They will adjust, but why mislead them to start with? Wood strips are more durable and you won't have to do them more than once./QUOTE]
I was looking at Dr. Magnum's website videos and observed that he uses wax starter strips. My preference is to use wood strips also. I was just curious about how the bees would build on the wax starter strips. Thank you everyone for your most helpful replies.
I use this method and I don't have any problems. I lay 6 top bars end to end and staple the string on one end, stretch it over the 6 bars, draw it a little taught and staple the other end. Then take a soldering iron and drizzle a good coating of wax over the string, leaving 1" wax free on the end of each bar. I then take a box cutter and cut the string on the end of each bar right at the end of the wax so no piece of string is hanging out for the bees to start chewing on. I've used wood strips, Popsicle sticks and wedged bars, this wax drizzle idea of Macartney's is what I prefer.Watched a video where a person clamps a piece of cotton butcher string taught along the flat bar. He then uses a soldering iron and piece of bees wax to apply melted bees wax to the string..it holds the strong to the bar and the string raises the wax a bit. Was a quick and easy process and he says it works great to get bees drawing straight combs...no wedge, no foundation no fancy saw work...sounds good.
What kind of problems are you having? I see you're in Texas, is it because of the heat, are you leaving string exposed? I always make sure there is about an 1/8" of wax covering the string with no gaps and cut the ends with a sharp box cutter. We don't have the heat you folks experience so the bees wax stays quite hard for handling and transport.I tried the string method with horrible results. I now cut a kerf down the middle of the bar with a table saw, but start and end the kerf about 3" from each end to not leave an access point for small hive beetles. I then glue popsicle sticks in the grove and wax them with a soldering iron. That has eliminated collapsing combs from the south Texas heat, and they draw comb right down the sticks. I use the same bars in my swarm traps. Makes transferring bees and bars into a hive very easy, and i can set the trap again the same night with new bars.
Matt, where are you located? I have an uncle in Marysville, TN. We get bacon and ham at Benton's sometime when we come to town, which I think it pretty close to Madisonville.I started out with foundation strips. They were always breaking off if I moved empty hives, which made it difficult for customers when they bought one of my hives. Now I use the beveled edge, and love it! I just toss the bars in the bottom of an empty hive if moving or selling it. The bees draw it out just fine, it is cheaper, and I can advertise "true natural comb."
You will get natural comb, but regression is about taking large cell bees and putting them on small cell foundation. In your case there really won't be any regression per se, since you will only have a few rows of cells.
As soon as they get below the strips the cell size will be what it will be. Large, small, tiny, huge, whatever. Bees normally will have some honey stored in the top of the bars, so my guess is that most of the cells drawn from the starter strips will be honey storage anyway.