would appreciate your opinions on this product. We've always wired our own frames but are interested in this product...how do you like it? Any difference in white or black? Do the bees like it? Any problems encountered?? Thanks for your help. DEE
I can only speak for small cell plastic foundation. My bees were started put as packages onto wax (wired in) small cell foundation. They drew it fine and did well. As an experiment, hoping to have to wire so much, I tried a few sheets of the plastic small cell foundation. They hate it, refuse to make comb on it, even if no other space is available. They made a few vertical 'fins' of comb perpendicular to the sheet, but refused to draw anything normal at all on it. This is their second year on small cell, so I can't blame the bee's size for them not wanting to draw it.
I use "plasticell" in my 3 hives. The girls are slow to draw it out and I've noticed the 'vertical fins' where they can get away with it also. this is normal sized cell.
I bought 10 new medium supers - I alternated plasticell and duragilt. The girls aren't real interested in drawing out on either right now. Could be the time of the year. I plan on getting into the hives this weekend and will switch the frames so the 5 duragilt frames are together.
Letâs face it, bees really donât want to build wax comb on top of plastic. Itâs not what they are use to and itâs quite unnatural. Iâve seen new packages on wax foundation out do the ones on plastic. I know wiring frames really sucks, but the bees do so much better on the wax.
I really think the plastic was made for the commercial beekeeper. If I was a commercial beekeeper and I had to make 1000âs of frames every year I would understand the use of plastic. But, Iâm a plan ol' beekeeper with 25 hives. I donât run my operation like a commercial beekeeper so why should I try and make my bees do what I donât?
Leave the plastic to the commercial guysâ¦the point of having bees is to enjoy the entire experience. From making up your frames, to extracting the honey take your time and have fun!
I only have 3-4 hives but my time is limited (understatement!!)
I work full-time off the homestead, have 3 teens in various musical/sports/relgious organizations, run a homemade soap & sundries business, do the bookwork for husband's handyman service, have 2 very large veggie/herb gardens (where the produce is canned, dried or frozen), a numerous amount of herb/flower gardens, & orchards.
Then there are the draft horses, cattle, hogs, chickens, rabbits, turkeys, geese, ducks, & guineas. I help Paul with the haying (with horses) when it's time to do that also. Not to mention the cooking and cleaning and running the household! In my spare time I spin and crochet. (I can't remember the last time I sat and watched TV!)
I have a lot of fun with all my activities but if I can save time somewhere, I usually go for it. I'm not stressing over how much honey my hives produce. As long as they have enough to get them through winter and some to share with my family, I'm happy!!
I liked the plastic foundation, but I can't make wax. my bees hated it and would build comb anywhere but the foundation. On the 1 or 2 frames they did draw out it was real easy to see eggs with the black plastic but I removed all of it and use only wired wax now.
There are several types of plastic foundation, including some plastic frames with built in foundation and one that has plastic comb fully drawn.
I have some of the fully-drawn plastic frames. The bees draw them out a bit farther when they fill them and cap them. If they do not quite fill them you have to punch out the caps; cannot cut them with an uncapping knife, but the frames work just fine.
All the suppliers tell you not to mix was and plastic in the hive, and never ever in the same box. Experienced pros say not to give the bees plastic unless a good honeyflow is on and the bees NEED space. Spraying the frames with a heavy sugar syrup when they are put on the hive helps. A product called Honey B Healthy added to the syrup is said to speed acceptance. I used it on my plastic.
Another point: The plastic foundation itself is supposed to be sprayed with beeswax when sold. The fully drawn plastic comb I use (Permacomb) had no coating whatever and the bees accepted and filled it after I sprayed it with sugar syrup and HBH.
Once the bees work the plastic it is regarded by them as wax. I extracted the plastic comb and put it back on; the bees have almost filled it again, were capping it when I last looked.
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