Adding Frame Ridge Metal

 Frames with propolis against a wooden hive box. You bet the two stick together!

Frames with propolis against a wooden hive box. You bet the two stick together!

Adding Hive Frame Ridge Metal

If you are just starting beekeeping, this will not be exciting but trust me, do it now and you will thank me later. I'm talking about adding metal strips to the hive frame ridge so the frames easily move from side to side. In other words, the metal keeps bees from glueing the frames down with propolis, an amazing antibacterial tree sap mixture bees use to protect their home.

When I first started beekeeping, I had a challenging time getting some of the basic woodworking skills down. I still find frames I tried to nail together without glueing first with Titebond II glue. Yes, do glue your frames first. The weight of capped honey later can stress those little wooden pieces.

Same thing with adding frame ridge metal. It's easy to put off adding those strips until the ridge becomes full of propolis and you need a tire bar to remove a frame. Ok maybe a tire bar is a bit much but at my apiary, located in the middle of a limestone hillside, my bees amply apply propolis.

This spring, as I was repairing woodenware, I figured out how to get those little metal strips easily attached. I turned the box so that the inside was easy to access. Once I cut the metal strips to size, it was easy to get them nailed on.

 Hammering the tiny nails into the thin metal frames is easy once you figure out how to set it up.

Hammering the tiny nails into the thin metal frames is easy once you figure out how to set it up.

A beekeeping friend suggested you can use needle nose pliers to hold those tiny nails if you don't want to hold them. Good idea if you have a tendency to hammer your fingers more than the wood.

 Use wire clippers to cut the thin metal into the length you need.

Use wire clippers to cut the thin metal into the length you need.

Once you have these metal strips installed, you won't want to deal with hive bodies without them. They keep frames easily moving and make it much easier to get into and out of them.

 Now the wooden frames will more easily slide across the ridge inside the bee hive.

Now the wooden frames will more easily slide across the ridge inside the bee hive.

You can add them later, too but it's better to add them when your hives boxes are brand new. The metal strips will more easily fit against the wood ridge that hasn't been filled with propolis.

If you do have propolis, set the hive box in the sun for a few minutes, it will help melt the propolis so that it is more easy to remove.

This is a gift you give yourself. Here is a gift you can give a bee lover!

Charlotte