Foundationless Frames

Making supers is an easy way to save money, making your own frames seems to take too much time. One of the easiest cost reductions frame wise is to make most of your frames foundationless. I do this with popsicle sticks and by not buying foundation I save about $1 a frame.

Here I’ve got all my materials. My frames are glued together with tightbond. Glue is strong enough, I haven’t nailed any frames in 4 years and all my frames are doing fine. I do a thorough job of gluing with plenty of glue though.

To make my frames founationless I glue 3 popsicle sticks in each groove (with a bit of an overlap to make them fit). Bees will build from the lowest point in the frame so they start from the bottom of the popsicle stick and then usually go straight down. It helps to have one frame in each box already filled so they are guided to build them length wise. They also like to have a frame to climb because bees will build from the top down.

The popsicle sticks are pretty sturdy and withstand the harvesting fine. I just pop the frames back in the hives to get built again when done. If you’re doing this inside I’d recommend putting newspaper under to catch the glue.

Here they are doing their thing. (I was a wimp that day and wore gloves).