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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Redlands, Ca
    Posts
    43

    Sad My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    New beek here. Put waxed plastic foundation in and they have refused to work them. If I am lucky I might get a "wave/ripple" pattern but no full good drawn out frames. The frames that I washed with hot water and removed everything off of, they will not touch. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    They like having a wax coat on the plastic. Also feed heavy. It helps if the don't have to much space also.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Missoula, Montana, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    Yeah I put a couple plastic wax coated EZ frames in with my foundationless. The won't hardly touch the plastic but they draw the heck out of the foundationless. If you want to used foundation, maybe try wax foundation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Greenville SC USA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    Bees will only touch plastic foundation if its the only thing they have left to work with. They prefer to work foundationless, but if they dont have that, they will start foundation. Plastic is a last resort for them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Mirabel, Québec, Canada
    Posts
    423

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sovek View Post
    Bees will only touch plastic foundation if its the only thing they have left to work with. They prefer to work foundationless, but if they dont have that, they will start foundation. Plastic is a last resort for them.
    Indeed. But if that's the only thing they have, then they will use it. They are reluctant to start building on them, but once they have, this deterrence is pretty much gone. It helps to squeeze one here and there between drawn frames.

    I use plastic frames almost exclusively, and once I run out of frames, I'll buy more. I'm quite satisfied with them.
    www.apisrustica.com (French-only website) Bee Breeding: Canadian nuclei & queens / northern hygienic bees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Hopkins, South Carolina
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    I started with wax foundation back when I started. After a few years, wax plastic was the way to go, have tried that far a few years, now I use foundationless and the girls like it better.
    They built out the waxed ones real nice and fast. The waxed plastic ones I don't even want to talk about but I will say they give beatles and wax moths a good place to hide even if the girls do build them out. Now I use foundationless I just had to build the frames, I all so use 15lb fishing line. The girls build them out quick with less wax to start. They build out and fill it .
    Just my opinion and what my girls like

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    Quote Originally Posted by efaure View Post
    The frames that I washed with hot water and removed everything off of, they will not touch. Any suggestions?
    Those frames likely came wax coated, which you washed off with the hot water. Plastic without a wax coating isn't likely to get much attention from the bees. With the wax coating, they work it just fine. I got tired of reading all the various somewhat charged opinions on frames, foundation, etc. My goal, minimize the work for me, and the way to do that is not bother with fiddly bits assembling frames, just take plastic out of the box and put it in the colony. So I decided to ask my bees if they have a strong preference. I took a 'fresh out of the box' Mann Lake PF-100 frame, and fixed it up like this:-



    That frame went into a rather strong colony, in the brood nest. After two days, I popped it out to see what it looked like, and it looked like this:-



    The angle of the light makes it tough to see, but, on the foundation side, they have started comb on well over 50% of the surface. A couple days later, I did a cut down split on that colony because they were starting to show signs of backfilling, and I was leaving town for a week, couldn't keep a close eye on them. After we got back, I checked the frame again, it had been in the colony for two weeks, and it looked like this:-



    My conclusion, not much if any difference in how much comb gets drawn when I give the bees a choice, work the plastic foundation, or the foundationless section. There is a flow running, and they want comb. I think the best thing to come out of this experiment, going to have a nice chunk of fresh new comb, full of honey, which wont end up in the extractor, it'll end up being cut comb honey. Should be a new queen laying in that colony this week, so that frame is going above an excluder to make sure no brood ends up in the comb I'm going to use for comb honey pieces. But my bees have told me very clearly, plastic foundation that smells like wax when I put it in the hive, will get drawn just as fast as foundationless, provided there is a flow running.

    In another experiment I did, along the same lines, I have a box of older PF-500 frames that have been in the box for a couple years, and lost the fresh wax smell, they come out of the box smelling like plastic. I took a deep super, put 3 of those in the center, then on one side I put 3 more, but painted with wax which I melted in the crok pot. Then on the other side, I filled the rest of the box with fresh new PF-100 frames, right out of the box, that do have the sweet wax smell when they come out of the box. The older plastic smelling frames have not been touched, the waxed PF-500 frames are fully drawn, as are the PF-100 frames.

    After all of my experiments this summer, I've more or less confirmed a lot of what were my suspicions. To get plastic frames drawn they need to NOT smell like plastic, and there needs to be a flow running. I've got a number of boxes of frames well under way now, and my experiments have confirmed that I really dont need to do a lot of extra work to assemble fiddly little pieces making wood frames, then wiring and putting in foundation. Plastic frames are just fine, provided conditions are good. My other suspicion is, when conditions are not good for getting frames drawn, it wont matter what kind I put in the colony, none will get drawn. I dont think I'm going to spend any time/effort to prove that one.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    great post grozzie2

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,098

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    Grozzie2 - great experiment. Mind if i reference it and use your pictures on our club website?
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    Quote Originally Posted by David LaFerney View Post
    Grozzie2 - great experiment. Mind if i reference it and use your pictures on our club website?
    Feel free.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    740

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    If I paint the plastic (even wax coated) and place them in the hives, on a flow, with a full moon, they draw them. If the y do not get done by the end of the flow they stay half drawn for the last 3 years. The frames that I painted years ago, no go. I made the mistake of putting undrawn plastic in the center of the drawn wax, this year. They drew out the wax to 2x and did not even start the wax. I do love them when they are drawn. They seem to be bullet proof, a lot less screwing around and you can just about run over them with the truck (I did that to a box of wax foundation in the late fall).
    I was unable to see your photo’s Grozzie2, it may be my work server.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,596

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post
    Plastic frames are just fine, provided conditions are good. My other suspicion is, when conditions are not good for getting frames drawn, it wont matter what kind I put in the colony, none will get drawn.

    Correct. I don't use the all-in-one plastic (for other reasons), but I do use wooden frames with plastic foundation (Rite-Cell) and it works great - again, conditions need to be right to get foundation drawn.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Reno, Nevada, USA
    Posts
    50

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    grozzie2- This is litterally the kind of stuff that keeps me waking up in the morning! I love doing tests like this. The many ways I tried treating red ant hills, marking and documenting 10 mounds at a time with more than a dozen treatments...highlight of my week!. Really cool experiement.



    Directed at everyone...I have wood frames with Rite-Cell foundation. If I wanted to experiment a bit with what my bees preferred, could I just take the plastic sheet out of the wood frame and set that in the hive like that? Or do I need to place in some sort of guide or guard? These are medium frames.
    Amanda. First year. 2 hives. Anecdotal beekeeping journaling here.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,147

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    I use foundationless frames, just glue a few Popsicle sticks in the top groove.
    Dan

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    586

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    Bees will do what they want to do. I run all plastic, Pierco and Permadent. I started first year with all plastic frames and foundation built together. Those are the ones that are the easiest to move from hive to hive, less propolis and better comb. The rest is wood frames and plastic foundation. More burr comb, weird comb, and even comb drawn between the frames. But it is nice when they take to it and draw it out.

    If you have a frame blowout or separation, it is really easy to transfer the drawn foundation into a new frame. You can scrape the goofy comb off of it in an inspection and let them try again. It should hold up great in an extractor, no matter how hard you crank it. And it should last forever. It is tougher than any other type of foundation or foundationless. I only mess with wax now in honey supers, and then it is only for comb honey. My supers for liquid honey are filled with permadent.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,098

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    Lilhouse - you can just pop the plastic foundation out of a frame and use it as is if you put it between 2 brood frames. It will be a little more fragile than if you use popsicle sticks until it is fully drawn and well attached on all sides.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

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