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checked a couple of hives last night and awhile back I had put in a couple of frames that I had turned and glued the wedges so I could see if the ladies would build on them without plastic. I had been reading a book by a person I see on here and thought it interesting so I thought what the heck and threw a few in. Well! low and behold last night when I looked they had 2 frames that had V shaped combs drawn out in the center of both. One was drawn out completely to the bottom and the other about two thirds of the way to the bottom. I also had some new waxed plastic that have never hardly been touched and the one that they were working on had a 3" X 5" area that was drawn out.

Now my question is that since they're making their own which is going to be a cell size they like, is the queen going to favor those over the plastics?

Do I need to start weeding out the old drawn plastics and get rid of the new ones replacing them with empty frames?
 

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I run a mix of plastic foundation in wood frames and foundationless. I don't see that the bees have a preference for using either (not drawing.). I do get lots of drone comb in my foundationless frames.
 

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I run a mix of plastic foundation in wood frames and foundationless. I don't see that the bees have a preference for using either (not drawing.). I do get lots of drone comb in my foundationless frames.
My hives are the same.... Both plastic (PF100 series) and foundationless build up fine..... As for cell size the best thing to do is actually measure.... As for the weeding out the plastic I guess it depends on what you are planning on doing.... If they are large cell and you are regressing to small cell then I would start to weed them out.... If this is not the case and you are just worried about plastic being in with the foundationless I would leave them.... If my hives are any indication the bees won't have a problem with the mix....
 

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I noticed the same thing they don't touch the plastic and work the foundationless quickly.
Do you add extra wax to the plastic, there is nowhere near enough wax on those it helps allot to roller on extra (still it does not compare to foundationless). I will never go back.

Bees want a certain amount drone comb 15%, when they get their quota they stop making it, if they don’t get to that amount they make drone burr comb. Early spring they have propagation on their minds and make allot of drone comb. New swarms don't make much if any drone comb while they are in buildup mode (and splits for that matter).

Plus it saves money and time.

There are so many advantaged to using foundationless over plastic or foundation, youve just touched the tip of the iceberg.

>Now my question is that since they're making their own which is going to be a cell size they like, is the queen going to favor those over the plastics?
>Do I need to start weeding out the old drawn plastics and get rid of the new ones replacing them with empty frames?
If you are you using Mann Lake PF 100s, you don't need to do anything. just keep using both.
If you are using large cell then your bees will make 5.1. When the brood nest is 5.1 they will make 4.9. You can skip the 5.1 sized if you use PF100s and go straight to 4.9. The queen will continue to lay in both, you can start to move the large cell size to the outside frames for honey storage. Feral swarms will make 4.9 without any help as long as they are not forced to make large cell.
 

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My thoughts and experiences are about the same as flowerplanters, but you can still use the plastic for helping to get straight combs by placing the foundationless between the plastic, after you get the plastic drawn and you want to regress your bees you can use it in the supers for the bees to store honey and let your brood boxes be all foundationless, my bees are totally regressed and they will make large cells outside of the brood nest to store honey
 

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>Now my question is that since they're making their own which is going to be a cell size they like, is the queen going to favor those over the plastics?

The queen always prefers natural comb.

"The queen prefers to lay in natural built combs rather than those built from foundation. I have used all kinds of foundation and find this to be true. The comb shown was not trimmed back so it can be seen that the queen laid in a sort of horseshoe shape." --Jay Smith, Better Queens

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/BQPg44.jpg
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesbetterqueens.htm#Stocking the Breeder Hive

>Do I need to start weeding out the old drawn plastics and get rid of the new ones replacing them with empty frames?

What size is the plastic comb? If it's Pierco it's probably smaller than 5.4mm. If it's Mann Lake PF100 series it's probably 4.95mm. If it's anything else it's probably 5.4mm. If it's bigger than 5.0mm I'd cull it, myself...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have Dadants F37000 8-3/8" Plasticell Beeswax coated frames. not sure what cell size they are
 
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