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Discussion Starter #1
I started putting MannLakes standard plastic frames in my hives. I hate messing with foundation and these are known to make nearly 100% worker comb. At first the bees were drawing it out scattered and trying to bridge the comb into the next frame creating a burr mess, and they were slow at that, even though I'm feeding. Every couple of days I was trying to scrape this bridge comb to prevent a bigger mess. MannLake says they coat these frames with wax, but appear to be very light with it. I wasn't satisfied:




So I melted some of my own wax and brushed the melted wax onto the frames. A few strokes. A day and a half later I see frames like this(sorry about the bees in the way):





Much more uniform and being drawn out quicker. This wasn't meant to be a product review, just my observations. I searched a while on the subject before installing these frames and couldn't get a straight answer. A lot of people chalk this bridge comb on plastic frames to incorrect spacing but I think its mainly that lack of wax coating on plastic. Its still early spring so I'm interested to see how this goes.
 

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I think the results might be directly related to where and when the plastic frames were inserted. I've had the best luck inserting mann lake plastic frames between capped brood frames in late spring/early summer.

If they are not inserted at the correct time or place in the hive the bees may look at the frame as a wall or barrier, and start building bridge or burr comb as seen in your first pic.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, I'm sure whether there is a flow on or not makes a difference. There isn't nectar coming in so I'm feeding, but that's not the same. The first picture was actually a frame between two brood frames, and the second one was next to one brood frame. The opposite side of this frame was being drawn out nearly as well.
 

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I pretty much use Pierco frames exclusively and have had similar issues from time to time.

Sometimes it depends on the hive, frames installed from the same factory box at the same time in two different hives and I have gotten different results. The biggest key I have noticed, it seems like the wax coating gets "stall" if they sit for a long period of time.

I have had good luck taking a spray bottle and spraying them pretty heavily with sugar water just before putting them in a hive during a flow or if I'm feeding heavily to get them to draw.

Good luck.
 

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I got those plastic frame drawn nicely a couple years ago when I shook colonies with AFB off old comb and fed them like there was no tomorrow. Many of those frames were unwaxed ones that I bought to wax myself but ran out of time. I think that bees draw comb when they need it. If they don't have a motivation, they don't do a good job. Timing is everything and I bet an improving flow leant at least as much to your success as the added wax. Some lemon grass oil emulsified in syrup helps if the bees need room to store it.
 
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