Saul Creek Apiary
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How to assemble, Wire, Install and Embed Wax Foundation
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Wax Foundation In a Frame
Wax Foundation Installed and Embedded in Wired Frame.
Welcome to How to install and Embed Wax Foundation in a Hive Frame. There are two parts to this step, Installing the wax foundation sheet into the hive frame (1st part) and How to Embed Wax Foundation into Hive Frame (2nd Part). This is page is a third part in a series of "How to Assemble a Hive Frame" and "How to Wire a Hive Frame for Foundation".
We use only 100% Bees Wax Foundation with Crimped Wire and Hooks (see Pic. 1)
Why use Crimped Wire with Hooks Foundation? In areas where heat is a factor such as here in South Texas, and if you plan on extracting honey in an extractor, Honey Comb needs all the help it can get to prevent the wax from becoming week and failing. Using wax foundation with wire is a must also if you plan on using frames with drawn comb over and over again.
Tools needed to install and embed wax foundation:
Electric Wire Embeder: An Electric Wire Embedder can be purchased from any Bee Supply or you can make your own from a 12V Heavy Duty Transformer.
How to Install and Embed Wax Foundation
Step 1. Hive Frame: Place your pre-wired hive frame flat on the work table in front of you (make sure to place the frame with the 3/8 x 5/8 grooved top bar facing up to allow foundation and wedge strip to be inserted See Pic 2.)
Step 2. Insert Wax Foundation: Remove thin paper sheets that are placed between wax sheets to prevent wax sheets from sticking together (See Pic 3.)
Place Wax sheet foundation into hive frame (Make sure bottom of wax foundation is inserted into the hive frames grooved bottom bar (See Pic 4.).
After the wax foundation is seated in the bottom bar let the top of the wax foundation lay into the cut out section of the Top Bar. Make sure the Hooks on the top of the foundation seat against the top bars cut out section (See Pic 5.).
Step 3. Install Wedge in Top Bar: After making sure the wax foundation is seated in the hive frame you are now ready to nail the "Wedge" that secures the foundation in place to the top bar (See Pic 6.).
The nails used for this step are approximately 5/8" long and we will use three nails to secure the wedge to the frame. Due to the nails being only 5/8" long it helps to hold the nail with either a pair of Needle Nose Pliers or equivalent to prevent smashing fingers (See Pic 7.).
Nail Placement: The Wedge strip is nailed in place by three nails. Place one nail approximately 1" from the left and right sides and one in the center.
How to Embed Wax Foundation
Embedding Wax Foundation can be accomplished in two ways. You can either use a roller which is basically a wheel with small spikes that roll over the wire and press it into the wax or you can use a 12 Volt Transformer and electrically heat the wire to embed it into the wax.
Step 1. Place Hive Frame on Embedding Board: Place the Hive Frame with the wires facing up on a raised foundation board. A raised foundation board provides a solid backing which is required in order to embed the wire previously installed (See "How to Wire a Hive Frame for Foundation"). A raised foundation board can be purchased from any Bee Supply or you can make your own from drop off pieces of plywood. The raised section must be cut to allow the frame to sit down over it allowing the wax foundation to rest on it suspending the hive frame just slightly.
Step 2. Plug in your 12 Volt Transformer: Plug in your 12V Transformer making sure the + and - contacts are not touching. Take the positive lead in one hand and the negative lead in the other and touch the foundation wire next to the end bars of the frame as shown in the picture below.
Hold the leads in place just long enough to heat the wire which will start melting the foundation as it heats up (Do Not Over Heat the Wire as it will cut through the wax foundation cutting it into). Once you see the wire starting to disappear into the wax foundation remove one lead and use the other lead to press in any remaining wire that has not embedded into the wax foundation.. Embed only one section of wire at a time. You do need to totally embed every inch of wire into the wax foundation as the Bees will build Comb over the wires, all you are trying to do is embed the wire enough to hold the foundation in place until the Bees can draw comb around it.
Congratulations! You have just Assembled, Wired and Embedded your first Hive Frame.
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