Ross rounds, initial views


I’ve buckled!  I’d been looking at them for some time but the price had put me off.  Finally though, I’ve bought a Ross round section super for use after the oil seed rape is over.

I bought it from Mann Lake, it was about £84 (I ordered some MAQS at the same time to benefit from free postage).  The cost from Thornes would have been £130.  However, as I found out later (although if I had read the details it was there!), it wasn’t quite a 1-1 comparison.  The Thorne’s version has 40 rounds, whilst the Mann Lake one has 32.  Even so, the Mann Lake one is about 20% cheaper on a round for round basis.

There are 8 of the frames, which as you can see come apart to allow the insertion of the rings and the foundation.  I’ve inserted the rings that came with it and stored away the covers.  The rings sit snuggly inside the frames, as can be seen below:

IMG_0021 IMG_0022

When I fit foundation, this will go between the two halves of the frames and the rings.  So then one ring will be on each side.  The idea then is that the bees build out comb on either side and once capped off I can take out the comb and the rings, trim back the foundation and put a cover on top and bottom.  Tape around the side and then it should be a case of labelling and selling.

The big challenge I have with all of this is that you end up selling the rings and covers with the honey. It should make for a nice presentation, however it does make it quite costly.  Before you factor in the cost of the super I’m estimating that the packaging alone comes in at just about £1.05 for each section.

First impressions are that the frames look well made.  The super looks quite basic, OK, but not finely finished.  I think from the photo that the Thornes one would probably be better finished, but the sections will taste the same!  I’m also surprised that the springs seem to protrude below the super. I need to see how it all goes together when I have it on a hive.

I’ve ordered more rings, covers and also foundation from CirComb, based up in Dundee.  They seem good value, and arrived quickly.


I’ve had a quick look at the size of the foundation, and it looks to be shorter, and also quite a lot wider than national super sized foundation.





5 thoughts on “Ross rounds, initial views

  1. I’ll be interested to hear how you get on with these … although I’ve recently invested in a new extractor I’m intending to try and make some comb honey this season or next – bigger profit margin and a niche market. I’ll be getting the Thorne’s kit but your link to the Dundee supplier of rings and covers was useful (not least because I’ll be local in a few months and so can collect). I assume the foundation is standard thin unwired worker base? If so, I have a load in stock and will trade in some wax for more at the Convention.

    Cheers, David

  2. Thanks David, I’m hoping to stimulate some demand for comb sections. It is a niche product though, most of my current customers, either at work, or via the farm shop, have looked at me a bit blankly so far!

    It looks like unwired worker base, but I think a different size, leave it with me and I’ll dig it out and confirm the sizing.


    1. I had a chance to take a quick look and have added a photo of the ross round foundation versus national super to the post. I can measure if that is helpful.

      1. Many thanks for the photo. It was the thickness of the sheet I was really referring to. The length appears to be too long for a National super? The depth I can understand due to the reduced height of the sections box.

        Not sure I’ll get round to trying these this year due to moving. Nevertheless, 32-40 sections per super at the price each is likely to sell for makes it a valuable crop … and certainly recoups the outlay in the first season. Of course, that assumes a near-perfect summer and accommodating bees 😉

        1. No problem, I’ve had a quick look and the thickness looks about the same as my unwired foundation.

          Anyway that was a bit imprecise, spot the actuary, so I’ve then measured the foundation and weighted it:
          RR foundation is 44.4cm across and 10.8cm deep
          Nat foundation is 34.5cm across and 20.5cm deep

          10 sheets of the RR foundation weigh about 238g
          10 sheets of the nat foundation weigh about 222g

          So the RR foundation is about 0.05g per square cm
          Whilst the nat foundation is about 0.03g per square cm

          I can’t recall if the national is just unwired or some of the super thin I bought from KBS last year.

          My conclusion – it’s not going to need anything special (although you’ll need to slice and dice super foundation a little to get the fit).

          Hope that helps.

          Shame you don’t think you’ll get the chance, that’s quite a move you have – it’s hard enough moving a few hives a few miles.
          Surely evey summer is going to be perfect, and just like last year ….. 😉


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