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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would like to hear from those Bee Keeps who use permacomb. Would you give an update now that you have used pc for two years? Acceptance, spacing, uncapping, any ideas that would help those who may be thinking about going to pc (Like me!!). Michael Bush should be able to help, seems like I read that you bought over 1000 frames of pc. I Plan on going to mediums and small cell, also would like to try permacomb. Sounds to good to be true. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Sure do enjoy this forum.
 

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I tried a few supers of PC and they worked great. As advised (by someone) I used a table saw to cut off the bottom and side tabs and cut the medium boxes down respectively. When proper 9 frame spacing is used, the bees drew out the comb about a quarter of an inch which made for easy uncapping. I did not bother wax coating them although I did spray each with sugar syrup prior to placing them in the hive.

Now I have a PC related problem which I'll relate on a separate thread.

Dale
 

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>Would you give an update now that you have used pc for two years?

I like it. Pretty much everything I didn't like about it at first, I've decided I really do like. Like the burr between the boxes.

> Acceptance

I wax dip mine, so it's probably not fair to compare acceptance I get (which is perfect acceptances) to brand new unwaxed PermaComb.

> spacing

I like 11 in a ten frame brood chamber and 8 or 9 in a super.

> uncapping

I uncapped mine with a cold bread knife this year, except when it was right at the surface and then I used a Hackler honey punch. I have a six inch. I wish it was more like three or four.

> any ideas that would help those who may be thinking about going to pc (Like me!!).

Don't try to fix the beespace issue. Leave the boxes alone. You can cut the tabs off or leave them. I'd be tempted to cut the bottom ones off to make it easier to clean the comb up, but I only cut about half of them off. Don't bother with the end ones. They don't really matter at all.

> Michael Bush should be able to help, seems like I read that you bought over 1000 frames of pc.

I did. I have about half in use, I didn't get the other half wax dipped. I wanted all of them the same for unlimited brood nest usage with small cell.

>I Plan on going to mediums and small cell, also would like to try permacomb. Sounds to good to be true.

If it was free, it would be too good to be true. If it was cheap it would be too good to be true. It's not cheap or free and it would be nice if it had an inside diameter of 4.8mm or so instead of 5.0mm or so.
I think it's well worth it. Can you imagine always having all the drawn comb you want?

The only combs I've been a little frustrated with are the ones where a lot of bees died head first and I gave them to another hive that sealed the dead bees in propolis. And a couple the mice tried to chew up when they moved in. Sometimes the wax moths make webs on the surface and that's frustrating. I used an old hair brush to get most of them off and let the bees clean the rest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Michael
Thanks for the information. Question, where did you get the spacers for 11 frames in the brood box? Can you insert a foundationless frame in the center of brood box with permacomb? I want to down size to small cell in mediums on small cell foundation from Dadant and sons, but would like to try starter strips and no foundation.
Thanks again
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hayseed
I plan on using 9 frames in the supers but will use 10 or 11 in the brood box.
Thanks for the info.
 

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>Question, where did you get the spacers for 11 frames in the brood box?

Many of them I have alternating with frames with spacers so I just add a hair more than the hoffman end bar creates. But I made a "comb" out of a one by two with a 1/4" hole every 1 1/4" inches and put a 1/4" dowel in the hole. If you sharpen the dowels ahead of time in a pencil sharpener or cut a bevel on them they are easier to use. This works as a tool to space them and you only need one for all your hives. Or two, if you want one at each end.

> Can you insert a foundationless frame in the center of brood box with permacomb?

In the brood box, I do it all the time. It works perfectly. In the super, they often just fatten the permacomb out from both sides into the foundationless frame space and don't build a comb on the frame.

>I want to down size to small cell in mediums on small cell foundation from Dadant and sons, but would like to try starter strips and no foundation.

You don't even need the starter strips if its in the brood nest and there is a drawn comb (or permacomb) on either side. Just an empty frame will do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Michael
I appreciate your bee keeping knowledge and your willingness to share it with others.

I had some new permacomb given to me and there seems to be enough room for 11 frames (brood box only). Nine frames will probley work good in the supers.
 

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Well, I bought two supers of PC this year to try, I set one up with 8 frames and one with 9, cut down a meduim box to fit, sprayed them with 2to1 sugar water with HBH and put them on strong hives and got not one drop of honey I even moved them to other hives and placed a wet super above them still not a drop all they did was glued them in the boxes, so I will try again next year.

I am not knocking them as I have a friend that bought some and had VERY good luck with them as it has been said many times before "what works for you may not work for me and vise versa"
 

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Honeyman if you get it figured, the rest of us are waiting for the answer. What the difference between his and you bees? Italian/Russian/etc. Did he coat with beeswax and you coated with HBH? Whatever you can figure, we're interested.

Hawk
 

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Were the hives established from overwintered or new? Did you have any swarming? Did you have a period of drought this summer where bees had to eat down stores? Did your brood chambers get honeybound (indicating for there was a honey flow but the bees chose not to draw comb for some reason)? The strength of your hives, climate and honeyflow conditions are critical to drawing comb, especially plasticell.
 

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>The strength of your hives, climate and honeyflow conditions are critical to drawing comb, especially plasticell.

Well, they don't have to DRAW PermaComb, since it's already fully drawn, but acceptance is still dependant on all the same factors as drawing comb. The bees have to have nectar and have to NEED somewhere to store it and have no other choices. Otherwise they will draw other foundation to make a place to put it before they will use new plastic. So you need a flow. Once they've used the PermaComb they will not hesitate to use it again.
 

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I bought a couple of supers and gave them away in disgust. But that's just me. I think if the bees have no where else to go they will work fine, as in a new swarm or package. I added a screw in the side of the frame to make spacers. I'd worry a little about that lump of cold plastic in the middle of a winter cluster, that's trying to keep warm. They do have more mass. How would we find out if they work as well in cold climates. Mike? Any wintering stats?

Dickm
 

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I have a lot of them in all my hives and I haven't had any trouble wintering the hives. I have wondered how much they transmit heat. Of course a frame partially full of honey also has more mass than empty comb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
What I plan on doing is add a medium with permacomb above the two deep brood boxes and feed heavy. Over a strong colony, if done early I believe they will fill the permacomb. I want to phase out the deeps and go to all mediums. When the botom deep has no brood in it, I will take it off. Any thoughts?
 

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Sounds like a plan. If you can get the queen out of the deep and have an excluder to keep her out you can wait for all the brood to emerge and steal the whole thing. Either extract and feed (if you use chemicals) or just extract (if you don't use chemcials).
 

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>lump of cold plastic in the middle of the cluster....

I would think plastic would be slow to heat, but therefore slow to cool, same as wood. If thats true, then it would be a good thing to have in the cluster, unless your dropping it in in mid winter.
 

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For what its worth, it seems to me that in addition to available nectar, weather, and temperature, the mites seem to affect acceptance of new PermaComb the most. I have found that there is a direct correlation between mite (varroa) infestation and PC acceptance (or lack thereof). Many beekeepers are not aware that even new packages can be rabid with mites. I have tested a number of new 3 pound packages from various suppliers and have often found this to be the case. I have often found that if the bees will draw unwaxed foundation, they will work new PC.

Thanx.
 
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