Wiring frames

When harvesting honey from hives or supers in which you’ve used frames, you can use a honey strainer/bottler or you can spin the honey from the frames by using a centrifugal extractor. Using an extractor will allow you to reuse the drawn combs within the frames during subsequent seasons, which should boost annual honey production.

The biggest concern with extraction is that the centrifugal force that is exerted on the frames during the process could easily cause all-natural combs to come apart, leaving you with an empty frame and a real mess in the extractor. For this reason, you'll need to add strength to the combs by using vertically wired foundation sheets or by wiring the frames. Experienced beekeepers may choose wiring the frames over using foundation, and this is how it's done.

Everything (except for the eyelets, which are sold separately) that you need to wire your frames can be obtained by purchasing our frame wiring kit. Obviously, the first thing you'll need to do is assemble your frames. The glue should be allowed to cure for 24 hours before you start wiring them. Once your frames are ready, you'll begin by installing metal eyelets into each of the four holes that are drilled in each side bar.

Place one eyelet onto the eyelet driver as shown.





Use a hammer to drive the eyelet into a hole in the side bar, until the rim of the eyelet is flush with the wood.




Then, simply continue working until all four holes in each side bar contain eyelets.


Once all of the eyelets have been installed, choose an eyelet at either end of either side bar (it doesn't matter which one) to use as the entry point for the wire. Begin by feeding the wire as shown.



Continue feeding the wire through the eyelets and back and forth across the frame, until you are through all of the eyelets and have four wires running across the inside of the frame.



Drive a small wire nail slightly into the wood next to the exit hole.




Wrap the wire around the nail two times, and then drive the nail all of the way into the wood. Use wire cutters to cut off the excess wire.


Cut the wire, which at this point is still connected to the spool, several inches from the entry hole, so that you have enough wire to hold onto firmly with your hand. Drive a small wire nail next to the entry hole.

Work the wire through each eyelet and get each run of wire tight while pulling on the end of the wire with one hand. Wrapping the end of the wire around a small scrap of wood may make this task easier.


Wiring a Warre hive frame


Wrap the wire twice around the nail that you started next to the entry hole and drive the nail flush into the wood. Use wire cutters to again cut off the excess.





At this point, the wire is completely installed in the frame, but is not tight enough. Next, you'll use a wire crimping tool which will shorten the length of each run of wire in order to get it very tight. Place the wire crimper over a run of wire and squeeze it together so that the wire becomes pinched between the toothed wheels. Push the wire crimping tool downward, along the full length of the wire.


Continue using the crimping tool on each run of wire. Once all four runs have been crimped, they should all be ass tight as guitar strings. You can re-crimp wires as needed.

Once you have your frame wired, simply install the wedge cleat sideways into the top bar (to function as a comb guide) and coat it with wax. The bees will build their combs right over the wires, which will give each comb the strength that is needed to survive the extraction process.