Plastic foundation for Brood?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I'm really confused.
    I understand that worker cells and drone cells are different sizes.
    What I have in my brood chamber is plastic foundation...is this going to be a problem for raising brood? Will the bees make the cell size variations as they draw out the comb, or will the shaped plastic cell bases confuse them?
    The plastic foundation came with the hive body despite my preferences and objections, so I'm stuck with it and I'd like to use it for the brood chamber if possible. However I'll toss it and throw good money after bad on pure wax brood foundation and deep super wedge top frames if the plastic stuff is going to make the bees all nutty.
    Help help.
     
  2. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have nothing but plastic foundation in my hives, all Pierco. It's working out great! I have two deeps for brood chambers, with regular Pierco foundation, and it works just fine.
     

  3. kosh

    kosh Well-Known Member

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    Same here, all plastic. They will draw out the size they need. Most will be worker size, some will be enlarged for drones.
     
  4. Billy Bob131

    Billy Bob131 Active Member

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    There are several purposes for foundation. One is to control the amount of drone cells in a colony. Drones do nothing to help the hive. Hence they are not desirable to most beekeepers, so foundation is not made with drone cells.

    Most colonies will make drone cells within the foundation. Natural honey comb varies greatly in size and most worker cells are made smaller than most foundations that are found on the market today. The cell size grows larger as you move outward from the brood nest. Even the comb that the bees will use for honey stores is between the sizes of the drone and workers. Since the foundation is not the right size most colonies build their drone comb on the bottom of the frames sometimes off the foundation altogether. Others will still incorporate the drone cells in with the worker cells.

    The plastic foundation will work fine. The biggest complaint that I see from beekeepers is the bees do not draw it out as fast as wax foundation. The bees will make drone cells where they feel it is needed. Keep an eye on the work they do and replace or clean off and let them start over on frames that have more than 25% drone cells per side. Any more than that and they will be cutting into space that could be used for worker cells.

    If you need or are interested in having a good drone population in your area you can order drone foundation. Then you can put a frame of it in the hive of your choice and flood the area from the stock that you want.

    BB
     
  5. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I have tried plastic and my bees didn't like it. They cleaned the wax off of most of it and wouldn't build on it. I use wax and only wax after trying the plastic.
     
  6. kosh

    kosh Well-Known Member

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    Beeman,

    What kind of bees do you have? I have Italians.. Just wondering if the breed of bee makes a difference.

    Jason
     
  7. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    My bees are mutts. I'm not buying into the pedigree bee thing.