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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Coventry, RI, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default Need Frame/Foundation Suggestions.. 4.9?

    Hello All,
    New bee guy here from RI first year getting into it.

    I have picked out and received most of my gear with the exception of the frames and foundation. I will be using all medium boxes & 6.1/4 frames.

    I have been reading about the use of the 4.9 cell size and mite prevention.
    I like the idea as my goal is to be chemical free and raise my bees as natural as possible.

    I have seen it suggested to use the 4.9 Mann Lake PF 120 I like that its one piece frame that I do not have to assemble wax foundation.

    I was thinking of doing it a couple ways:

    Use all PF 120 in all boxes and as they draw comb add in empty wood frames with starter strips?

    The second thought was because its a new hive(s) I might use the Permacomb for the brood boxes to get them going quickly and use the PF 120's for the supers as well and mixing in some wood frames w/starter strips. Will this be confusing to the bees?

    Thanks, I look forward to your suggestions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,403

    Default

    I am using 1 high box and 1 med box for my brood chambers. I have used the permacomb in a couple of supers and the bees seemed to have no problem using it for honey & pollen. When put in a super with wooden frames and plastic foundation the bees tended to want to work the plastic foundation.

    This year I have 4 packages coming the first week of April. I plan on using SHC (super honey cell) frames in 2 of my high brood boxes and regular frames with plastic foundation in the other two. I melted beeswax and rolled it on all of my SHC frames and plastic foundations. The brood boxes with the SHC frames will have queen excluders on the bottom of the brood boxes to ensure that the queen doesn't try to leave because I am using SHC frames. Hopefully after a week or two I will be able to remove the queen excluders because the queens are laying brood.

    At least that's my plan..........and I am sticking to it! This is just my second year but I am trying to find ways to improve my chances of getting honey my first year and not having the hives works so hard to build comb just to have brood. If these 2 hives take off, as I hope, then I will have a full brood box of bees very quickly because the comb already exists (albeit plastic).

    PermaComb and SHC are basically the same product. PermaComb only comes in medium size frames.
    De Colores,
    Ken

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    I have been reading about the use of the 4.9 cell size and mite prevention.
    Where did you read that 4.9 cell size prevented or, for that matter, reduced mites?
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,197

    Default

    Does it matter? What's your point? We all know what the Berry study results were. We all know what many, who keep bees on sc, have shared their results to be. Are we going to do this dance again?
    Regards, Barry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    North Salem, NY
    Posts
    350

    Default

    Why not go foundationless, and let the bees build what they want? They will build small cell in the brood nest, and larger cell for drones and honey. If you would like more detailed information, you can send me a PM. I will be building several hundred of these this spring for use in my own hives.

    justgojumpit

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Coventry, RI, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default

    beemandan, yes you are correct I should have used the word reduced instead of prevention.
    I understand there is controversy about the use of the 4.9 cell and mite reduction. But I feel if people are coming forward with positive results what harm can come of giving it a try?

    Anyway, I wasn't looking for a debate just some friendly helpful suggestions.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Coventry, RI, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default

    USCBeeMan good to know the permacomb works well good luck with your 4 packages for April. I have 2 coming April 11th, can't wait!

    justgojumpit that is tempting to just go all foundationless. I like the idea that they can draw what they want for cell size. I am a little worried they might draw comb all crazy without a guide. I will pm you for more details, thanks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
    Posts
    1,914

    Default

    If you're putting bees that have never been on 4.9mm foundation before, you're due for a mess. If this is the case, I'd use starter strips first, and then move to 4.9mm in the next generation. What you're going to need to do is what is refered to as "regressing". That is, get bees who were born in large cells to draw small cells. They seem to only be able to draw 0.2-3 mm smaller easily. If forced onto foundation outside of that limit, they'll probably mess it up. So the first round of foundation is sacrificed in the process. You'll cut it out and replace it.

    If you put them on starter strips right off the bat, you might find that they'll draw smallER cells on their own (let's hope for 5.1mm). Then they should have no trouble being forced onto 4.9mm foundation.

    Now, I know nothing about this Mann Lake PF 120. Sounds like some new-fangled thang to me. But if it is plastic foundation, You MIGHT can peel off the comb that they draw in the first step of regression, rewax the plastic and try again. But I don't know.

    BUT if you're putting regressed (4.9mm-sized) bees on this new-fangled stuff, you'll have a bit easier time (how ever easier is).
    WayaCoyote

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sparta, Tennessee
    Posts
    2,122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wayacoyote View Post
    "...I'd use starter strips first, and then move to 4.9mm in the next generation."
    Can you purchse starter strips? I've always used foundation, but after reading so much about ss, I'm thinking of trying it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Coventry, RI, USA
    Posts
    9

    Default

    If you're putting bees that have never been on 4.9mm foundation before, you're due for a mess. If this is the case, I'd use starter strips first, and then move to 4.9mm in the next generation. What you're going to need to do is what is refered to as "regressing". That is, get bees who were born in large cells to draw small cells. They seem to only be able to draw 0.2-3 mm smaller easily. If forced onto foundation outside of that limit, they'll probably mess it up. So the first round of foundation is sacrificed in the process. You'll cut it out and replace it.
    If you put them on starter strips right off the bat, you might find that they'll draw smallER cells on their own (let's hope for 5.1mm). Then they should have no trouble being forced onto 4.9mm foundation.
    Good advice thanks for clearing that up for me. You just saved many bees.


    since you are getting a package of bees that probably were on standard commercial comb and sizing and you have no drawn comb and no experience you risk losing the package and the whole experience being a loss. in fact your chances are probably 1 in 3 you will succeed in getting that package through the next winter with your current plan of using SC undrawn foundation.
    i don't understand the urge to go against the grain on this when we have several alternatives to dealing with mites that don't require harsh chemicals or any chemicals at all.
    OK OK I hear you. I have two packages coming maybe I will try both ways.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Central Point, Oregon
    Posts
    76

    Default

    Hi Gunslinger!

    I have used the 9" deep version of Mann-Lake frames #PF-105 4.95 mm plastic frames with my bees. I have some hives which are mixed wood, large cell and Mann-Lake PF-105 frames. It appears that the bees do not build out the comb as quickly as the wood + wax frames. The bees had not been regressed before introducing the PF-105 frames. I think it is best to introduce them when there is a nectar flow or you need to feed the bees to get them to draw out the comb. I would not recommend putting a wood frame with a starter strip between the PF-105 frames. I seem to remember reading somewhere that it is best not to mix the frames. (Plastic & wood) The bees tend to build burr comb on the top of the frames on the PF-105. I do not know if this would be the case with the PF-120 frames, since they are not as deep and would tend to deflect less when the frame is filled with honey. Again, I did not use starter strips or an intermediate 5.1 mm foundation, I went directly to the 4.95 mm PF-105. Michael Bush, in one of his presentations stated "I am having very good luck getting commercial large cell packages to draw out the PF-120's from Mann Lake out to 4.95 mm on the first try"

    http://www.bushfarms.com/HASSmallCellHiveManagement.ppt

    I hope that this helps.

    Larry Edwards

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Does it matter? What's your point?
    I am always concerned when I hear a newcomer proposing a start with small cell. We've danced this dance before, no doubt. But does this new beekeeper know both sides? Or will he/she go into this on assurances from a single, one sided source. As has since been pointed out by others, going to small cell isn't necessarily easy....or effective. Don't you think a new beekeeper should hear both sides before making such a decision?

    As I've also said before, I have absolutely no qualms about experienced beekeepers experimenting or totally converting to small cell. I tried it myself. The complications I encountered could easily result in lost hives for a beginner and that might just as easily result in one less beekeeper.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    3,997

    Default

    My wife & I will be starting two packages in a couple months. We purchased the mannlake pf105 black frames. We'll see how it goes.

    If there is even a slim chance that it helps with mites, I'm all for it.

    I've heard that its not a problem starting a hive with these frames, I'm sure people inadvertently do it all the time, as they aren't sold as small cell, in the advertising. Is this true?
    Dan

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,447

    Default

    >I am always concerned when I hear a newcomer proposing a start with small cell.

    And I'm always concerned when they don't and they waste the opportunity for a full regression right off the bat and instead insure they will have Varroa problems by using 5.4mm...

    I've had no problems getting them to draw the PF120s and PF100s correctly on the first try. The 4.9mm wax is less likely to get drawn correctly in my experience. I'm most fond of the natural comb.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    DuPage County, IL
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Hi,

    I am also trying to have a right start with 3 hives.
    Someone in our last beek meeting mention having problems with
    beetles/mites taking shelter in the side channels of some plastic frames.

    I see some grooves on the PF-200,100.

    Should I be concerned about it?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Windham County, Vermont
    Posts
    246

    Default

    Like Michael Bush,...I've also had NO problems getting my bees to draw 4.9-5.0 size on the first try when using the Mann Lake PF-120 medium frames. Very consistently. It really helps to add a good coat of beeeswax to them first. Also, I've cut out the PF-120 foundation from its plastic frames and put it into wooden frames to reduce the amount of burr comb which the bees seems to want to build off the top bars of plastic frames.

    Here's an older thread where I show photos of what I do......

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...=219896&page=2

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