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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    516

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    Re drone cells. My colonies dont normally draw much / any drone comb in the worker frames, they have a green drone frame for that. We haven't seen any attempt to draw drone cells in other frames since we started putting the drone frames in.

    That is a Mann Lake PF-100 frame, so 4.9mm cells.

    Ok, I got the ruler out, sort of. Popped the image up in gimp, and started counting pixels across the two different sized cells. Since the small ones are known to be 4.9mm, and 5 of them spans 176 pixels, and 5 of the bigger ones span 229 pixels in the original unshrunk image, a little arithmetic tells us, those are 6.3mm cells in the freeform section. Interesting, I had noticed they were bigger, just never paid much / any attention to how much bigger. Now we know. It's a bit surprising, this colony has raised a full round of brood in the drone frame, and there is NO SHORTAGE of drones. I dont try restrict my colonies from raising drones, rather I promote it by making sure the green frames are in the brood nest.

    Now I'm wondering, are they drawing that size in prep for drones, or is it because they are stuffing it full of honey and have no intention of raising brood in it ?

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    hendersonville nc usa
    Posts
    64

    Big Grin Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    Quote Originally Posted by KQ6AR View Post
    If you don't have a honey flow & the bees don't need more space for brood they won't waste the energy to draw any type of frame. You might need to feed 1:1 syrup.

    grozzie2 Great job!
    this is my third year using wood frames and plastic foundation, I have made some mistakes and had some learning to do on the bees reaction to plastic verse wax and even duragilt over the years I have tried it all. I like the plastic but you have to use it a little different. you cannot checker board honey frames with foundation they will draw the drawn frame very thick and not draw the foundation. a hive body of foundation on top of a strong hive in a good honey flow results in great frames that will last for years, they stand up good in the extractor, are straight and I really like them.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Mass USA
    Posts
    214

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    Awesome experiment and post grozzie2....

  4. #24
    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.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,110

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

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

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    566

    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.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,971

    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

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,487

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    My buddy used up some plastic foundation (Mann Lake) he already had this year, but after the bees drew out and filled some wax foundation before using the box of plastic on the same hive, he's all wax now. We had a big spring flow, and they did do a nice job with the plastic, but he's not going back. It's a hassle to cross-wire foundation, but I believe the bees like it better.

    Foundationless frames require a lot of planning and manipulation if you don't want lots of drone comb. If you have quite a few in the hive at once, they tend to draw the top half as drones here, every time, so I limit them to two or four per hive toward the outside. Gets drawn as drone comb top to bottom, but they only use it in the spring so far.

    Peter

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Chapel Hill NC
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: My bees HATE platic frames and foundation!

    I use Pierco frames, my bees work fine with it. Pretty heavy nectar flow right now. Will experiment with other frames next year. If you can't get them to draw out comb try spraying the frames with some 1:1 sugar water. I did that on mine and they worked it right away, now up to 2nd honey supers.

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