Let me know what is your experience?
Let me know what is your experience?
They all work if bees want to draw them. Foundationless requires extra attention and guides to avoid cross comb.
Plastic is the stuff!
Splitting a first year hive successfully https://youtu.be/ZfRTreQ-S9c
Plastic with extra hand-applied wax, for me. But all beekeepers should try everything before settling on a fave.
For the record, I have tried both foundationless and plastic. Plastic is your friend when flow is on. Foundationless for broodnest. I try to use as many foundationless as possible to save costs.
The first two years I ran strictly wax foundation, with little to no issues. For me, I found it too time consuming. 3 years ago, I switched to solid plastic frames/foundation (Rite Cell- Mann Lake). Even with the waxed plastic foundation I found myself buying and adding more wax as to my bees were slow drawing comb. I also found, that solid plastic frames tend to warp if frozen for a few days although it wasnt a major permanent problem. I did find an issue with the top bar ends breaking off, which puts an end to the solid plastic frame for me. But they do last a last a long time.
I made the switch to wood frames and plastic foundation with a extra coat of wax.
Dont get discouraged when the bees seem to draw comb slower,
The jury is still out with me. Last year it was all wax foundation. This year I started using both plastic and foundationless. The bees seem to prefer foundationless over the plastic but I don't have enough frames drawn of either to know for sure. I would like to use plastic for the even comb you get. The wax foundation tends to be wavy.
Last edited by JWPalmer; 06-14-2018 at 07:06 PM. Reason: Stupid spelling
Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.
I started with wood frame/plastic foundation (Rite Cell- Mann Lake) and still love it. I also use foundationless which bees seem to prefer over the Rite Cell. But then bees draw too many drone size combs (for my liking), so these days I only use them in nucs (bees tend to draw worker size combs there).
Started foundationless and never saw a reason to switch; I bought out some new equipment and taking a sip of the wood frame/plastic foundation Kool-Aid this year. You might as well ask us "boxers, briefs or depends" for all the opinions you'll receive; none of which are wrong.
“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” -George Bernard Shaw
I run a mix of wood frames with plastic foundation and wood frames without foundation with starter sticks. My hive from last year (2017 was my first year) tends to draw out the foundation less frames as mostly drone comb, but I think they are reaching their drone quota and starting to draw worker cells on the foundation less frames. I have about 25% foundationless between drawn combs in my supers in the hope that I can get some cut comb. If I did not put the foundationless between drawn frames in the super the bees seemed to draw the cells really thick on some frames. I have added more wax to some of the plastic foundation and the bees seem to draw out the cells with added wax quicker.
The gap between combs in two boxes with plastic frames is 15-20 mm and that gap with wooden frames is 40-50 mm. With narrower gap it is now more rational to use all medium/shallow frames/boxes.
If I want it drawn quick I use a whole sheet. I make my own frames too because I'm "frugal".
I do a lot of foundationless and a lot of plastic small cell (Mann Lake PF120s) and some fully drawn (PermaComb and Honey Super Cell). Different things are useful under different circumstances...