That will depend on things beyond your control, like if they were on 5.4mm wax or typical plastic or 5.2mm Peirco. If they were on 5.2mm Pierco you might get some 4.9mm. If they were on 5.4mm you'll probably bet about 5.1mm. It also probably varies some by genetics. Some bees build nicer more consistent comb than others and some take to 4.9mm more quickly. But it will also vary from top to bottom and from the first to the last and from worker brood comb to honey storage.
I did starter strips and I wouldn't do it again. I'd do full sheets to start. On the plus side, the second time around, they drew four beautiful brood combs (with some drone comb), and three more wild combs. With time and repetition, I'll eventually get fully drawn comb. As for the wild comb, it's stacked on a plate, I'm going to tie it in this weekend. Foundation would have been so much easier.
I would like to use full frames off SC but the deep frames I have for the new hive have grooved top bars and flat bottom bars. Could I use support pins to hold the foundation in place or would it still sag?
Some bees draw beautifully on starter strips. Some don't. Some won't draw on foundation, they just build their own in between.
I've had a lot of messed up comb over the years. Most of it was on (or off) foundation. Some of it was from foundationless or top bars. They aren't tame bees.
>I would like to use full frames off SC but the deep frames I have for the new hive have grooved top bars and flat bottom bars. Could I use support pins to hold the foundation in place or would it still sag?
The pins will not stop it from sagging. Actually NOTHING will stop it from sagging eventually. But if you get the bees to draw it quickly enough it won't sag. I would wax it into the grooved top bars. I'd buy a wax tube fastener, but you could use the runoff from a beeswax candle.
The pins will help keep the sides a bit straighter.
>so is drawing small cell have to do with genetics too? Nick
I think there is a genetic component to anything. Some bees draw a lot of burr and some don't. Some drawn uniform cells, and some draw a lot of different sizes. All of the bees I've tried to regress drew smaller cells than the 5.4mm foundation for worker brood, but not all of them went as small or as fast. Is it possible that some where on Pierco and therefore already partially regressed? I don't know.
>Electrically? Will a hand embedder not work?
Everything is a matter of degree and time. The hand embedder will stick somewhat where the electrical will stick better. If the comb gets drawn quickly it won't matter. If it sets a while before it gets drawn it might matter.
Some recommend using two embedders by alternating each one and placing the unsused one in hot water. Just using them 'cold' on room temperature, say 70 degrees or so, wax seems to work ok, though. You will, of course, need to have the wax laying on a smooth flat piece of wood when you press the wire into the wax with the imbedder.
[ April 28, 2006, 07:18 PM: Message edited by: Dick Allen ]
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