

Do you mean how the starter sheet is attached to the top board?
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.

Online paus

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Re: Frames - Build your own or buy?
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2017, 11:22:15 am »
Little john,  How are the skewers working?  I have made all my frames with skewers this year, any tips, expectations or observations. 

Offline little john

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Re: Frames - Build your own or buy?
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2017, 02:37:18 pm »
Little john,  How are the skewers working?  I have made all my frames with skewers this year, any tips, expectations or observations.

This is part of an email I sent yesterday to a beekeeping friend:
Quote
In general, I've decided to move over from fishing-line comb support, to vertical bamboo skewers for all of my foundationless combs. The bees definitely prefer attaching to wood, and this method results in a more attractive-looking comb and thus saleable nuc.  The use of fishing line was a good idea, and was incorporated most of the time, but every now and then the girls would build to one side of the line and not incorporate it into the mid-rib - and that event always looked flawed and shabby.

So yes, excellent - much better than I'd hoped. I'm using two skewers per frame, with Deep (9") frames fitted with 3mm dia skewers, and the 12" Deep frames fitted with 4.5mm dia.  4.5 is thicker than I'd like, but it's the only way of sourcing the required length.
 
The bees actually draw 3 separate combs at first, then morph them together, and after a short while the skewers just 'disappear' into the comb itself.  I haven't yet seen a comb attached other than from side-bar to skewer, or from skewer to skewer, so they appear to rather like that kind of comb attachment.

BTW, here's one of a number of 14x12" frames I've just built for a 'Colander Hive' experiment:



The experiment involves a stack of two such boxes, with 14 small entrance holes for them to choose from. (I would have preferred a slot, but that's none too practical). I'm hoping that they will propolise shut the holes that offend them ...



I also took the opportunity to test the strength of my method of frame construction, as I use glue only, without nails or screws.  Here's a Top Bar supporting a 56lb weight which I'm using as a GO/NO-GO means of testing.



And here's one of the 14x12" frames under the same test:




So - no need to worry on that score ...

All the best,
LJ

(apologises if I've hijacked this thread ...)
A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping - http://heretics-guide.site90.com

Online paus

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Re: Frames - Build your own or buy?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2017, 07:21:14 pm »
Thanks Littlejohn  All of my ??? are now !!!  I was going to use 1/8 inch dowels horizontal until a friend Beek told to try the skewers.  AGAIN THANKS

Offline Konaexpress

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Re: Frames - Build your own or buy?
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2017, 11:41:17 pm »
Neat idea with the skewers! Do you think this could work with top bar to add a little strength to to comb? Maybe just one long one in the middle or two short ones to the sides?


Sorry if this is a dumb question,
John
There is no such thing as a stupid question and I'm full of them!

Offline little john

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Re: Frames - Build your own or buy?
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2017, 05:57:33 am »
Hi John - that's far from being a dumb question ... :)

This is an extract from one of the first publications related to Top Bar Hives:
Quote
KENYA TOP BAR HIVE
 
The major drawback, which restricts its use to stationary-type beekeeping, is that the combs will break away from the top bar quite readily. The combs must be suspended vertically at all times; if the bar is rotated so that the comb is horizontal, the weight of the comb may cause it to break from the bar. [...]
 
[...] if three small holes, about 2.5 - 3 mm in thickness, are drilled through the top bar, the center one being at a 90 deg angle with the top and the other two sloping inward, then three 2.5 mm strips of wood or bamboo can be passed through these as depicted. When the comb is drawn out over these sticks, the comb will be strong enough to withstand transportation.
 
BEEHIVE DESIGNS FOR THE TROPICS, 1984, By G.F. Townsend, Professor Emeritus,
Dept. of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph



If I were doing this, I wouldn't bother angling the outer supports, but bring them inwards a little and drill all the holes vertically - simpler construction, and will do exactly the same job.  Barbeque skewers ex. local supermarket would be ideal.
'best, LJ
A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping - http://heretics-guide.site90.com

Offline Konaexpress

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Re: Frames - Build your own or buy?
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2017, 11:36:24 am »
Thanks Little John!

That's exactly what I had in mind. If I ever get around to building a mini or micro box, I'll give it a try.

John

There is no such thing as a stupid question and I'm full of them!

Offline Bush_84

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Re: Frames - Build your own or buy?
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2017, 12:38:04 pm »
I've build my own frames. If you got the tools and the time it's doable. You can get 2x4s pretty cheaply. I will never build them nearly as well as I can buy them. As of now I buy most of mine. I will probably build my own mating nuc frames just because I don't think those are as important as the full frames. If money were tight I'd go back to building my own. At this point I just take whatever I make selling honey and put it back into this hobby. So I just buy frames. I'm still to cheap to buy foundation but that may change as well. Starting to get annoyed by drone comb, although I don't have a lot of troubles with wonky comb.
Keeping bees since 2011.

Also please excuse the typos.  My iPad autocorrect can be brutal.

Offline Captain776

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Re: Frames - Build your own or buy?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2017, 08:20:44 am »
Skewers is a great idea, I will be adopting that.
Thanks for sharing.
I paid through the nose for the 20 frames I had sent waxed and wired from Mann Lake, since then, I have found a supplier 20minutes from my house.
Brand new fully assembled and painted 8 frame hive here is 17.50 USD and frames are .70 cents, no foundation.
If I had the tools and the space, I would enjoy tinkering and building my own but for those prices, I have other things to do.
My wife and I also support 4 charities here.
When I need Frames, I will buy them for .70 and put starter strip in them.

Thanks

Bruce
Bought my first NUC April 7, 2016.
Like all you when you first started, I am fascinated with beginning Beekeeping and trying to learn all I can.
I retired May 2015 and have added this to my short list of hobbies.