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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read several threads about PF120s here on the forums. Most people seem very pleased with the results from using these frames, so I bought quite a few this spring to save me some assembly time.

About six weeks ago, I put an 8-frame medium box full of PF120s on top of what appears to be a strong double deep hive that was about just about full of drawn comb. We have had great warm weather and lots of trees and flowers in bloom throughout the last six weeks, but the bees still have not drawn out a single one of the PF120s. The box with the PF120s is FULL of bees, they just haven't built any comb on the frames yet.

I had hoped that they would have built out this entire box by now, but I am a pretty new at this so maybe my expectations are too high...

So, ideas? Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.
 

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Just this season I have started adding extra wax to the frames and can tell the bees take to it much quicker. Use a small foam brush or roller and an old crockpot to melt the wax.
 

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I slather a thick coating of beeswax on mine and the begin drawing it out the first day. I use a large paintbrush or a small roller too.
 

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Do you have any wooden medium frames with drawn comb? If so, try putting one in the center of the box and see if you can entice them into moving up into the medium. Sometimes they just need a little coaxing.

If you are using a queen excluder, you might need to remove it for a while until they are working the medium.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all of the suggestions everyone!

A few notes/responses to your comments:
--> Unfortunately, I don't have any extra beeswax around to add another coat on the frames.
--> I tried spritzing with sugar water a few weeks back with very little effect - maybe I'll try again in the next week or so.
--> The bees have already moved up into the box with the PF120 frames; it is chock full of bees, but they have not built any comb.
--> No queen excluder.

I am considering dropping in some WT Kelley foundationless frames in between the PF120s to see what they will do with those...any thoughts? I know there is a chance that they may draw the foundationless frames out too thick since they have not filled the PF120s, but I feel like I am missing the flow right now and I just want to get them building something!
 

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Buy some beeswax and melt it on........as a last resort for wax, try a craft store..........
 

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Put the medium between the deeps.
Or
Pull a side deep frame and put a medium frame or two in the side of the brood nest.
Or both.
 

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sometimes an individual hive refuses to draw plastic frames. try to get a different colony to do it. stuburn plastic frame colonies are more likely to accept all plastic frames rather than a mixture of plastic frames and wood frames with plastic foundation. they are bees...if they need the space enough they will use the plastic frames after a bunch of committee meetings.
 

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How Comletely are the combs they have utilized? If they don't need more comb, they won't build it.
 

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What would happen if you put the medium in between the 2 deeps? .I use PF120 foundation that I cut out of the plastic and installed it into wooden frames. At first I rolled on some wax, but found out that me bees started on frames without the additional wax first. You need to somehow get them in between some already drawn out frames. one thing for sure if they don't need the room, they wont draw the frames.

Steve
 

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i've been using rite cell waxed this year and they've been drawing it out fine i moved some already drawn frames up in between the ritecell to bait them up into the supers. and just because there are flowers blooming dosen't always mean there is a good flow on.
 

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I never have luck getting plastic drawn, so I found a strong nuc with a supercedure cell, pulled the queen on a single frame, put her in a new nuc box as the middle frame, added 2 frames of pf100's to either side, shook a frame of nurse bees in and put her in the spot of the original hive. Needless to say they I've got some plastic frames getting drawn now..... I've checkerboarded them into a few other strong hives, kind of the same reaction, some bees covering them, but nothing getting drawn.
 

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I put some new ones in on Saturday, with a relatively light coat of fresh wax, thicker in some spots than others, the nature of brushing it on. I put them all between frames of capped brood in hives doing well right now. Just popped the lid to take a peek on two of them, same story for both. The areas on the frame with the thickest fresh wax, are now drawn out to about 1/2 depth of comb, and they haven't started yet on the rest of the frame. It's only been a couple of days, and they are well into started on them, will pay attention and see how they do. In the meantime, going to put the wax on my next round a little thicker, that does seem to be the ticket. In all cases, these went into relatively strong colonies, in double deeps, bees on all frames in the deeps, and 4 or 5 frames of a medium honey super above that. The new freshly waxed frames are the only undrawn comb areas on the hives.

I think I'll paint some wax onto another batch tonite, a little thicker this time, it sure does seem to be the ticket.
 

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i put a nuc super with 5 frames of fresh out of the box ritecell on a nuc monday afternoon i was in a hurry so i didn't move a bait comb up. wend. morning i took a look and they started drawing all 5 frames of foundation. we got a heavy flow on right now
 

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on mon. afternoon i added a 2nd box to a nuc with 5 frames of fresh out of the box rite cell assembled wood frames. i was in a hurry so i didn't move a bait comb up. i checked them wendsday morn. and they started drawing all 5 frames. we got a heavy flow on right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Update: Hive had just begun building out the frames a little bit when they sent out a large swarm. The swarm was quite a hit to their population so we will see how long it takes them to finish building out the frames.

On another note, I caught two good sized swarms and put them both in 8 frame mediums full of PF120s. One swarm was caught a week ago, the other two and a half weeks ago. Did my first inspection on each of these new swarm hives today.

The swarm that was caught just a week ago seems to be drawing the frames out beautifully - there was one sort of odd line up a couple of the frames that they had messed up but it was easily scraped off for them to try again.

The older swarm from two and a half weeks ago has made quite a mess and does not seem to like the plastic frames. They are building full two-sided combs on a single side of the frame. I hated messing up all of their work, but I scraped quite a bit of it out today (about 50/50 capped honey and various stages of brood). I wasn't prepared for the mess and I didn't have enough equipment or time to get all of it, so I will have to go back in tomorrow or the next day to take care of the rest :(

Good news about all of the comb scraping: I may have some wax to melt down and glaze the other frames with - any good ideas on separating the wax from pollen, brood, nectar, etc?
 
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