Rescue Frames

Recently, I rescued a very damaged hive, ripped apart in a storm. Several of you have asked how I set up the frames. I learned this technique many years ago and have no idea where it came from, but have found it an easy and useful tool.

 Five nails on top bar, three at bottom

Five nails on top bar, three at bottom

The design requires a frame, 8 small flat-head nails, string and a rubber band. I use deep frames as natural comb is longer than the smaller frames so it reduces the need to cut the comb up. The end result is a comb held in by a string mesh.

To set up, we only nail one side of the frame to create a string mesh at the back as well as the front. It enables the frame to be laid on its side while the the comb is placed in the frame and the outer string then put on.

 The starter loop

The starter loop

There are five nails placed in the top bar and left protruding enough to take a two string depth. Three nails are placed in the bottom bar. You only need to nail one side.

 

A loop is tied in the string and it attached from the bottom side to the nail on the top side. The string is woven around each nail and attached in the same manner. This forms the bottom mesh of the frame and all the string wires should be on the bottom side only.

 The bottom mesh

The bottom mesh

At the last nail I often wrap the string around twice to help it stay in place as I am placing the comb. On the top side, the string does not need to cross to the bottom side of the frame. It is simply wound back across the nails.

At the final nail, we use an easy to attach system. Create a loop 30-40mm (several inches) from the final nail. A rubber band is attached to the loop and then is easily stretched to the end of the frame.

 Foundation as comb example

Foundation as comb example

During a rescue, the frame is laid on its side (nail side up). The top string is undone, the comb is laid in the frame and either cut or pushed into place. Ensure the comb is placed with the cells leaning slightly upward so honey will stay put. Do up the top string and stand the frame up. It is now ready to store in the hive. The bees will reattach the comb and chew through the string.

I keep a box of these frames in my swarm collection kit just in case a cut out is required to remove the colony.

Happy beeking