I am having problems getting my bees to draw out my ritecell foundation. They do fine with wax foundation. Anyone have this problem? And advise from would be great thanks.
Thanks in advance
Is ritecell the Mann Lake product? cj
Is there a honey flow on?
Do you have a queen excluder between the boxes?
If you are feeding or there is a honey flow on they should draw it out.
If you have a excluder between the boxes it does not matter if you feed or honey flow they will not move to it. You need to bait it first then put the excluder on.
"You need to bait it first then put the excluder on."
How do you bait a super?
"To bee or not to bee, that is the question"
Put some drawn comb with honey in it, in that super.
[This message has been edited by dickm (edited June 06, 2004).]
Throw out the plastic, replace it with wax foundation.
Plastic works great. But if you mix plastic with anything else... the bees will always choose anything else first. Try a hive with only plastic, and they'll draw it out fine. I ONLY use Pierco full plastic frames and love them- I'd never use anything but plastic (no setup work, long life, wax moth proof, etc.). I would stay away from anything that's not molded with the comb shape in it, however.
I use Rite-Cell and have no problems. If the bees seem like they dont want to pull it out I brush on some more wax. Sometimes it seems that the foundation doesnt have enough wax to entice the bees.
I had a problem with the EZ-frames. They just wouldn't draw it. Three weeks later I put a Pierco plastic frame right next to the EZ-frames coated both with 1:1 and closed it up. One week later I went back. The Pierco was fully drawn on both sides with eggs in nearly every cell. The EZ-frame was untouched. Housel positioning was right. My bees just don't seem to like the EZ-frames.
I was going to try Rite-cell next... maybe I'll re-think.
is there much difference between pierco & rite cell? (I've only used rite-cell & wax)
There are Pierco frames and Pierco snap in foundation. The snap in foundation is closer to Ritecell. The Ritecell I have has no "Y" in the bottom of the cell (three rhombus making an indentation. The Pierco deep frames (and real comb) that I have has the "Y". The Pierco frames are all one piece frame and foundation so you don't have to assemble the frames.
Also the cell size on the pierco deep frames is 5.25mm. The medium frames are 5.35mm. The 5.25mm are closer to the size brood cells that the bees want to build but smaller than the honey storage cells they want to build. So between the more natural "Y" and the more natural brood size cell the bees seem more willing to draw the pierco for brood and because of the bigger size, more willing to draw the Ritecell (which is about 5.4mm) for honey storage. But that's just been my observation. Different bees and different situations change radically what the bees will draw and will not draw.
The bottom line on all plastic is, once the bees are using it they don't seem to mind it, but getting them to draw it the first time can be difficult. I needs to be spaced tightly to keep them from building combs in between. It helps if its wax coated. It helps if its sprayed with syrup so it gets the right smell and gets cleaned by the bees.
But it is obvious the bees prefer wax foundation and, from my experience, obvious that what they REALLY prefer is no foundation.
I just pulled two more frames of 4.9mm plastic out of my Dadant deep (large cell package) hive because they were hopelessly messed up and put in some foundationless frames.
I think a lot of what the bees don't like about plastic is what they also don't like about wax. Except that they can't fix it with the plastic. It's not the size cell they feel like building for the purpose they have in mind. It's too big for brood or it's too small for honey storage or they wanted to build some drone cells. With wax they can rework it, but they seem to try to follow the pattern mostly even though they seem to think it's wrong. With wax they rework and cheat a little in the direction they want. With plastic they can't rework it, so they start building odd combs out from the face or a whole comb in between two frames. With self drawn comb they just build what they want and they seem to do this with much more enthusiasm and no hesitation as with wax or plastic.
gotcha, I'm only using the ritecell in the honey supers anyhow. How do you like the small cell plastic for already regressed bees? Any problems with acceptance? I bought a hundred sheets and haven't had a chance to use it yet. It seems to have that 'Y' at least.
With the large cell, I think the 4.9mm plastic is hopeless.
With the regressed small cell it's typical of plastic. Sometimes they do well with it and sometimes they try to build some comb out from the surface. I think if you plane the end bars down to 1 1/4" wide it will work better.
I also left a gap at the bottom because I was using it on Dadant Deeps and it only comes in deep.
When I use it in mediums I will also leave a gap because I will cut them in half and that will leave about a 1" gap at the bottom.
Hopefully it will allow them to build some of the drone and other size cells they want.
I think the Dadant 4.9 plastic must be made with Bee-Gone or something. Out of 30 frames I would say one was drawn out correctly. Otherwise they would come out from the foundation and draw comb or would 'stripe' it with vertical combs at 90 degree angles from the plastic.
The 4 nuc's I started with it preferred to build comb on the unfinish wooden wall instead of the plastic. First time I've had a hive build from the outside in.
you use 4.9 bees on it? Or large bees? I can't imagine nonregressed bees drawing out 4.9 plastic well at all. I think MB had this problem. Intuitively and according to MB practically, I would only use 4.9 plastic on preregressed bees. If so, I don't see any difference between it and any other plastic foundation
With large bees on 4.9mm plastic, I've had the same experience. They will build anywhere but the foundation.
With small cell bees on 4.9mm plastic, it's typical of plastic. Usually they do ok, sometimes they mess it all up.
I think large cell bees on 4.9mm plastic is hopeless. I've totally given up on it and pulled out all the messed up comb and given them foundationless frames instead.
I put some 4.9 plasticell in a couple of ferral colonys i removed and they drew it out super.
One thing I did wrong is I cut my foundation to fit the mediums and I had a narrow strip left that I put in medium frames, so the bottom half is empty. Well instead of putting the frame in the bottom box, I put it in the second box and they are building the comb from the open bottom of the frame up. It looks like large cell, I hope that it gets smaller as they get up to the foundation.