How To Wire A Frame – A Beginner Beekeeper’s Guide

How To Wire A Frame For Beginners

by Anita Deeley at BeverlyBees.com

When you are using wax foundation in your hive, after your assemble the frame and before you install the foundation, you need to prepare your frame by wiring it.  Wiring the frame gives the wax strength and support, keeps the drawn comb from sagging in the frame and helps strengthen the comb against breakage when extracting honey. 

How To Wire A Frame

Before you begin you need an assembled frame, frame wire, eyelets, an eyelet punch, a hammer, needle nose or lineman’s pliers and 5/8″ frame nails.  If you need to assemble your frame please read How To Assemble A Frame.   To view a larger version of any picture in this post just click on it.

Tools needed to wire a frame – A hammer, lineman’s pliers, frame wire, assembled frame, eyelets, eyelet punch and 5/8″ frame nails.

1.  First, install the eyelets into the side bars of the frame using the eyelet punch.  The eyelets prevent the wire from digging into the wood of the frame. Pick up the eyelets using the eyelet punch and install them into the holes on the sides bars. Push down until the eyelets fit snugly. Continue until all the holes on the side bars have eyelets installed.  A deep frame has 8 eyelet holes.

Installing the eyelets with the eyelet punch.

Push eyelets in so they fit securely.

Continue until all the holes in the sidebars have eyelets installed.

Frame with eyelets installed.

2. Next, partially hammer one 5/8″ nail into the bottom bar of the frame, as seen in the picture below.  The nail should be on one side of the groove.  Do not hammer the nail in all the way.  This nail will be used to hold the wire when wiring the frame.

Hammer a 5/8″ nail halfway into the bottom bar of the frame.

3. On the same side of the frame, partially hammer another 5/8″ nail into top bar adjacent to the 1 1/4″ nail that is used to hold the frame together.  Do not hammer this nail in all the way.  This nail will also be used to loop the wire around when wiring the frame.

Hammer a 5/8″ nail halfway into the top bar of the frame.

Nails halfway in are on the same side of the frame.

4. Now you are ready to wire your frame.  Start wiring on the same side of the frame as the two 5/8″ nails you just hammered.  Thread the wire through the first eyelet starting at the bottom of the frame.  Pull the wire across the frame and out the parallel eyelet on the other side of the frame.

Wiring the frame. Putting wire through the 1st eyelet.

Pull wire through frame and out the eyelet on the other side.

5. Next, thread the wire up against the side of the frame and through the third eyelet.  Pull the wire across the frame and out the eyelet on the same side of the frame you started the wiring process.

Thread wire up the side of the frame and through the third eyelet.

Pull wire through third eyelet and across the frame.

Pull wire out through the fourth eyelet.

6. Continue this process until all eyelets have been threaded. For a deep frame you should have 4 wires going across your frame when you are finished.

Pull wire up the side of the frame and through fifth eyelet.

Pull wire across the frame and through the sixth eyelet.

Pull wire up the frame and thread the seventh eyelet.

Pull wire through 7th eyelet.

Pull wire across the frame and through 8th eyelet.

Pull wire out through eighth eyelet.

7.  Now that the wire is threaded through all eight eyelets, you need to secure it.  Take the wire and tie a few loops around the nail near the top bar and hammer in the nail completely to secure the wire loop against the frame.

Loop wire around nail several times.

Hammer top nail in.

8. After the nail is hammered in, move the excess wire back and forth gently.  It should break off at the nail leaving a clean break.

Excess wire should now break off when moved back and forth.

9. Now pull the wire to tighten it.  Pull excess wire through the frame and out by the eyelet near the bottom nail.

Pull wire through frame so it is tight.

10. Once the wire is pulled tight through the frame you can cut the wire with the pliers.

Cut wire with pliers.

11.  Wrap wire loosely around the bottom nail to prevent the wire from coming out of the frame.

Wrap wire around bottom nail.

12. Now pull the wire very tight through the frame, pulling the all excess wire out the eyelet above the bottom nail.

Pull wire so it is very tight through the frame.

Pull wire tight through the frame.

13. Unloop the wire from the bottom nail and pull the wire tight.

Unloop the wire on bottom nail, pulling the wire tighter.

14. Pull the wire as tight as you can and reloop the wire multiple times around the nail in the bottom of the frame.

Pull wire tight before relooping wire on bottom nail.

Loop wire tightly around bottom nail.

Wire should now be tightly pulled through the frame.

Wire should be tight through frame and looped tightly several times around bottom nail.

15. Use your pliers to turn the nail, twisting the wire around the nail. The wire will get tighter as the nail is turning.

Use pliers to twist nail and tighten wire.

Tighten wire with pliers.

16. When the wire is tight enough it should make a pinging sound when plucked.

Wire should make noise when plucked.

17. Once the wire is tight and makes noise when plucked, hammer in the nail on the bottom of the frame. Break off excess wire by moving it back and forth under the nail.

Hammer the nail in the bottom of the frame and break off excess wire.

18. Your wired frame should look like this.

Finished Wired Frame.

Side of finished frame.

Other side of finished frame.

Congratulations! Your frame is now wired and ready to install foundation.

Copyright © 2011-2014. Anita Deeley, BeverlyBees.com. All rights reserved.

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4 Comments

  1. Absolutely LOVE this! Thank you for sharing with us! 🙂

  2. Will have to try this next time I wire a frame.
    Use pliers to twist nail and tighten wire

    Jim

    • At Mass Bee Field Day this year, I learned an easier way to wire a frame but you need an electric embedding tool when installing the foundation. I have not purchased one yet, but once I get it I will write a new post detailing that method. It is much faster.