Now that the hive is up and running, and the bees are busy building away, I need to start preparing some extra room for them – a super, to sit on top of the brood box. This box and super frames are shallower than the brood box – therefore easier to handle and the honey can be collected sooner (therefore avoiding possible granulation).
The frames have been bought with a wire already threaded through it. These empty frames could be put in to the hive as they are, but we are advised to attach sheets of foundation wax – which persuades the bees to build comb where we want it.
The foundation is a sheet of beeswax, with the hexagonal cell pattern embossed on it. The bees use this to build on, and will draw out patterns into cells, thus making combs within the frames.
The foundation is laid on the wire of the frame, and the wire heated to melt the wax, fusing the 2 together. JP has an aged battery charger, which does this job admirably.
Ours, unfortunately is more recent, and it transpires that it refuses to emit a current if nothing is drawing from it. Andy therefore went into design mode, and has fettled a suitable gizmo from an old drill charger and some bits of wire.
Fusing wax onto nine frames was completed in super-fast time. I just needed to drizzle on a bit of extra wax to keep the sheet firmly in place – for which my lovely 1930’s chocolatiere comes in very useful.