• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

New Langstroth, First Hive, Foundationless, & General Questions

 
George Meljon
Posts: 278
Location: Southern Indiana zone 5b
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi All,

We are assembling our Langstroth hive for the package arrival Saturday. There are a bunch of wax foundations available to use. We have split bottom frames. We are to tack the foundation on the top with the removable wood strip according to directions. We are to string wire horizontally 4 times across for support as well. All this seems clear now, although I've been learning on the go and was very confused last night. Anyway, I'd like to try a foundationless hive. What is the best way for this setup?

1) I've seen a little 1/2" strip of foundation used along the top. The rest of the foundation is cut away. That get's things going. Is it enough to start a new hive? Perhaps just start one box that way and work in the second box later on? Or does that not matter? I'm guessing the frames with a little starter foundation should go on top, or should they go throughout the box in every frame?

2) I've read about just using a wood strip under the top bar, perhaps the one that would be for tacking the foundation? Seems there is already ledge for them to work on once that strip is removed, why tack it back or jigger with it?

3) Does my split bottom bar present a problem for attachment when the hive is connecting to the bottom?

4) Is regular wood glue ok for the frames? Or is there a mild glue out there? Are nails enough so I can avoid the glue?

5) Any thoughts on 2 vertical bamboo supports instead of the 4 wires across?

Finally a general question or two:

6) Do screws for the boxes need to be put in both directions where the pre fab holes for nails are? I bought 150 wood screws and would think all that cross screwing is overkill and could increase the likelihood of splitting the soft wood

7) Speaking of soft wood - it's not cedar unfortunately, so next comes the paint job. Any advice? I've read linseed and wax 50/50 will coat it and still allow air flow?

THANK YOU!!!WE ARE EXCITED ABOUT THIS PROJECT!!!
 
tel jetson
steward
Posts: 3356
Location: woodland, washington
75
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
the strip of foundation at the top should be enough. since I'm guessing you've got more foundation that you'll need for just one hive body of frames, you may as well use starter strips for all your frames. reduces the likelihood of cross comb.

you won't need any glue for the frames. the bees will glue everything together on their own with propolis.

box joints are stronger when they're fastened from both sides, but plenty of box joints are just glued with no fasteners. your best course of action might depend on how abusive you plan to be to your hive bodies.

I wouldn't bother with the wire or bamboo for the frames, unless you plan to do a lot of comb manipulation while also being careless about the orientation of the comb. the comb is just fine on its own.

if you use linseed oil, make sure it's either raw or truly boiled. the most readily available linseed oil I've seen contains some fairly nasty chemicals that help it cure faster.
 
Jerry Ward
Posts: 188
Location: S.E. Michigan - Zone 6a
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I get "foundationless" frames from Kelley Bees. The top bar of the frame has a ridge that sticks down in the middle of the frame and every time my bees fill in the frame just as nice as can be.
 
Todd Warner
Posts: 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Jerry Ward wrote:I get "foundationless" frames from Kelley Bees. The top bar of the frame has a ridge that sticks down in the middle of the frame and every time my bees fill in the frame just as nice as can be.


And, if you have purchased a whole pile of regular wedge frames, we take that wedge and instead of nailing it flush, we nail it ... like a starter strip. Then we rub it down with beeswax.

Sometimes I am lazy and just don't bother with the strip and I rub down that corner where the strip was cut away with beeswax and that works as well. I haven't really compared the two side-by-side to see which is optimal.

I wire every single frame. Something to consider if you are using deeps.

Very VERY important tid-bit. If you do all foundation-less in one box all at once, it is absolutely critical that that box be level from side to side or ... you will get cross-combing.

-todd
 
Quintin Holmberg
Posts: 32
Location: Minnesota
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I did what you are doing this season. Next season I'm doing what others have recommended and buying the frames designed for foundationless.

1) I've seen a little 1/2" strip of foundation used along the top. The rest of the foundation is cut away. That get's things going. Is it enough to start a new hive? Perhaps just start one box that way and work in the second box later on? Or does that not matter? I'm guessing the frames with a little starter foundation should go on top, or should they go throughout the box in every frame?
The starter foundation should be in every frame of every box. I used the large popsicle sticks when I did mine.

2) I've read about just using a wood strip under the top bar, perhaps the one that would be for tacking the foundation? Seems there is already ledge for them to work on once that strip is removed, why tack it back or jigger with it?
I think they are referring to the popsicle stick thing I mentioned above. You glue it in place. You would not "jigger" with it. It would be used instead of the foundation strip.

3) Does my split bottom bar present a problem for attachment when the hive is connecting to the bottom?
No.

4) Is regular wood glue ok for the frames? Or is there a mild glue out there? Are nails enough so I can avoid the glue?
I've used regular, Tightbond wood glue.

5) Any thoughts on 2 vertical bamboo supports instead of the 4 wires across?
I've heard of it being used with success. I actually did not use anything. I don't disturb my frames that much, either, though. The verdict is still out.

6) Do screws for the boxes need to be put in both directions where the pre fab holes for nails are? I bought 150 wood screws and would think all that cross screwing is overkill and could increase the likelihood of splitting the soft wood
My boxes came with nails.

7) Speaking of soft wood - it's not cedar unfortunately, so next comes the paint job. Any advice? I've read linseed and wax 50/50 will coat it and still allow air flow?
i don't treat my boxes. No paint, wax or linseed oil.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic