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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Columbia, South Carolina USA
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    Anyone out there know what the average yeild in pounds of honey is for a well filled super of permacomb. 9 frame set up? Is it the same as any other meduim, or is there a difference?

    Keith

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
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    I don't know the answer to your question, but, PC has more cells than regular comb, so I would expect it to hold more.

    The surface area that would normaly be wood, top, side, and bottom bars, is all filled with cells. I believe 2200 cells per side.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    It has a few more cells (making more room) and thicker walls (making less room). My guess is it holds a little more than a regular comb but it's probably close enough to call it the same.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Catonsville, MD. USA
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    251

    Cool

    You know, in all the years I've been using this stuff, it just didn't occur to me to weigh frames individually. This year I will do so and post the results. In a 9 frame config, the end frames hold quite a bit more honey than the inside ones. For a picture of a full PC super, 9 frame config, go to the following link:
    http://www.bee-l.com/bulletinboard/seets/permacomb.htm

    Thanx.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Hookstown PA USA
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    581

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    Permacomb fasciates me. Is it made by injection molding? It's not drilled is it. Really I just wish I had the cash to try some.

    Feel free not to answer either of my questions. I understand all about trade secrets and such.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
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    491

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    Bert:

    I bought a couple of supers of the stuff, It is injection moulded, and well made but heavy. I suspect a medium super of it is going to weigh almost as much as a standard hive body with wax and wood. More than I want to handle any more.

    There was some discussion a few days ago re the bees not liking it, and I could not get mine to accept it until I limited their choices. When I took away all but the PC they began working the plastic, adding wax to lengthen the cells. I then sprayed a second super with sugar water and Honey Bee Healthy and put it on. As far as I can tell without pulling combs they are working it too.

    Given the weight, and the fact that unless it is well drawn out past the plastic it will be hard to uncap, plus the burr comb in standard sized supers I believe I am going to evaluate the wax-coated plastic frames next year before I buy more PC.

    I cannot see that it will be any harder to coax the bees to use plastic frame/foundation than it will be to get them to use PC. I will certainly cut some supers especially for the PC I have to avoid the burr comb. For the life of me I cannot understand why the PC was not designed to fit a standard super.

    So far no one has raised the question as to whether bees, once started using permacomb supers and given nothing else, will accept it more readily than they do the first super of it. This is another big consideration but would probably apply equally to the all plastic frame/foundation combs.

    Ox

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Columbia, South Carolina USA
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    Ox et al:

    I had some from years ago that had previously been worked by bees. It had not been in a hive for 10+ years but the bees took right to it. I then placed some new stuff over top and baited the supers with a single used comb of PC. The bees had no problem taking to it. They are on wax in the brood boxes, and the PC is above an excluder. I guess I have not noticed reluctance on the part of the bees to use the stuff, not 10 years ago, nor in the last 2 years.

    My $0.02

    Keith

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >I cannot see that it will be any harder to coax the bees to use plastic frame/foundation than it will be to get them to use PC.

    No but they will have to draw it. The resistance to Wax Moths and SHB were a big draw for me.

    >I will certainly cut some supers especially for the PC I have to avoid the burr comb.

    Don't bother. They will build the burr comb, not because the size is wrong (although it is) but because the cells run all the way to the top. Since CC Miller's time it has been observed that the thinner the top bar the more burr. PermaComb has NO top bar hence the burr comb. Several people have tried cutting them down and none that I've heard of, seemed to think it helped.

    >For the life of me I cannot understand why the PC was not designed to fit a standard super.

    Maybe it was. The theory may have been that the bees HAVE to build drone brood somewhere, so they left the space at the bottom for them. Since they will burr it anyway, why not leave some space for the drones?

    >So far no one has raised the question as to whether bees, once started using permacomb supers and given nothing else, will accept it more readily than they do the first super of it.

    I'm not sure with actual bare plastic PermaComb. Any USED PermaComb is readily accepted. Mine is wax dipped (by me) and I've never had any problems at all with acceptatnce.

    >This is another big consideration but would probably apply equally to the all plastic frame/foundation combs.

    I think some bees seem to accept plastic readily and some seem to never accept it. Also it depends, of course, on the flow etc.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
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    >I cannot see that it will be any harder to coax the bees to use plastic frame/foundation than it will be to get them to use PC.

    I started out with wood and wax but quickly decided that building all those frames and inserting the foundation was a pastime that I could do without. I went to Pierco and thought that it would be the ticket. How much easier could it be than to just drop the frames in and watch the bees draw it out? Well it did not work out very well for me, at the time I was using the Apistan strips and the bees seemed to like to make verticle bridge combs where the strips once were. I did a lot of scraping trying to get them to draw the frames out right. After a few years in service the comb finaly looks pretty good. It is still in service even though I had taken them out, but it was an emergency and I needed a super quick. The real draw back for me is that the deep Pierco is 5.35mm in size, and the mediums are even larger.

    I had a harder time getting my bees to use Pierco than PC, but that was trying to get the frames drawn, and of course that is not necessary with PC.


    >I will certainly cut some supers especially for the PC I have to avoid the burr comb. For the life of me I cannot understand why the PC was not designed to fit a standard super.

    Let me stand on the sideline jumping up and down and waving my hands and yell "NO! DON'T DO IT!" No, really, do it if you want, but don't cut down a good box. I went that route, it is not necessary to cut the boxes down and makes a bit of a problem. If the space is wide enough the bees build bridge comb, and that is good. Since bees don't jump, and they can not fly in the hive they have to crawl (walk) and the bridge allows them to move faster from one box to the next. It also makes it easier for the queen to move about too. It is even more natural to have one continious verticle comb. When you bust the boxes apart and you have drone brood exposed, you get an instant idea if and how many varroa you may have in the hive. But the most important reason NOT to cut the boxes down is that when the frames are real close to each other the bees propolize them together with propolis instead of filling the gap with wax. It is incrediably hard to get them apart. Even lifting the frames up one at a time is puting quite a strain upon the end bars if you use the hook to pry them up. When the wax is warm, you can twist the two boxes sideways and they will loosen up, off set them about an inch and come back a few minutes later when the bees have cleaned up the spilled honey. Another thing I want to try is to use a piano wire to pull though between the boxes to cut them apart.

    >So far no one has raised the question as to whether bees, once started using permacomb supers and given nothing else, will accept it more readily than they do the first super of it.

    I have expanded thirty more hives this year all with PC only. I have made splits, caught swarms, and hived feral colonies. I think I have seen just about every condition and situation possible using straight and mixes of plastic and wax. Things that I have learned include; that you do not put a large swarm in just one box of PC, they just outgrow it too quickly. A small swarm doesn't need two boxes. I have not had any swarms abscond at all. If you want a swarm to really bust out, give them a frame of brood, a patty of Bee Pro, and 1-1 syrup, it's not necessary, but what a difference it makes. Spraying the frames helps, but also baiting up is quicker. They will not start working the next box up until they build bridge comb attaching it to the one below first. In general my bees look smaller and they expand quicker.

    I said this on another thread but here it is again. When it comes to working and expanding on PC, nothing makes more of a difference than genetics. Some really bust out, and some just sit there. I am sure that the results would be the same wether they were on wax or plastic.

    Hopfully I have learned more than that but I am distracted thinking about packing for my vacation which I will go do now.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Porter, Ok USA
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    491

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    Thanks Guys:
    I appreciate the replies. Plenty there to think about and a lot of useful information.

    I was not about to cut down a good box; rather I was going to make a couple of rabbeted home-made supers for the PC to see if it improved things. I may still do that with one super, breaking off the bottom tabs on the PC so that the beespace is not compromised.

    I'm glad to get so many positive responses re the PC; I really like the idea of indestructible comb. The price strikes me as getting cheaper each time I have to knock together, glue, wire and wax a set of frames.

    Also, the use of bait combs strikes me as a great idea. Since I had no drawn PC for bait I could not do that this year, but should I buy more PC It will be baited.
    Ox

    [This message has been edited by Oxankle (edited June 09, 2004).]

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Catonsville, MD. USA
    Posts
    251

    Cool

    Jim;

    There are a few broken pins on the mold and that is why some of the cells are full of plastic. I am speaking of the cells that are NOT filled down one of the "ribs". The Rib Row as I guess I'm now calling it is a flow channel for the liquid plastic during the injection process. The tabs on the sides and bottoms of the frames are a byproduct of the molding process and are there for no other reason.

    Thanx.

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