Honeyflow.com | FAQ's |

What are these smaller frames with wax foundation about?

Greetings All

Another newbee query… I recently bought a second brood box and my curiosity also made me purchase another box tha was advertised with 5 of these smaller size frames & wax foundation to be inserted & trimed to correct size.

I assume this is so the bees will create only honeycomb on these frames. So… that’s its whole purpose? To get honeycomb? If it is… I like it :slight_smile:

Do you treat this box the same as you would a Super? ( if placed above another box with happy healthy colony ) Then harvest the comb when its sufficiently filled?

You purchased what is called Medium box and frames. As long as you put that box above the queen excluder presumably already in place between your brood box (the bottom one) then you will indeed have honey stored in it. If you leave the wax sheet in those frames then you will uncap that honey with a knife and centrifuge the honey out, or if you don’t have that gear you can scrape it off into a cheesecloth to squish the honey through it and keep the wax apart for other projects (like lip balm or wax candles). If you remove the wax sheet and let the bees build comb on it, then you can cut the comb away from the frame after its capped to have cut comb honey. Lots of options, and you can do both if you want to experiment at the same time. The bees won’t care. If your Flow Hive super is already on and not yet full/capped, I wouldn’t put this new box on just yet. And if it is mostly full, then I would just add this on top but remember the bees aren’t going to build comb in it if you harvest from your flow hive super regularly as they will be busy reloading it instead. So you need to contemplate your strategy and when to add this new box. Some people put this box between the brood box (with excluder) and the Flow Hive super. I’m not sure it makes much difference, but again its a matter of knowing when to add any equipment that is important as you don’t want too much space as that will stress the bees if they aren’t ready for it/you don’t have a nectar flow going on.

2 Likes

Hopefully the box is about the same depth as the frames. Do not put those shorter frames into a deep brood box, or you will get a mess of comb underneath them. Also, you will need 5, 8 or 10 of those frames, depending on the width of the box, just as you would in a brood box.

Just to clarify, Langstroth boxes come in 2 widths (8 frame and 10 frame), but they come in multiple depths. In the US, those depths are deep (standard for brood), medium (standard for honey supers) and shallow (often used for comb honey). In Australia, you also have WSP and Ideal depths, which are similar to medium, if I understand it properly. Each box depth needs the correct depth frames and the correct number of frames in order to limit bees’ creativity with comb patterns. :wink:

4 Likes

My understanding the standard sizes over there are Full depth and Ideal depth, WSP depth is a WA thing.


Not sure why the seller would supply 5 ideal sized frames with a FD box.
To add to what the others have said, ideal boxes are often used as supers because they are not as heavy as FD boxes when full. If you like you could cut the box down to ideal size and get another 3 ideal frames and use that for comb honey, generally it’s best to go foundationless for this though, I don’t think comb honey wax sheets, which is much thinner, is available here.
I’m also curious about the through slot in the top bar of the ideal frames, is that actually normal anywhere?

3 Likes

Yeh when I ordered the frames the photo of the box shown was smaller, but when it all arrived they had sent me a normal size brood box. ??

I didnt complain as I thought oh well bigger is better anyway :slight_smile:
But now that I know I need a smaller box to suite the smaller frames it looks like il need to buy one.

Also good to know that the bees would use the wax foundations to make wax/honey/comb. But this is where I am still a bit confused.

So If the ideal frame has a wax foundation insterted, the bees will form comb with honey yeh? And I would not be able to eat the comb as it would be mostly surrounded by wax?

Whereas the ideal frames with no foundation, the bees create a comb with less wax involved making it edible right from the frame?

Sorry Its probably a dumb question but Im sure I read somewhere, one can remove the comb and enjoy its delicious goodness. But if its also surrounded by mostly wax… it wouldnt taste very good!

Please enlighten me :slight_smile:

1 Like

very weird to sell a full depth 8 frame box… with 5 ideal frames? No wonder you are confused.
not only do you absolutely need the right depth box- you’ll also need 8 frames.

the only difference between the comb produced with those frames and having foundation-less frames- is that the bees do not need to build the central wall that divides the opposite sides of each comb. The difference will be that central sheet will be thicker with foundation and more chewy. Assuming you use pure Australian beeswax foundation it will still be edible… however when I make cut comb for eating I don’t use foundation- so I produce the finest 100% made by the bees cut comb… it is more delicate and refined.

rather than get 3 more of those odd frames, you could get 3 foundationless ones a with a wood or wax starter strip- and checkerboard them between the 5 frames with foundation. that will guide the bees to make good straight foundation-less combs which you can then harvest. You could spin or crush the 5 with foundation.

But they are odd frames- generally if you wanted to spin frames you would have wired frames…

p.s. if little of what I have said makes sense to you- I suggest you spend some time googling about bees, honeycomb, cut comb, honey harvesting, langstroth hives, bee space… etc.

5 Likes

That’s a funny kit, Ryan, with only five frames. Nucleus boxes are five-frame sized, but I can see that isn’t one. It’s good you posted about it so you don’t end up in a tricky situation with your setup :+1:

Along with the great info in the responses, I’d recommend browsing the websites of some reputable beekeeping supply companies - even if you don’t plan to buy anything else yet, you’ll see how things are named and organized which might help the info you read here to fall into place better. Of course, if you can tag along with an experienced beek in your area on some inspections, even better.

By the way @Dawn_SD, since most of my hives are medium-over-deep brood setups, I sometimes need to put a medium frame or two in a deep box, so I place it on the outer edge. A straight run of drone comb is built to fill the gap, attached to the bottom bar of the frame - it breaks off neatly and is a delicious snack bar for my hens :cake::rooster:- and goodbye to any varroa brooding in there too!

@Beaver82 this is an ‘advanced adaptation’ (hack :wink:) that is not intended as a tip or instruction for newer beeks, so cover your ears :sweat_smile:

2 Likes