Wax foundation... Arrrrgghhhh!!!
Okay, so I spent too much time reading and listening to podcasts instead of getting with beekeepers in my area with lots of experience. I bought into the whole "natural" beekeeping aspect that spoke poorly of things like permacomb and even plastic foundation. Well, I must say that after visiting a huge apiary that uses permacomb almost exclusively, I must say that I am pretty much sold on plastic. I just installed a package of bees today in a hive that I set up a week ago, complete with wooden frames and wax foundation that was wired in place. When I arrived at my site today, excited to install my package of bees, I ended up spending the first 30 minutes pulling all of the foundations out of the frames and straightening them out and putting them back where they belong. I guess a few days of heat had caused them to sag completely out of their frames.
So yes folks, I am over my infatuation with wax if this is the norm. While visitin the large apiary, I saw strong bees that were in a deep that had both plastic permacomb frames and wooden/wax frames, and the bees had actually vacated the wax frame and had eggs, larva, and stores in all of the permacomb frames. It gets very hot here in KS, and I don't see this large apiary losing any bees because the plastic is "gassing off" inside of the hives. His success speaks for itself. The only downside that I see to permacomb is the need for an extractor, and a way to clean the comb such as a pressure washer. Any ideas, arguments, or input?