I am looking into beekeeping for next year...I am starting to aquire equipment slowly and am reading lots about bees and mites and honey and ...well, a lot of things...So, I have some questions and need some answers as you may have...
PLastice vs wax foundation-
I am getting the impression that plastic (pierco )foundation makes beekeeping more effecient in that it reduces time to make the frames....Are there other advantages, in your experience that make it worthwhile.? What about draw backs?
Are there other plastic foundations out there other than pierco?
I have some old order forms from a company called "Perma.comb" with drawn out foundation...I can't seem to find it. Did it go out of business and if so, for what reason?
Ok, that will do for starters....And thanks for the answers ahead of time...
You will soon find that there are many opinions among even the most learned beekeepers. The secret to it all, is finding out what works for you, your bees, and where you keep your bees.
I have used both Pierco plastic foundation and wax. In most cases, the bees will do fine on the Pierco so long as that is all they're given. If you mix and match foundations (wax and plastic) the bees seem to prefer wax, and tend to cross comb the plastic. Duragilt has its drawbacks as it gets older. The wax tends to pull away from the plastic core. Once this happens, the bees will not build on it. When Duragilt is new, however, the bees take to it without any problem and is good for several years.
Personally, I'm partial to crimp wired wax. The bees (even the weakest colonies) have no trouble with it whatsoever.
One thing that may help you decide is the fact that both wax (and plastic) will accumulate various toxins over the years from medication residues, diseases & etc. The very idea that a beekeeper should seek "eternal lasting combs" goes against better judgement, I believe. Disposal of plastic foundation also has to be considered. Several hives is no problem...but what about hundreds, or thousands?
So there's my "watermelon" opinion. Eat what you like and spit out the seeds, but don't forget to enjoy your bees when you get them.
I am a newbie at this also, but have noticed in my own experience, that the bees seem to prefer the wax. I have used Pierco and crimp wired wax, and so far, the wax wins, hands down. The gentleman I buy bees from is getting close to eighty years old, and has been in the business for many years. He now uses mostly white Pierco snap-in foundation on wood frames with great results.