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Author Topic: rotating out plastic  (Read 2017 times)
wtiger
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« on: June 21, 2007, 01:48:47 AM »

I started 2 hives this spring in mid may.  One on wood starter strips and one on wood frames with pierco foundation.  So far the hive with foundationless frames has almost completely drawn out beautiful comb on all 10 frames, without any brace comb or burr comb and I added another hive body last week.   The  hive with the pierco frames has maybe 4 or 5 frames, brood combs, completely drawn out and another 2 drawn out partially and a little funny looking with pollen and nectar and they're putting burr comb anywhere they can find a space.  Last time I inspected them the had most of the hole in the inner cover filled with burr comb with honey in it and it seams lie on the top of every frame they attempt to add burr comb; which obviously the can't draw out enough to do anything with it as bee space prevents them.  The build up in this have has been remarkably slower.  I was thinking on slowly rotating out the plastic with empty frames that I've taken the plastic out of by inserting them into the center of the brood nest one at a time.  Then waiting a week or 2 for them to draw it out and inserting another.  Does this sound like a good plan of action?  Or is there a more efficent way of doing this?

The bees seem almost desperate to draw out comb, but not on plastic.
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SteveSC
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2007, 06:52:33 AM »

Just yesterday I decided to rotate the undrawn Piercos off my hives.  3 out of 5 Pierco meds. are either drawn or 1\2 drawn....I'll leave those on the hives. I have two that are doing nothing after 6 weeks on the hives...I put together replacement supers yesterday.  I'll replacement them this week-end.   It's a shame they don't work as well as pure wax foundation supers... 

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Steve in SC


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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2007, 07:42:05 PM »

>Does this sound like a good plan of action?

It works great during the right time of year.  Just keep an eye on how quickly they are drawing it and if it's interfering with a good brood nest.  It's also a great swarm prevention method.
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Michael Bush
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wtiger
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2007, 07:10:02 PM »

well looks like I'm going to put in 2 more frames within the next week.  The 2 I put in there 4 days ago are about 95% drawn out.  I went ahead and checked those 2 frames before I coated the bees with powdered sugar.
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annette
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2007, 07:20:17 PM »

>Does this sound like a good plan of action?

It works great during the right time of year.  Just keep an eye on how quickly they are drawing it and if it's interfering with a good brood nest.  It's also a great swarm prevention method.


What is the right time of year???

I know that you had mentioned to place one frame at a time between 2 brood frames and see if the bees are filling up the space. I would like to try this just with the wooden frames, minus the plastic insert and without starter strips.

What do you say??
Annette
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2007, 09:31:32 PM »

>What is the right time of year???

Well, the wrong time of year they will draw funky comb and fill it with nectar instead of brood.

>I know that you had mentioned to place one frame at a time between 2 brood frames and see if the bees are filling up the space. I would like to try this just with the wooden frames, minus the plastic insert and without starter strips.

In between two brood frames this works great.

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Michael Bush
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BEE C
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2007, 04:33:42 AM »

I hate to eat crow pie, but Ive been blown away when Ive replaced brood frames (pierco plastic) with foundationless frames.  Last year I had no frame of reference, but this year I am switching out all plastic with wood frames and starter strips.  I was worried about weird comb because last year i had some bad comb built out on plastic most likely due to the frames being too far apart, but the foundationless comb is gorgeous and cheap.  Trying to keep the adolescents busy, and so far everything is humming along fine.  I did notice some larger cells at the top of the frames on a frame in one of the supers but they got progressively smaller towards the bottom.  I was wondering about the season to do this too, but I figured that its the beginning of our summer flow here with lots of rainy days so not a super nectar flow...
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annette
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2007, 03:28:52 PM »

Bee c

Did you find it necessary to use the starter strips?? I was hoping to just place the wooden frames in the hive after removing the plastic inserts. Let me know

Thanks
Annette
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Bennettoid
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2007, 04:54:16 PM »

Its not the plastic foundation I am having problems with, its plastic frames.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2007, 08:59:48 PM »

If you put the empty frame between two DRAWN brood combs you can use it empty.  Otherwise you will need a starter strip of wax or wood or a comb guide.
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Michael Bush
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2007, 10:03:43 PM »

If you have the type of frames that have the break-away cleat then just remove the cleat and reattach it sideways so that it creates a rib the full length of the toop bar.  That is enough to give the bees a sense of reference to begin drawing the comb.
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annette
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2007, 11:01:11 PM »

I will have to check tomorrow. All my bee stuff is on a friends property up the block.

thanks though for the help

Annette
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BEE C
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« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2007, 03:15:01 AM »

annette,

I bought a whack of secondhand equipment including unassembled frames and foundation.  I want naturally drawn comb but straight, secure comb.  I put a starter strip on the top and bottom just to make sure once its drawn that it is not easily broken if I extract with a handcrank centrifical force extractor.  This is my first time doing this so perhaps later on I would skip the starter strip if that turns out to work.  steve.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2007, 10:04:58 AM »

The problem with the one on the bottom is that wax is really a slow liquid.  The starter strip will fold over in time and then may mislead the bees in unpredictable ways.  If you want to encourage more connections to the frame, you can put a beveled piece of wood all the way around.  Langstroth's original design had a bevel on the sides, top and a piece down the center:

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/LangstrothFrame.jpg

But it's simpler to just put a guide on the top and a wire down the center.  A vertical wire in the center would probably do fine.  But you can put multiple ones if you like.  Some people put horizontal ones in as well.  Other than the Dadant Deep frames (11 1/4" frames) I don't put wires in my medium frames and I extract them (gently of course) all the time.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
BEE C
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« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2007, 06:13:52 AM »

Thanks michael,

I'll remove the bottom strip of foundation.  I wanted to get away with not using wires, and hopefully crush the combs every few years to rotate them out, getting the wax.  I guess Ill see how carefully I can extract.  I used a motorized extractor last season and blew out a few combs, but this year Im just using a secondhand hand cranks extractor.  Foundationless brood frames I already put into the hive in the brood nest are the first frames I built and don't have the bottom strip.  I was hoping they would just fill out to the bottom and be ok enough to manipulate to examine.  I was amazed at how strong the comb was when I took one out to see how much they had built out, but would imagine the weight of the frame full of brood would be easier to break the comb?  Ive worked with wired frames, but haven't started any out myself.  Are wired frames significantly stronger or should I be ok to gently use unwired naturally drawn comb?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2007, 07:07:13 AM »

In order to extract foundationless without wires you need to do what you should do anyway.  Smiley  You need to make sure it's attached at least some on all four sides.  If it's not, put it back in the hive or cut it for cut comb.  You need to make sure it's not brand new comb.  Brand new comb is soft like putty.  After a week or two it is much tougher.  If it's brand new comb it makes wonderful cut comb.  Otherwise put it back in the hive for two more weeks.  You need to be gentle.  This means at first.  When the comb is heavy.  You start out very slow for long enough that more than half the honey comes out, then you can speed up some.  Once most of the honey is out, you can usually go as fast as you want (if you paid attention to the previous caveats).
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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