Little john, How are the skewers working? I have made all my frames with skewers this year, any tips, expectations or observations.
This is part of an email I sent yesterday to a beekeeping friend:
In general, I've decided to move over from fishing-line comb support, to vertical bamboo skewers for all of my foundationless combs. The bees definitely prefer attaching to wood, and this method results in a more attractive-looking comb and thus saleable nuc. The use of fishing line was a good idea, and was incorporated most of the time, but every now and then the girls would build to one side of the line and not incorporate it into the mid-rib - and that event always looked flawed and shabby.
So yes, excellent - much better than I'd hoped. I'm using two skewers per frame, with Deep (9") frames fitted with 3mm dia skewers, and the 12" Deep frames fitted with 4.5mm dia. 4.5 is thicker than I'd like, but it's the only way of sourcing the required length.
The bees actually draw 3 separate combs at first, then morph them together, and after a short while the skewers just 'disappear' into the comb itself. I haven't yet seen a comb attached other than from side-bar to skewer, or from skewer to skewer, so they appear to rather like that kind of comb attachment.
BTW, here's one of a number of 14x12" frames I've just built for a 'Colander Hive' experiment:
The experiment involves a stack of two such boxes, with 14 small entrance holes for them to choose from. (I would have preferred a slot, but that's none too practical). I'm hoping that they will propolise shut the holes that offend them ...
I also took the opportunity to test the strength of my method of frame construction, as I use glue only, without nails or screws. Here's a Top Bar supporting a 56lb weight which I'm using as a GO/NO-GO means of testing.
And here's one of the 14x12" frames under the same test:
So - no need to worry on that score ...
All the best,
(apologises if I've hijacked this thread ...)