Some Beekeepers do not use wire reinforced foundation, but
instead use unwired foundation in frames that have been strung with
wire. The wire then being embedded in the wax.
Some other Beekeepers use nylon mono filament (fishing line)
or thin twine for this purpose (I myself use nylon).
Whichever is your choice of material the methods are
I will use the term 'wire' to mean any of the possible
The 'wire' is threaded through holes, (usually 1.5mm),
drilled or punched in the sidebars, (details of the drilling
positions can be found in the
I use a drilling jig which is illustrated on
another page, so
that consistent results may be achieved.
The frames should be assembled as detailed under
frame assembly to the stage
where the top bar has two sidebars and one bottom bar. Then the 'wire'
is fed through the holes... One end is anchored... the 'wire' is
pulled taught... and then the other end is anchored.
Some use small brass eyelets to stop the thin wire from
cutting into soft timber.
There are many ways of fixing the ends of the 'wire'. Some
use 9mm gimp pins and wrap several turns around the shank then
hammer the pin home. My personal method is to whittle tapered wooden
pegs or spiles which are dipped in PVA glue and hammered in hard,
trapping the 'wire' in place. When the glue is dry (24 hrs) I trim the
excess length from the pegs (being careful not to cut the nylon!).
When the 'wire' is in place your frames should look like
There are many fads and fancies in the way in which the
'wires' are strung. There are many diagrams in old beekeeping books
that illustrate various patterns. The straight forward horizontal
pattern of wiring seems to me to be as good as any and better than
You should finish all the frames in the batch to this stage
before proceeding with the insertion of the foundation and embedding
of the 'wire'.
The next stage requires an
embedding board and one
or other of the
embedding Tools listed.
Slide your unwired foundation into the groove with the
'wires' underneath... then invert the frame on to the panel of the
embedding board thus trapping the foundation between the top surface
of the panel and the 'wires'. Run your heated embedding tool along
the 'wires' exerting a moderate amount of pressure and allowing enough
time for the wax to melt and then solidify again.
Fit the wedge bar and second bottom bar according to the
instructions given under "Frame assembly", but ignoring the comments
about trapping the wires.
Written... Autumn 2000
Revised... 23 Feb, 11 Apl 2002