This seems to be the thread with the most updated responses. I'm looking for some feedback on my attemps to make BOP work for me --
I painted the plastic with wax and also put a drawn out, mostly capped, frame in the center of the super. Between these efforts the bees have accepted the BOP and seem to be drawing it out.
The problem is that it's difficult / impossible to see inside to get a feel for how much of it is capped. My understanding is that once it's off, it's off, and the chances of you getting it back on to let them finish are slim to none given the delicate nature of these things.
I'm wondering if I should put another super on under the BOP super? Would it then be true that if/when they start filling the middle super I could be pretty sure that the BOP super was full & capped? Any other ideas/tips for how long to leave the BOP on. I'm hoping to have it by the end of June, which gives them two full months to work it (been on for about two weeks now), but I'd also like to avoid the trackings of little bee feet. Thoughts?
Mine fit just fine into a super. I appreciate the wonderful photos & thoughts on your website. Thanks again! -Danno
I got so interested in all this discussion, I bought a couple of them to try & see for myself. I put them in two random hives during the second half of the honeyflow this Spring [right after I pulled off the first filled honey supers]. Here are my results so far:
1) my B-O-P's were easy to assemble and dropped right into the supers.
2) I had not noticed Boris' picture of painting wax into the bottoms to get them drawn out faster, so I just put them in as they arrived
3) I peeked in the other day and the bees had drawn out many sections fully and some partly and some not at all. I didn't try and calcultae an actual percentage sine they were not doen working them.
4) I will try and remember to update this post after I pull them off in a few weeks...I have several customers at the Farmer's Market who have purchsed comb honey from me. I have usually cut out sections or whole frames and sold them in wax paper...very messy. I can see where these would be easier and less messy.
I will look out for someone selling the Ross Rounds at Wooster next year and try those. I am probably what Jim would designate as a hobbyist since I run between 60-65 hives.
But I had fun doing these and learned a thing or two from these discussions and my experiences.
Thanks to all who have posted here! -Danno
My two cents.
My wife and I sell products at a Farmer's Market from about 50 hives. Ross Rounds and BOP's both sell fairly well (probably an extra $1000.00 over 10 weeks between the two types). We also sell at a Food-Cooperative and they move both comb types as well. One thing I have learned at Farmer's Markets is that a booth needs to be well provisioned to draw customers. It's kind of like garage sales - you normally don't bother getting out of your car if there is only one small table in the driveway and no other customers. With that said, having lip balm, moisturizing cream, candles, RR's, BOP's, extracted honeys dark and light in 1lb, 2lb, and 3lb, creamed honey, chunk honey, and an observsation hive really adds to the overall draw of the crowd. So for our little business, the more variety the better, which includes both RR and BOP. As stated by others, the BOP's are more difficult to work with by both bee and beek. Bees generally don't like plastic and will draw out RR more readily. I have overcome much of this problem by running some two queen colonies, identifying the strongest with standard supers, then swapping out standard supers for comb sections midseason during a major flow. Every single square inch of RR sections were filled on every round section last summer while I had waist issues with the BOP's. The BOP waist was reduced by using very strong 2 queen colonies, but there was still waist (not sure what percent, but I would guess less than 20%). My wife is invited to schools and libraries to talk about bees, and the partially finished BOP's are great for the kids.
Since we are getting $5.00 for BOP's and $8.00 for RR's I plan on continuing with both.
Originally Posted by HVH
Did you apply the sugar syrup or wax for your BOP's?
I sprayed on the sugar syrup.
Bop Vs Rr
Last year was my first year using the Bee o pac system. I did not like them.
Because the supers did not fit the bop frame. The bees spent more time building up to the bop than filling them.
The bees filled some on a frame and not others. Some were completely full, others were not. The frames couldnto be reuses the next year so, they were wasted.
Now on to the lids
the lids fit ok but not a great seal. It pops open easily, leaks and is generally messy. The lids stay on well if a wrap label is used, but they are not cheap either.
Would i use them again? No...but if the Ross Rounds fail me this year, could change my mind
The ross rounds
This is my first year. I bought them from a bee auction and paid about 3 bucks for 2 complete supers.
I bought the rings and covers. I have to admit that being totally clueless, I did not by the foundation and the bee supply store, who knew i was a novice did not mention the foundation. I had to pull the supers and get the foundation and put them back in. I hope i am not to late.
Putting the rings in proved to be a challenge, being a novice and all, but got it figured out. I hope i can figure out how to get the rings out an make it look presentable.
As for cost and waste, I'll get back to you on that.