Saul Creek Apiary
Raw Honey Pollination Equipment
Welcome to "How to wire a Frame for Foundation". This is a continuation from "How to Assemble a Hive Frame" where we covered step by step the assembly of wooden hive frames.
Why wire your frames? Many Beekeepers only wire the frames they will be using to extract honey. In our opinion all frames should be wired including Deeps for the Brood Chamber. The wire aids in preventing the comb from breaking away from the frame and should be done especially in warm climates where heat is a factor in weakening the wax comb.
Equipment needed for Wiring Frames:
Tack Hammer: When assembling hive frames we highly recommend using a Tack hammer such as the one pictured to the left. Tack hammers can be purchased at any home improvement store.
Eyelet Driver: We use a #10 Torx-Bit Driver which works perfectly. Eyelet Drivers can be purchased from most Beekeeping Suppliers.
Foundation Wire Holder: When wiring frames for foundation it is helpful but not required to have a holder that keeps the wire held in position and aids in preventing the wire from unrolling and causing a big tangled mess. A holder such as the one above can be built from scrape wood or you can purchase a holder from your favorite beekeeping supplier.
Frame Holder: A Frame Holder is very simple to make and consist of a base board made of plywood and a piece of 5/8 thick plywood cut to allow the Hive Frame to fit over it when it's attached to the base board. This keeps the frame from sliding away from you as you thread the wire through it.
Wiring the Hive Frame for Foundation
Step 1. Insert Eyelets
Eyelets are used to prevent the wire from cutting into the soft white pine end bars. Eyelets fit into the 2 or 4 holes located in the end bars as shown in the photograph to the right. A special tool can be purchased from a Beekeeping supplier or you can just use a #10 Torx Tool as it fits and works perfectly for installing the eyelets.
Step 2. Drive a 5/8" Anchor Nail in the End Bar
Drive 1 5/8" wire nail in to the end bar just above and slightly to the side of bottom most #1 eyelet, do not drive the nail completely in as this nail is the anchor point for your foundation wire.
Step 3. Threading Wire
Note: Wire can be threaded with either 2 anchor points (1 long piece of wire) which makes getting your wire tight a little harder as in Pic 1. or you can choose to wire your frames with 4 anchor points (2 shorter pieces of wire) as in Pic 2. which allows you to tighten the wire much easier. as your pulling 2 passes at a time rather than 4.
Pic 1. Pic 2.
4 point anchor:
4 anchor points method locations
With the spool of wire sitting next to the frame pull enough wire out to at least allow you to thread the wire thru the frame twice. If using the 4 anchor point method (Pic 2.) drive an additional 5/8" nail just above the #2 eyelet to allow anchoring the end of the wire. Wrap the end of the wire around the nail head (#2 Eyelet) and drive the nail flush in the end bar. Using a pair of needle nose pliers pull the wire tight at the #1 eyelet and wrap the wire around the nail just above the #1 eyelet. When the wire is wrapped around the nail cut it and slide the wire spool to the side then drive the nail flush with the end bar surface. Note: Be sure to cut any remaining wire off as close to the wire as possible then tap the remaining piece of wire into the frame. Drive two more nails above the #3 and #4 eyelet and thread, pull tight and anchor the wire as you did with the #1 and #2 wire.
2 Point Anchor:
2 Anchor Point method locations
Drive an anchor nail just above the #1 eyelet. With the Spool of wire sitting next to the frame pull out enough wire to make two passes starting at the # 1 eyelet and continuing on through the #2 eyelet coming out next to the wire spool. On the frame opposite the spool at the # 1 eyelet pull enough wire out to allow the wire to be threaded thru the # 3 eyelets and emerging out the #3 eyelet next to the spool of wire, again at the #1 eyelet opposite the wire spool pull enough wire through to allow threading the wire on thru the #4 eyelets ending with the wire coming out on the wire spool end of the frame. Drive an anchor nail above the #4 eyelet and wrap the end of the wire two or three turns then drive the nail flush with the end bar. Pull the wire tight starting at the top (#4 eyelet) and work down to the bottom (#1 eyelet) and finish by anchoring the wire around the nail and drive the nail flush with the end bar surface.
Note: Be sure to cut any excess wire off that is sticking up next to the nail heads and tap any wire left, flush into the end bars.
Continue on to How to Install and embed Wax Foundation
Click Here> Wax Foundation Install & Embedding
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