Winter is the time for a beekeeper to prepare for spring! Now is the perfect time to get a jump start on spring time preparations by building equipment like frames. Using a frame jig is an excellent way to build lots of frames and cut your work time down considerably. With all the time you save, you might be able to build another project. If you only have about 50 frames, plus or minus, perhaps a frame jig would be overkill, but if you have to build anything more than a hundred or so, this might be just what you need.
I found plans for my frame jig on beesource.com so check them out.
Building frames is pretty straight forward, but be mindful of just a couple things that will make your beekeeping experience even more enjoyable:
1. Use glue. I like Tightbond III because it is safe for use around your bees and it will add considerable strength and stability to your frames and help them last longer.
2. Keep your frames square. Check them with a builders square when you assemble them. Square frames = less squished bees when you remove frames for inspections.
3. If you have an air nailer or stapler, this can also be a big time saver for you. I like to use a 1” inch 18g staple straight into the top and bottom of each frame.
4. If you have read up on Housel positioning (bees like to use a left & right system when drawing comb) mark the top of your frames on one end with a pencil. Just place an “X” with dark pencil and always keep your frames going in the same direction. Often times beekeepers will pull frames out of a hive during inspections and put them back any which way. The bees HATE that.
Enjoy the video that goes along with this blog too!