Assembling Beekeeping Equipment Part 2 – Installing foundation Descriptive Transcript


So we’ve got the frames all ready to go. They’re all assembled. Now, it’s about (UNKNOWN) putting foundation in. What’s most common these days is plastic foundation. And it’s a very simple matter of installing that. What we do is just put it in the groove in the bottom and then bend it and it will snap into place. Simple as that. One advantage of this is that it stays very flat and so you get flat comb and that’s really desirable. If comb has any kind of bows to it, then as you pull those frames out, you’ll rub and crush bees. It’s also, as you have seen, very simple to install and relatively economical. There’s little communication holes here that get put in the bottom position. It’s basically just a shortcut for bees, they go through here rather than around the bottom. Not a very critical point. Let’s talk about assembling frames with beeswax now. If we have frames that are a medium depth, the span from top bar to bottom bar isn’t very big. And so, we can use sheets of beeswax without any cross wires.

Beeswax foundation can move around and on a deeper frame, it’s necessary to put in cross wires, which we’ll show you in a moment. But with these medium depth frames, it’s just a matter of putting the foundation in the groove in the bottom, and in the groove in the top, just like we did with the plastic. But then we need to fix that wax in place at the top of the frame. And what we do is, we pull the foundation up a little bit into the top bar, which leaves some expansion space down in that bottom groove. So you pull it up just a little bit and then you hold it in position and you run a bead of liquid wax using a syringe. So this one’s already done. But what we would do is draw the wax up with a syringe and then just run a bead along there, let that wax solidify and then it’s welded into place. From there, any heating and cooling that cause expansion, that expansion can go down into that groove and come back up. If we don’t have that expansion space, the cone or the the foundation will bow out to the side as it expands and then you get poorly formed cone.

But this is a great way to put together a medium depth frame there. Now, let’s talk about wiring deep frames. With frames that are made for putting wax foundation, they’re made differently. They have a wedge, that’s what we call this piece here that fits in to the top and then is nailed in place with three nails. That will hold the wax foundation in place so that it doesn’t fall out. But we do need to install the frame wires first before the foundation. We’ve got a device here that I can clamp the frame into place. So you do need to have a way of holding the frame stationary, even if that’s just a matter of several nails pounded into your workbench to hold the frame in place. But we’ll clamp this frame into place here, and what we do is we have those staples at this end here and then we clamp that into place and then we take two wiring nails. They’re shorter than the assembly nails. And we put one of those just towards me from the hole that’s going through the end bar. So we just get that tapped into place and then we tap another one in just this side of the hole, there.

So they just tapped into place to hold the wire as we run it through the holes. So, run off the wire through that hole. And you can see we’ve got a (UNKNOWN) set up here to hold that real. We’ll run it through here. Now we’re crossing over those staples and feeding it back through. We will then run the wire up and wrap it around the other nail. So run that around here and we wrap it around at least three or four times and then we (UNKNOWN) nail down to secure the wire in place. We can then tighten up the wire, and that’s why I have this glove on with the fingers cut out so that I can circle that around and get a good hold on it, but still have the use of my fingertips. So we tighten that up, pull on this a little bit, tighten up, pull on this a little bit, tighten up and we want those to sing. There we go. And then we wrap it around here two or three times and drive it home. And then just bend it over back and forth, and that will break the wire. So there’s the wired frame. Next, we install the foundation.

So we take our sheet of beeswax, the wax has wires, crimped wires running vertically along here to help reinforce the foundation. And its septate layers of wax are separated by sheets of paper. So we remove that. It’s ideal if you’re doing this in a really warm room where it’s, the wax is flexible. If it’s cold, it’s extremely brittle. And from now on, we have to handle these frames really carefully because that wax is brittle, especially if it’s cold. So we, just like we did with the plastic, we insert that into the groove in the bottom. If you pull it tight and wiggle it back and forth, it will drop in. Now we’re in that groove, and so you can see where we’re gonna be putting the wedge. Now, we’ll pull that, right now that’s bottomed out on that groove. We’re gonna pull it up just slightly to give a little bit of expansion room and then you nail the wedge into place. (HAMMERING). Now we’ll turn the frame over and you can see the wires right next to that wax. What we’re going to do is we’re going to run a very low amount of current, electrical current through there to heat up those wires.

And then this piece of wood underneath will push the wax up into the hot wires. And then we let that, the wires cool and they are embedded into the wax. So let’s just show you how that works. So there you see, we’ve got the foundation next to these nice tight wires. What we’re going to do is, we’re gonna run electrical current through these wires. We reduce the current to 12 volts, 2 amps. So that can be done with a battery charger. Here we have a little transformer mounted in our wiring device. But we’ll run that heat through there and then we’ll push the frame down onto this wood. The wood will push the wax up into the hot wires, liquefy the wax, and then we let it cool and then the wax is welded into place. So let’s just see how that works. We turn the switch on here. We’ve got contact points there with the wires, contact points here. So we just touch it, let the power go through the cord, through the line there, and then drop it down into place. So now you can see that it’s welded in place.