Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    35

    Default Year-old hives continuing to avoid working the plastic small cell frames

    Hi everyone. Miraculously, both of my hives have survived and had their first birthdays. I credit Georgia's not bothering to have a winter this year, but in any case, everybody's still kicking.

    My bottom boxes are deeps, and the frame set-up is interspersed Mann Lake PF-10...whatevers, the ones that are pretty close to small cell, with standard foundationless frames.

    The bees have done a pretty good job drawing out and filling the foundationless frames (in fact, I pulled a deep frame today that was straight up capped brood. That was good to see) but the plastic ones they've been far more reticent about.

    I'd like to know the best strategy, since I want the cells to be as small as is natural but I also want the colonies to have as many reserves as they can manage. Should I gradually replace the plastic frames with foundationless since I trust them to draw that out, or should I leave the plastic frames and gradually remove some of the drawn out foundationless and replace it with new foundationless, forcing them to draw new, hopefully smaller, cells?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Auburntown, TN USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: Year-old hives continuing to avoid working the plastic small cell frames

    I prefer to keep all undrawn frames the same in each box. Once everything is drawn, I may pull a frame and plug in an unmatched frame. Given a choice, bees seem to prefer foundationless. Without a choice, they have drawn my Mann Lake frames just fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Tazewell, Virginia
    Posts
    359

    Default Re: Year-old hives continuing to avoid working the plastic small cell frames

    I have never had any luck with those types of frames myself.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Dayton, OH USA
    Posts
    301

    Default Re: Year-old hives continuing to avoid working the plastic small cell frames

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverratbees View Post
    I have never had any luck with those types of frames myself.
    I agree...the only plastic frames I have now are in the supers to give some better support during extraction. I found pretty quickly that many bees don't tend to draw the plastic very quickly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: Year-old hives continuing to avoid working the plastic small cell frames

    We use a lot of Mann lake pf 100's and the bees do a great job drawing them out.

    We start out new packages on them. We also do a lot of foundationless but only introduce when the bees are well on their way to being fully regressed.

    Have experienced great reluctance by the bees to use brand new honey super cell but never had this issue with the Mann lake pf 100's.

    Have put about 50 packages on over the past three years with great results.

    Ramona

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Wichita Kansas
    Posts
    66

    Default Re: Year-old hives continuing to avoid working the plastic small cell frames

    I bought two packages of "4.9" bees from Wolf Creek last year and put them on small cell foundation from Kelly's. I found they wouldn't draw that out either. They did draw some foundationless frames but it sure wasn't 4.9. I finally gave up and put in some rite-cell from Mann Lake.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    3,997

    Default Re: Year-old hives continuing to avoid working the plastic small cell frames

    We don't have any trouble with the mann lake pf frames. As someone else mentioned we don't mix them until they're drawn.
    Dan

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads