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Poll
Question: What kind of foundation is best?
Duraguilt - 3 (15.8%)
Plasticell - 8 (42.1%)
Wax - 6 (31.6%)
Hand Poured - 0 (0%)
Other - 2 (10.5%)
Total Voters: 4


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Author Topic: Plasticell vs. Duraguilt  (Read 8961 times)
buzz
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« on: February 03, 2005, 12:19:20 AM »

I'm going to be getting some more frames/foundation soon, an am wondering which is better, plasticell or duraguilt. Also, are there any benifits to having standard wax foundation in the brood boxes? Cost is really not an issue, as they are all about the same price. Thanks!
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Lesli
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2005, 05:53:02 AM »

Most long time beeks don't like duragilt, because if the wax is removed, there is nothing but smooth plastic underneath--and the bees won't build on that.
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2005, 09:28:09 AM »

What Lesli says is very true - what the beekeeper has to do though is never get into that situation and all will be fine.

I tried two seasons of plastic cell and there is an EPIDICIOUS quality to the hive growth,  but as with anything - there is a learning curve too!

I found that the bees miss a huge part of their growth cycle by not working the comb for cell drawing. It is a INSTINCTUAL HABIT that I believe the bees look forward to doing as part of their journey through life. Just making cappings is a different habit for the workers, something may toss a different attitude in the hive conscienceness (an attiude change) even if only slight and not preceived by us.

It goes back to the bee-duties thing, more important (I think) the need to pass the pheromone by touching each other and chewing the wax LITERALLY like a ball-player chews tobacco. I think the chewing and building ritual is important and plastic cell takes that the construction of cells away from the bees.

Anything we do that lessens what the bees do SEEMS like a good idea, because PEOPLE think that the workers would put that extra effort into gathering and brood tending - but is that what really happens???

My vote is for Duragild, just don't scape it down to the plastic - which I don't see a need to do anyways, especially if you plan to reuse the frames again and again.

This topic could use a poll Smiley maybe including other frame styles and the choice of "OTHER" and don't forget HAND POURED (yet, around the globe some people still opt to mold their own - which I think is a pretty cool option)

My mentor had a foundation mold - he made it himself in foundry class (metal shop) in high school his frshman year. I never saw him use the mold though, although I know he made many foundations with it - including those I helped him spin when I first was introduced to beekeeping.

Good post - can't wait to read more replies.
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2005, 09:55:29 AM »

I use plasticell and like it. The buggest reason I bought it was because of the claim that wax moths can not destroy it. I've found that to be true. I had wax moth cover several frames I had sitting in my laundry room. They made a mess, destroyed the wax, but could not damage the begining shape of the cells imprinted on the foundation.
I have also found the bees prefer it over building from scratch. I had both plasticell and top bar frames, and the bees would not start on the top bar until it was their only option. Comparitively, they were much faster at getting a frame done on the plasticell. They could get most of both sides on a plasticell frame done in just a few days - while also working on other frames - but they would have atleast one frame finished in days. But compared to the top bar, and building from scratch, they worked on several frames for 11 days before having one frame almost done.

So I like it for strength, durability, helping to speed up comb building - no wires needed, or pins - and it's strong enough to take the spinning process in even the most harsh conditions of spinning out the honey.

Beth
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golfpsycho
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2005, 11:28:04 AM »

I don't like duragilt, or plasticell, but there are tradeoffs to whatever you choose.  Wood and wax is more work for you.  If duraglit gets drawn poorly, it's useless.  And bees don't like plastcell.  Given a choice, they will usually work the wax first, and you can test it by mixing frames of each.  I think they prefer their own comb and layout to anything we provide them.  If you give a good colony room, it will suprise you how fast they can draw comb on a flow.  Beth had a picture of an inner cover or lid, that the spacing was incorrect.  I'm sure she was suprised to see how much comb they had built to their own specifications.  When they are working, don't get in their way.
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2005, 11:44:47 AM »

I agree with golfpyscho and prefer good old pure wax.

John,
 
Although I don't disagree with what you said,  I am a little confused by your choice of duragilt over plasticell.  Are you thinking of permacomb, where the entire cells are formed from plastic?  Plasticell has just the base of the cells   formed and is wax coated. From a bee building standpoint, plasticell should be no different than duragilt.  However the added benifit is that "if" the bees decide to chew away the wax, unlike duragilt, you don't loose the cell base formations and can recoat with wax.
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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2005, 12:11:20 PM »

Yep Rob....

My bad, I was indeed thinking wrong - but my reasoning was the same, just the wrong product name Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2005, 01:02:07 PM »

I agree.  Sometimes I believe we do more hindering than what we believe to be helping.

I guess my thoughts about your posistion is that I would think it would equally apply to colonies who have/or are given fully drawn comb.  I think we all agree that giving drawn comb is prefered to foundation.

Not advocating plastic, I personal don't like it or buy it (can't say I don't use it, because I do have some from trades and trials)

Just a thought...
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Rich V
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2005, 04:12:54 PM »

When I bought my foundation from Dadant.I asked about the Duragilt.
 I was told that the bees favor the 100% wax foundation over all. and that they draw it out better. So thats what I bought.

Rich V
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2005, 04:49:47 PM »

Quote from: Rich V
When I bought my foundation from Dadant.I asked about the Duragilt.
 I was told that the bees favor the 100% wax foundation over all. and that they draw it out better. So thats what I bought.

Rich V


WOW,  I think it says a lot when the people that developed duragilt recommend wax foundation.....

good move on your part.....
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2005, 04:58:47 PM »

I'm going to try the Pierco® 1-Piece Frames/Foundations (Black) and see how they do.
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buzz
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2005, 04:59:43 PM »

Thanks for all the input guys, I already have plasticell in my current hive and am happy with it, but I might go with wax in the brood boxes of my next two hives. Do the bees have a prefrence of crimp-wired or not? I think I will stick with the plasticell in the supers for now.
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2005, 07:33:50 PM »

Quote from: buzz
Do the bees have a prefrence of crimp-wired or not?


I don't think the workers have much of a preference, I have never seen any problems with cell building because of the wire.  Some queens are more fussy than other, and it seems that the cells with the wires are more likely to be rejected for brood.  It is mostly evident with the horizontal imbedded wires than the crimped though.  But for most queens, I find it is not an issue.  

I prefer the imbedded wire foundation because it is less likely to sag which leads to drone cells.
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Bee Boy
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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2005, 02:32:20 PM »

From what i've seen and heard from other bee keepers. Just pure wax foundation works the best. THe bees accpet it much faster. Its more work to put it together but its worth it. Thats what i'm doin in my basement every night this month,lol. If you do go with the plastic frames sprinkle sugar water on them for better acceptance by the bees.


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« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2005, 11:14:23 PM »

Wax, later I want to do comb honey so I am going to be using thin wax foundation for that and wired for liquid honey, bye
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« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2005, 12:13:03 AM »

I have used both Pierco plastic(white and black-seems the bees prefer to go with the black)and wax foundations. From a beginners standpoint,the bees worked both very well regardless of thier preference.The only problem I encountered was when wax and plastic were used in the same super.Then the poor bees would draw combs in between the plastic and the wax(parallel to) but not build up on the plastic. Now if you are looking for something user friendly, and time saving to boot-my vote definitly goes to plastic.Just seems like there is never enough time in a day to do it all, and the plastic allows me more time to address the other irons I may have in the fire at that particular time. I have nerver tried dura-gilt or permacomb,but would consider trying the permacomb for kicks and giggles.
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« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2005, 12:07:03 PM »

I'm begining to think foundation is evil.  Here's my favorite:

http://incolor.inetnebr.com/bush/images/FoundationlessFrame2.JPG

And here it is drawn:

http://incolor.inetnebr.com/bush/images/FoundationlessDrawn.JPG
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Lesli
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« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2005, 05:27:54 PM »

I did starter strips in my supers last year, and the bees did very well, building some beatiful comb. I don't think it would make it through an extractor, though. I may do it again for some supers to make cut comb and chunk honey, though.
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« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2005, 05:49:15 PM »

Lesli,
        How do you use the starter strips-are they just a narrow section of wax put in the upper part of the frame? This sounds like a good idea for  the catch hives I might use  to capture feral bee swarms that would  pass through my woods otherwise unnoticed.
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« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2005, 10:13:27 PM »

http://incolor.inetnebr.com/bush/images/PrimaryCombOnBlankStarterStrip.JPG

Here's a comb started on a blank starter strip.  I dip a wet board in wax to make the sheets and cut them into 3/4" wide or 1" wide strips and wax them in the grooves.

I have extracted them.  You have to wait until the wax has aged enough to be a little tougher.  New wax is very soft.  And you have to make sure they are attched at least a little bit on all side.  And you have to be a bit gentle with them.  Don't spin too fast too soon.

You can put the starter strip in any way you would a sheet of foundation, but I find the wax tube fastener (see Walter T. Kelly's catalog) to be the quickest and easiest.
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Lesli
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« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2005, 06:06:31 AM »

What he said.  Cheesy

A couple of frames had "floating" comb, but those were the ones with full sheets and ended up bowing. I'll buy some pins for this year if I do cut comb. Which reminds me--I'm taking a trip to Dadant with a club member this week. I have to get my shopping list ready...
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