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Thread: wax or plastic

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland FL
    Posts
    848

    Question

    on my first regression sould i use wax or plastic or should i just use what i like better?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,419

    Post

    I tried my first time doing regression on wax with just a starter strip. The 5.4mm bees I had drew 5.15mm on the first try. Someone, (Barry I think?) has tested the plastic more and had good luck with it. He could elaborate more from personal experience with the plastic on first regression. I have used the plastic, but only on bees that were already regressed.

    My thinking (being cheap) is that starter strips are a cheap way to get a first regression and plasic is more permenant. It wasn't available yet (when I was doing my first regression) but I think I would have done wax anyway becuase it's kind of throw away work (I would keep it and use it again for first regressions on other hives but I wouldn't be keeping the same bees on it all the time). In the end I want them on small cell. I suppose another method would be to use the plastic, measure it and mark the frame what size it got drawn to and only use 4.9mm or so in the middle of the brood nest and use the slightly bigger stuff on the outsides in the "food chamber" and in the supers.

    My thinking is that the plastic is expensive and semi-permenant and starter strips are cheap and temporary.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    I prefer full sheets of foundation but I do have the advantage of makeing my own. But I think that either will work. But I think bees really like wax best.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    I used starter strips for the first regression, then plastic (which suddenly became available) for the second. At that point I lost my bees due to poor mating in a terrible summer, and I'm still where I was a year ago, with one colony on 4.9. I'll almost certainly stick with wax from now on; plastic is useful if you need comb in a hurry as its less for the bees to draw out but I don't see any other advantage.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,419

    Post

    >But I think bees really like wax best.

    They do like wax best.

    >plastic is useful if you need comb in a hurry as its less for the bees to draw out but I don't see any other advantage.

    It doesn't sag, the moths can't burrow down the mdi rib of the comb, you don't have to wire it, it's easy to just pop it in the frame (especially if it's grooved top and bottom), it's more difficult for the bees to mess up the cell size and rework it...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    If you've got a lot of hives, yes. I'm not likely to have so many that I can't rotate comb without too much trouble. I was forgetting the larger numbers that are common on your side of the Atlantic.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    If you have a lot of hives, yes; i was forgetting the larger numbers a lot of you have on your side of the Atlantic. I'm unlikely to have so many I can't rotate comb conveniently and avoid most of that.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Post

    I have 503 hives and the oldest comb I have in them is 7 years. The frames are dated when they are put in and 2 are rotated out every year from each hive body and supper. I learned this helps control diseases of the hive 30 years ago.
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Bartonville, TX USA
    Posts
    456

    Post

    I tried Dadant's plastic 4.9 this summer. I replaced middle frames as I made splits. It was after the main honey flow and the plastic was uniformly rejected. The brood nest even relocated to the upper box that had previously been packed with honey.

    May work if put in before the flow but two different hives refused to draw this out. They would build comb in vertical strips 90 degrees opposed to the foundation or they would build freestanding one sided comb between the frames. Anything but build out the Dadant 4.9.

    In September I added some of MannLake's unwaxed plastic foundation in a super and they drew it out no problem.

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