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Wiring frames is not one of the easiest chores. A beekeeping wiring board is designed for the purpose of supporting the frame, tightening the wire, and quickening the task of honeybee frame wiring. Beekeepers that require a reliable platform for wiring more than one frame will find the wiring board useful. It is designed for easy use and will meet the needs of small commercial honey producers, hobbyists, and sideliners. You can procure the best beekeeping wiring boards online or from your local stores.
About Beehive Frames and Foundation
Honeybees build wax combs on frames and foundations for the purpose of raising brood and storing food reserves for the colony. Frames are packed with wax or plastic sheet of foundation that have hexagonal cells that act as a guide for drawing straight comb. The frames can be moved during inspection, transfers, and when extracting honey.
Beekeepers can use frames that do not have the foundation, usually referred to as “foundationless” beekeeping. Nonetheless, frames are required for the purpose of availing a bee space gap between frames and all components around the frame. These will include adjacent frames, sides of the box, frames below and above, covers, and bottom boards. The frames allow the bees to build combs in a straight line and this is easier to manage. The beehive frames also make honey extraction with the use of honey extractors fast and hassle-free.
The Design of Beehive Frames
Beehive frames might have different depths but the width and length of all frames are equal. They are also made from different materials but retain the same construction and design, which comprises:
- The top bar – this is longer than the bottom bar to allow the frame to sit on the frame rest ledge on the hive box. It also helps create a bee space between adjacent walls and the sidebars. It is also wider than the bottom bar
- Two bars on either side – these are tapered and wider at the top than at the bottom. They have notches for attachment of the top and bottom bars. They are the widest part of the frame at the bottom and at the top. The tapered design also creates a bee space between the top bars and the fully drawn combs within the frame. This is made possible by the tapered design.
- The bottom bar – this can either be grooved or split.
Beehives are not only defined by the width of their frames but also by the number of frames they can hold. This includes 10, 8, or 5 frames. The frames can be made of wood or plastic material.
Plastic beehive frames come with the foundation in one piece and this style does not allow beekeepers to select a wax foundation. The height and embossed cell size options are available for the beekeeper to choose from. Green plastic frames that have large cell sizes serve as drone brood frames.
Wooden frames are popular and come as either wedged or grooved at the top bars. The wedged comes with a small strip of wood that is removable and is used to pin the wax foundation into place. Grooved top bars as suggested by the name have a groove for holding the foundation into its place.
Wooden frames come with sidebars that can have holes and others do not. The holes are used as anchor points for wire pins, support rods, and pins that help keep the wax foundation tightly attached into place. The wiring will run through the holes on the sidebars, across the frame, and also underneath the wax foundation. The wiring holds the foundation in place and keeps it rigidly in place during honey extraction.
Eyelets are inserted into the sidebar holds to keep the wire from cutting through the wood when the wire is tightened while wiring the frames. Support pins can also be used in place of wires. These are inserted through the sidebars as a support to the wax foundations to prevent them from sagging.
Foundation in Frames
The foundations in frames are designed to ease the work of wax comb building for the bees. Plenty of time and a lot of energy is expended on wax comb building by the bees and the only way to make their work much easier is by providing frames with foundation.
Frames that lack foundations are not desired since the bees will build combs in undesired directions. Additionally, the combs will easily fall out of the frame.
The foundation is available as either plastic or wax foundations. These are explained below:
- Plastic foundation – which comes in four color options, that is, green, yellow, black, and white. The white and yellow foundations are preferred for honey supers, the black foundation for brood chamber, and the green for brood rearing.
- Wax foundation – available in various forms that include hooked, no hook, beeswax only, cut comb, medium brood, wired beeswax, and thin surplus. Since wax is a natural honeybee product, honeybees will readily accept wax foundations.
Frame Wiring With Beekeeping Wiring Boards
Wiring of frames is one of the most important steps undertaken by beekeepers since it helps guarantee the honey frames come out of the honey extractor without damage. It also helps ensure the brood frames remain tightly held in place even during hot days when combs tend to warm up and sag.
The beekeeping wiring board is used by beekeepers to make the work of wiring frames easy, fast, and effective. The board is designed for beekeepers that have Langstroth-style boxes and equipment and a beeswax foundation. A single piece of wire is normally used when wiring frames. This is nailed to one end of the frame and will run through a hole into the hole on the opposite side of the frame. It is then run down along the sidebar into the next hole and through the hole to the hole on the opposite side. This process is repeated until all the holes on the frame are completed and a series of equally spaced wires are arranged parallel to each other.
Frames can have two pairs, three pairs, or four pairs of holes depending on the depth of the frame. After the wiring of the frame is completed, the end of the wire is driven into the frame.
Wiring can also take a different design in frames instead of the parallel design. The crisscrossing of wires on the frame is common and entails running the wire from the upper left to the lower right, and then running it up the outer side of the right sidebar, going through the top hole, and then crisscrossing in the opposite direction.
Frames that have been wired right should produce a sound similar to the harp when plucked. It should also have a symmetrical design. The wire should be properly tightened and the wiring board makes this work much easier. The metal eyelets that are inserted into the holes on the bars of the frame help prevent the wire from cutting through the wood.
Benefits of Beekeeping Wiring Boards
The best beekeeping wiring board is designed for the following purposes:
- It helps ensure the installation of wiring on frames is fast and perfectly done.
- Helps with the installation of foundation on wired frames.
- It supports shallow, medium, and deep frames.
- It is a platform for the beekeeper to work on to ensure the components of the frame are tightly held in place for easy fitting of the wiring and foundation.
- It helps ensure economic use of the wire to avoid any wastage as the spool is properly held in place and wire released as per requirements.
- Allows for easy access to the holes on the wooden frame as the wire is run through the frame bars side to side, across, and bottom to the upper side.
- It is economical in the long run since the cost incurred in purchasing wired frames is eliminated. The beekeeper can make their own wired frames, on their own time, and in line with their needs.
Who Needs a Beehive Frame Wiring Board?
The taste and preferences of different beekeepers will never be the same and this will apply to the need for a beehive frame wiring board. Some beekeepers have developed their own methods of wiring frames and others do not wire their beehive frames. Nonetheless, wired frames still remain popular and the demand for the beehive frame wiring board keeps increasing.
All beekeepers will benefit from the beekeeping wiring board especially those with the intention of wiring their own frames. The wired frames ensure the frames are not damaged after use on the honey extractor and can be reused. Additionally, the beekeeper no longer has to purchase wired frames from their local store or from other beekeepers. They can even train others on how to wire their own frames and charge a fee for it, thus generating more income in their business.
Best Beekeeping Wiring Boards
Some of the best wiring boards you can get online include the following:
1. Beehive Frame Wiring Jig
This is a handy wiring jig for beehive frames that is designed to make your work so much easier. It is a platform with a simple design and is easy to use. The beehive frames are supported and tightly held in place to make the task of tightening the wire hassle-free. It is ideal for all skill levels including the professional, beginner, or hobbyist beekeeper. It is a strong and durable board that will serve you for years.View Item
2. Yellow Wiring Board
This is made to make wiring frames easy and fast. It is ideal for beekeepers that have several beehive frames that need to be wired within a short time. The board is strong and durable to guarantee an extended service life. It is designed with the necessary features that will support the frames, tighten the wire and make your work so much easier.View Item
3. Frame Wire Wiring Board With Toggle Clamp
This board with a toggle clamp is made for the purpose of wiring several frames at a go. The wiring board makes the job much easier with its toggle clamp that compresses the frame’s end bars. It is easy to use and guarantees the wire is tightly fitted in place and ready for the foundation to be fitted into it. The wooden board has all the necessary features to ensure the frames stay tightly in place as you do your work of running the wires through the holes in the frame.View Item
4. Beehive Frame Wiring Board by Suitsik
This is ideal for frames that require 2 to 4 horizontal wires. It will also work perfectly with 5 wires. The board is of desirable size and supports standard beehive frames such as Dadant, Zander, Farrar, Langstroth, and many others that require wires that run horizontally. It comes with rollers that have a spinning function to make it easy to draw and tighten the wire as required. It is well designed and of good quality to guarantee a long service life. The board is easy to use and will work well in wiring new or used frames. It fits well all wire rollers with an inner hole of 15mm. The wooden board is made of excellent quality Baltic Birch plywood.View Item
Beekeeping wiring boards are your to-go-to tool if you are a serious beekeeper. You need to wire your frames so that the wax foundation can be properly secured within the frame. The wires will also make it easy for the honeybees to build combs instead of creating combs that go in unwanted directions. You will also find the wiring useful during warmer months as combs that are not on wired frames tend to sag and even risk falling off. The wired frames are also better positioned to withstand the centrifugal force from the honey extractor and will not break off when the extraction is completed. These frames can thus be reused, making your work and that of the bees so much easier. Additionally, wires hold frames together no matter how long they remain in use.