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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
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    874

    Default My Wooden PF-120s

    After seeing a post by Solomon on putting PF-120 plastic foundation in wooden frames I decided that was the way for me to go small cell. I used Brushy mnts grooved top and bottom bar frames. Cut the foundation out of the plastic frames, and trimmed the embossed cell walls down so they would snap in the frames.

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    Steve
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,593

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    Looks nice.

    I might order deep pf frames and cut the "foundation" in half. I'll save a little money, and the open space at the bottom of the frame can be used as the bees prefer.

    I did the same with some Honey Super Cell.

    I'm going to order narrow endbars for a case of frames that are lingering in my attic...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    You do know Mann lake sells small cell foundation? I'd thought I just throw that out there, beats cutting up frames unless you really like plastic.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,593

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    You do know Mann lake sells small cell foundation? I'd thought I just throw that out there, beats cutting up frames unless you really like plastic.
    Yes, the people that are doing this are intentionally using plastic...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    Beecurious are you regressing your bees or are they allready SC.

    I know they do jrg but i am try to regress my bees and I have been told that they will have less trouble drawing out the plastic cells, as as opposed to the regular foundation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    3,593

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    Quote Originally Posted by sfisher View Post
    Beecurious are you regressing your bees or are they allready SC.

    Snip
    I started with two small cell nucs in 2008, and also regressed a package or two with Honey Super Cell.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,837

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    Ok, my bees never drew out plastic well, but if you can get yours too, it makes some sense. Plastic has it's usefulness. My bees drew the wax foundation out quite nicely, I don't see why they would have issue to it over plastic.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,136

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    I think the issue he's talking about is the bees not drawing 4.9mm cells if he gave them an easy choice.
    Dan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    I see, I guess with wax foundation, they could always chew it and draw whatever they like. I stuck mine right in the brood nest and they drew it fine even in September. Faster than the pf100's that sat unused for 2 months. The frames had brood in under two weeks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Strafford, NH, USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    I might order deep pf frames and cut the "foundation" in half. I'll save a little money, and the open space at the bottom of the frame can be used as the bees prefer.
    Why not cut them in half vertically instead of horizontally? Wouldn't you then be able to just pop in the half sheets to the grooved top and bottom bars and not need to worry about supporting the plastic from the top frame while they draw them out?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
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    3,593

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishman43 View Post
    Why not cut them in half vertically instead of horizontally? Wouldn't you then be able to just pop in the half sheets to the grooved top and bottom bars and not need to worry about supporting the plastic from the top frame while they draw them out?
    To attach the plastic to the topbars I would use a "wax tube fastener" or a hot glue gun.

    When I use wax 4.9mm foundation I buy deeps as well.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Jamesville, NY
    Posts
    273

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    I am still trying to get a grip on why small cell plastic seems to be popular. In life, when I can, I generally try to avoid plastic, so I guess I am surprised at how prolific its usage is for small cell. I would assume small cell folks would lean more towards natural foundation building. What am I missing here?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,079

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    Plastic small cell is popular in my view because of a few reasons:

    1. It works.
    2. It is far easier to use than wax.
    3. It can be used any time of year when bees are in the mood to draw comb. They will draw it correctly even in supers during the middle of the summer.I have been using wax for nine years, and I can assure you PF-1xx frames work far better, producing ugly comb only about 1% of the time. To get the same with wax, you have to have the comb drawn at the right time and by bees already regressed.
    4. Michael Bush recommends it.
    5. Most people who use it recommend it.
    6. It is much more economical than using wood frames with foundation.
    7. Foundationless doesn't always turn out how you want it to.

    Plastic is ubiquitous in our environment. It holds virtually all the food you eat at some point. It is literally everywhere. I don't see the problem with it. I have heard a guy eschew plastic frames while also bragging about drinking FGMO from a plastic bottle, demonstrating how safe it was.

    Small cell is not the same thing as foundationless or 'natural cell.' Small cell is a thing, it is 4.9mm cell size. Small cell folks use small cell. Foundationless folks use foundationless. It's as simple as that, they are two different things.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,419

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    Quote Originally Posted by Beelosopher View Post
    What am I missing here?
    The only reason I am considering it is because it uses an extremely small amount of commercial wax, wax that is known to have chemical residue. The clean wax foundation I have that is SC is lacking any cell walls, so the bees don't do a good job of building SC comb on it, otherwise I'd have no issue using my own wax foundation.
    Regards, Barry

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    2,837

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    I have to admit I like the feel and function of plastic frames more and more except all the little holes in the sides. If only my bees would draw them out. Luckily my bees are regressed already and drew small cell wax out like champs. At first I didn't like plastic frames but their design is actually easier to work with and I like the small nubs on the end as they're easier to grab onto and lift out. They do have some drawbacks, but comparing cost vs. time to install, it's a no brainer and the reusability and cleanability are also superior unless of course they break or get warped badly by sun or heat.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Jamesville, NY
    Posts
    273

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    Interesting.

    I understand that small cell is a "thing" and different from foundationless. However I assumed that people seeking small cell went about getting there by letting their bees go foundationaless, or regressing and ultimately going foundationless. The thought in my head was that if the bees were drawing foundationless they would naturally return to small cell on their own. Now if you go from 5.4 foundation and cold turkey to foundationless, the bees may not respond so well and draw cattywampus like.

    Plastic being ubiquitous doesn't give it proper credence for me to just jump on the band wagon however (plenty of my food comes from my dirt and never touches plastic). I needed some of the other reasons that people were using it to better understand (thanks). As with anything opinions across beeks would likely vary quite a bit depending on what school of thought they have regarding foundation/foundationless/small cell approach.

    In line with Barry's comment, this is why I would be reticent in using plastic, or any other foundation for that matter. I grow and produce much of my own food to reduce pesticides, antibiotics, etc. for the times when I have to go to the store.

    Like I say, if I were a new beekeeper and attempting to go treatment free and with a more nature spun approach, grabbing a bunch of plastic frames seems a bit odd to me. But hey, I am a new guy, what do I know about anything? I don't even have any bees yet.
    Last edited by Beelosopher; 10-10-2012 at 06:47 AM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,419

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    But you are the bee philosopher! Nothing wrong with that.
    Regards, Barry

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Jamesville, NY
    Posts
    273

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    But you are the bee philosopher! Nothing wrong with that.
    how true Well played sir!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    I thought Michael Bush recommends foundationless?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
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    5,079

    Default Re: My Wooden PF-120s

    Quote Originally Posted by Beelosopher View Post
    However I assumed that people seeking small cell went about getting there by letting their bees go foundationaless, or regressing and ultimately going foundationless.
    A lot of people have attempted to go in that direction, but I don't know why. I'm not sure if it's a desire to do things gradually or what. I don't know about you, but I want to get things done. With wax, it takes usually two or more cycles, with PF-120s it takes one. With foundationless, it may never happen. You may never reach 4.9mm. I still don't know why it's done. None of the big proponents recommend doing it that way.


    Quote Originally Posted by Beelosopher View Post
    the bees may not respond so well and draw cattywampus like.
    That's going to happen no matter what you do. It will happen eventually, or with some hives, exclusively.


    Quote Originally Posted by Beelosopher View Post
    Like I say, if I were a new beekeeper and attempting to go treatment free and with a more nature spun approach, grabbing a bunch of plastic frames seems a bit odd to me.
    If you were going the nature spun approach, I'd say yes, go ahead. However, nature took maybe even a decade to recover from the mite problem. With a more of a 'pop the clutch' method, I say it can be done in three or so. We live in the anthropocene era now. We are keeping bees in thin wooden boxes, exposing them to all sorts of radiation, pesticides, herbicides, and inspections. 'More nature' is as close as you're going to get. It will never be just 'natural.' However, if you want to get the job done, there is only one other option to get regression done in one fell stroke, and it involves even more plastic.

    If you were looking for a more natural approach, I'd suggest catching swarms. It doesn't get much more natural than that, catching a healthy bunch of bees who are good enough at their job to decide to spread their work elsewhere, and locally adapted (hopefully) to boot. Nucs would be the second option, a hive already in operation. Steer clear of packages.


    Quote Originally Posted by d.frizzell View Post
    I thought Michael Bush recommends foundationless?
    He does. One may recommend more than one thing. I dare say if actions speak louder than words, he recommends PF-120s quite vigorously. He owns literally thousands of them.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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