Foundation in a top bar?

You have just gotten your bees, either in the mail or you have gone and picked them up in person. Now what do you do? Covers from installation in your hive until the end of the first winter and the first blooms of spring.
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hsilgnede_bee
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:16 pm
Location: West of Ireland

Foundation in a top bar?

Postby hsilgnede_bee » Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:26 am

Is there any reason not to put wireless foundation into a top bar hive to get the bees building in straight lines when a hive is being used for the first time?

Obviously needs to be attached to the top bar somehow etc, but aside from that is there any reason not too?

waspkiller
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun May 24, 2015 5:13 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Foundation in a top bar?

Postby waspkiller » Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:44 am

The reason people will say no is that one of the ideas of a top bar hive is to let the bees build natural comb, not on foundation.

However you can get your straight comb and let bees build natural comb by putting a thin strip of foundation on the top bar. The strip should be about 2 cells wide and the bees will build their comb from that. The best way to attach the strips is glue from a hot melt glue gun, and preferably cut a groove in the top bar to put the foundation into a little, as per the photo. This will give a better result than lollipop sticks, wedged bars, or all the other crazy things people do.

The thinner your strip of foundation, the less likely it is to fall out from weight of bees hanging on it before the bees have properly joined it to the bar. Don't have the bottom surface of the bar too smooth.

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hsilgnede_bee
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:16 pm
Location: West of Ireland

Re: Foundation in a top bar?

Postby hsilgnede_bee » Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:04 pm

Cool. Many thanks.


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