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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Guelph, ON, CAN
    Posts
    29

    Post

    Checked the girls today and both supers are full and mostly capped.
    I put on another shallow with undrawn permacomb frames. My expectation is I won't get much honey from these supers but I would expect the bees to draw comb, (we have another 2-3 weeks of good goldenrod weather left) giving me a head start for next year...sound logical?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,313

    Post

    I'm not sure what "undrawn" PermaComb is but I'm guessing that it's not PermaComb but Pierco frames. PermaComb is already "drawn" and merely needs to be filled and capped.

    It's always logical to keep supers on until they start using their stores instead of storing them.

    If you feed a lot you many even have a little extra stores to distribute as needed with all your hives, or freeze them and give them to the bees in the spring when they start rearing brood and going through a lot of stores.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Winterset IA
    Posts
    47

    Post

    MB. You have said that you make transition small cell by dipping permacomb in melted wax but I haven’t read your exact method. Is it posted some where on this site? If not how hot is the wax? How do you do it? I think you are onto something.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,313

    Post

    I KNOW I'm on to something. Instant regression is wonderful.

    PermaComb melts at a little above 220 F. Wax will metl quite a bit below it.

    If you dip room temp PermaComb in 212 F wax the wax clumps up badly and it doesn't work at all.

    If you dip 200 F PermaComb in 212 F wax, it runs off much better, but its still like shaking out nectar or water from comb. It has enough suface tension to be difficult to get it to run out. So I shake it and bang it on my plywood table (outside of course. I end up with wax all over my clothes and shoes.

    Here's the method:

    Wax coating PermaComb
    My method of quickly getting bees regressed to normal size is to wax coat a product that is fully drawn comb. The wax coating is to make the cells smaller. Here is my method. I hope to improve on it as I go.

    Here’s what I have for equipment to do this and where I do it. I have an old gas stove with an oven set up outside. I have a table next to that with a “turkey roaster” pan. The pan is thermostatically controlled and has a double boiler/steam table kind of arrangement. Meaning it has a roaster pan inside of the roaster. I can put water in the outside part and a little water in the inside roaster with the wax. This keeps the wax from getting too hot. I set the thermostat to about 250 degrees F which boils the water which keeps the wax about 212 degrees F. I have some rubber dishwashing gloves and a frame grip. I set the oven, using an oven thermometer, so that it is about 200 to 210 degrees F. I put a piece of cardboard on the rack (with a fold so it runs up the back of the oven) and put PermaComb in the oven. If you want something as feedback until you get the hang of it, you can put a small piece of wax in one of the cells of the front PermaComb so you can look and check if it has melted yet. When the PermaComb gets up to temp (about 20 to 30 minutes) and the wax is up to temp (the wax is melted and the water in it is bubbling a bit) you pull one comb and dip it. My pan isn’t quite deep enough and I have to lay on one side and wait for the bubbles to stop, then the other side and wait for the bubbles to stop, and then because the pan isn’t quite long enough, I have to put the opposite end in and repeat the process. Now that every cell is full of wax, I have to shake as much of the wax back out as I can. I start by holding it upside down with the frame grip and shaking it over the pan. Then I shake it horizontally to shake one side out more and then flip it and shake the other side out more. Then I hit the top of it on the table several times to knock some more wax out and then I move to a spot beside that spot and slam it flat ways a few times on each side. Then I put the comb in a Langstroth box upside down on the frame rests so it can drain more if it will. Then I do the next comb. After a few combs I go back to the first few combs in the rack and hit them a couple of more times to knock out some more wax and then I put them in a regular box right side up.
    I know this sounds complicated, and it is a bit. But mostly it is very messy and very hot. You will have wax all over your clothes and your shoes. The concept is that the comb needs to be hot enough to melt wax so that the wax won’t clump up in the cells. The wax should be hot enough to run well, but not too hot so it doesn’t melt the PermaComb. PermaComb melts at temps over 220 degrees F. Then you get all of the insides of the cells coated and then you try to get all of the excess off so it doesn’t make clumps and drips and fill up the bottoms of the cells.

    What I'd like to setup some day is a tank and a rack so I can dip 18 frames at once, flip it over and drain 18 at once and then put them in an extractor to throw the wax off. Of course the extractor would have to be metal and have a drum heater attached so the wax would melt and run out into some container. I was going to try to set this up if anyone wanted to buy the wax coated PermaComb, but so far, it's too expensive to do all of this and no one seems that interested.


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