Bifold Frames, for bee breeding
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The Triplefold frames were a
good idea in some respects, but there were drawbacks. As there was
only space in the nuc for the three folded panels, there was no
provision for feeding. As we are dealing with small colonies of bees
that have been selected or filtered to have a greater proportion of
young nurse bees, as can be achieved using the
Marburg Swarm Box,
it was thought that there may not be enough bees foraging or that if
there were they could be better employed "at home" saving
their flying energy. I also think that by providing food the lower
amount of forager flying will result in less drifting between nucs.
There was no provision for comb drawing within the nuc.
The brood cell count was inadequate for testing the freshly mated queens.
My first solution was to make some mating nucs that would take a Triplefold frame, a 1/3rd width frame and a 1/3rd width frame feeder.
It then occurred to me that five 1/3rd width frames have a total width that was the same as a half width frame (I also had many of these already in use).
It was a simple step to produce a design that would accept 5 x 1/3rd width frames along the box or 3 x 1/2 width frames across the box.
A frame that was hinged only in the centre was much simpler to make and stronger (because there were fewer joints to fail or move) and could still be used in a full sized box over winter.
The wooden parts that bear the hinges are shaped as in the drawing at left.
The drawing below shows a
Cell Space incorporated into one half of the frame,
this is optional and I have some "with" and some
"without" this feature.
Originated... Summer 2000, Revised... 11 October 2001, Coding Corrections & update... 10 October 2002, Transferred to New Domain... 23 July 2004,