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4ish langstrom hives
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know of a source of plastic drone foundation sheets? I have found lots of drone frames, but not any plastic foundation sheets. The plastic frames I have seem much more flimsy than the wood ones. I want to try putting drone foundations in supers to make them easier to extract. It took an hour to spin out each frame this year again. It was 70's or 80's when I was extracting this year, so not terribly cold.

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edit: add temperature
 

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You will have the problem of keeping the queen off of them. Plastic foundation is easier to get drawn out with no queen excluder, but if the queen lays in that drone comb you can have one hell of a lot of drones being raised. Your problem is probably thick honey, which is easier to extract with a tangential extractor. Yes, get it as warm as possible.
 

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4ish langstrom hives
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You will have the problem of keeping the queen off of them. Plastic foundation is easier to get drawn out with no queen excluder, but if the queen lays in that drone comb you can have one hell of a lot of drones being raised. Your problem is probably thick honey, which is easier to extract with a tangential extractor. Yes, get it as warm as possible.
I already have a hodgepodge of frames in my hives. I have a mix of foundation, foundation less, wood frames, and plastic frames. I had some foundationless frames in my hives this year that the bees drew out as drone comb, but I dont think the queen actually ever layed in them, so I think I will be ok if I keep the drone frames high up in the stack. I have also been started my supers at box #5 with 3 medium and a deep below for the brood nest/winter stores. I have not found the queen laying in box 5 very often.

I think part of the reason I have really thick honey is because I try to keep my bees from bearding a lot at night. They spray for mosquito's here every week at about 10pm. I would rather have the bees in the hive when the spray trucks are coming around so I try to keep my hives a bit cooler during the summer. To keep the hives cooler and clean (from mesquito spray) I do a couple of things. I run quilt boxes year round and during the summer I will add vents (feeder type shim with holes covered with screen) to the top of the hives. I also have a fish air pump in my basement (air clean of mosquito spray) pushing 25-500 ml/min (1.5 to 30 gallon/hour) of air into my hives during the summer to create a positive pressure to keep chemicals out. So far this setup seems to work in my small sample size (4 hives this year) for keeping my bees healthy, but it has the side effect of making really dry and thick honey.

Going forward I would prefer to keep my bees safe from mosquito spray and have thick honey over loosing bees from mosquito spraying for easier to extract honey. I want to try some drone frames in supers to see how they compare next year.
 
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