Monday, May 16, 2011

setting up frames for foundationless use.

I am using natural beekeeping methods. If you are thinking about going foundationless, here is how to set up a frame for use w/o foundation.

 While I am planning on using a more organic beeswax in the future, this is some foundation that I had purchased. I don't want to use the foundation as is for a variety of reasons:
1.) Chemicals, it is permeated w/ the chemicals used to treat the bees that made the wax.
2.) Cell size, the cell size is does not match the way the bees make the cells in nature and this promotes the growth of pests especially the varroa mite, that you then have to treat w/ chemicals. See that nasty cycle getting started.
3.) Cost, this stuff costs money and why buy it when the bees make it on their own. I am recycling this wax b/c I need to use it up and because it is used in much smaller the quantities in the colony that this fat sheet of foundation.
Wax melts at about 145F degrees. I use a make shift double boiler to melt in. That pot is designated only to was. See the little wires that were in the foundation in the bottom of the pan.

 There are a variety of other materials you could use including paint sticks and shims. Natural or organic beekeeping sites will have more ideas to offer. See my separate piles. The box hold 8 frames and each frame takes 5 sticks to get the guide to go all the way across.

 By the way you will need frames w/ grooves in the top.

 The frames can get heavy w/ comb. You want to make sure your sticks stay in place.

Run wax along both sides of craft sticks.
  Hold the frame at a tilt to pour excess was back into the pot. You will find that the wax cools rapidly.

Don't worry about drips, the bees will clean it up and use it.

Put the frames back into the box and you're ready to go. This process took about 1 sheet of foundation as opposed 8.

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