My flo hive arrived yesterday.
Its unpacked and ready to assemble, i intend to paint it.
My question is do i need to buy wax foundation sheets to place in the brood frames before I introduce the nucleus ?
My flo hive arrived yesterday.
I definitely recommend wiring the frames and adding foundation to them before introducing the nucleus. Make sure the wax foundation you purchase is 100% bees wax.
So I am guessing i need to buy wire and eyelets as well ?
You will need 64 brass eyelets (8 per frame), wire and you can likely use the same nails you use to build the frame to fasten the wire.
I’ve assembled 600+ frames so far this season, so if you want any specific info, let me know (I also have photos of the process I keep meaning to do a write up with)
I haven’t put together the frames that came with the flo kit yet.
Just doing things slowly a step at a time;
and I thought I would have to order wire eyelets and the foundations. to be ready for when I have the hive together and ready to put in the nucleus…
Still have a couple of weeks before im at the stage of adding bees but its good to be prepared.
I finally posted a tutorial up on how to wire / wax a frame using the photos I took a couple of weeks ago. If anything isn’t clear (step 6 needs some improvement) please let me know so I can improve the page. It would be excellent to get some feedback from new beekeepers on my explanations:
@RBK Great job on the step by step instructions. I used wax foundation with the vertical wires in it. I did not add any additional wiring. For the most part I did not have any issues but the ones I did have issues with curled and made a mess of that part of the frame. The bees eventually took care of it but it took them a little longer than with the other frames. What did you use as your power source? I have seen other videos on youtube where a gentleman used a 12V battery charger I believe. He used the 2 AMP setting on the charger and then only touched the wires for short bursts.
Have you had issues with the wire melting completely through? I think this is where having the vertical wires already in the wax foundation would help. The vertical wires would help keep the wire from melting all the way thru. Should make the strength of the foundation that much greater as well.
Or you could put mann lake wax foundation in that just snaps into the grooves of the frame. Saves a lot of time and isn’t all too expensive.
Do you have a photo/link to this?
I do use a car battery charger but tracking one down that works may be difficult (1 out of 3 I have tested work for this purpose). They may also vary between countries so making a recommendation/suggestion to use one is problematic.
If you hold the power too long the foundation will fall through and/or be cut by the wire. An ‘embedding board’ is the solution created for this problem. It is a piece of timber cut to size that sits inside the border of the frame just under the wires, so the foundation can’t fall through. I haven’t used an embedding board for a long time, once you get an idea of what to look for when melting foundation on, the embedding board starts to get in the way.
We don’t have sellers (that I am aware of) in Australia that sell foundation pre-embedded with wire, or with vertical wire in the foundation. Interested to see photos/links to what you have used.
I think this is the kind of concept that Daniel is discussing:
I actually use Kelley Bees foundation, which looks the same, but I really prefer the diagonal “zig-zag” wired foundation we had in the UK.
Just order some Rite-Cell black plastic foundation. It makes it real easy to spot eggs and small larvae.
I have black plastic foundation here, it has its own issues. Even with the effort required to use wax foundation, I still prefer it over the plastic foundation. Agreed it makes it easier for spotting eggs and larvae.
Will be posting the process to use plastic foundation in future (when I get some photos of wax coating it).
What issues are you seeing with black plastic?
Bees pulling wax off the plastic in sections and then never building back on the bare plastic. Bees also have a habit of building outwards and away from plastic making ‘flaps’. I pulled a frame as recently as yesterday with this issue.
As I have mentioned earlier elsewhere, when the frames are established I have no issue with the plastic foundation (running quite a few Pierco frames), but getting it established can be tedious (even with feeding).
I have had a few frames with what you describe. But out of 1200 or so frames, the majority is good. We’re slowly weeding plastic out of the hives, brood and super, in favor of foundationless.
I buy from Mann Lake LTD. These are waxed foundation. My bees love them and build right off of them. These are 100% beeswax with no antibiotics and great quality. They snap right into the frame. NO wires required, saves tons of time. http://tinyurl.com/waxfoundation
100% bees wax coated. They are a plastic foundation dipped in wax, the same product @Red_Hot_Chilipepper is discussing above.
This type of foundation still hasn’t really gained popularity in Australia. This season with the price of wax increasing I think a lot more people are looking to it and I know several of the commercial guys are using it.
My thoughts are, if you’re using plastic foundation, why not switch to using a full Pierco plastic frame and take the frame assembly out of the process completely? (with increased benefit of larger frame surface area).
Yeaterday I went to the Hunter Valley bee groups field day at Tocal.
They had flo hive there giving a talk and explaining about the flo system.
Which was very informative.
They also had some local suppliers there selling there wares , so i was able to buy a box of 50 wax foundations and some other things that I needed.
Haven’t seen any foundation with vertical wiring, is this something you buy or make yourself? I imagine having both would be overkill & may end up with problems at intersection of vertical & horizontal wiring.