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Author Topic: Is this normal? (drawing foundation question)  (Read 1197 times)
c10250
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« on: May 17, 2009, 05:21:42 PM »

I purchased a deep full of bees. Put another deep on top about a month ago. The bottom is all drawn foundation with brood of all stages. I only had three frames of drawn foundation for the top deep so I put them in the middle sandwiched between undrawn foundation. So my top deep looks like UUUDUDUDUU.  They have filled all the drawn frames with nectar and are beginning to cap. The problem is that they haven’t touched the undrawn frames. Nothing.  It's been cool here with highs in the low 60s.

During inspections, there are bees all over the undrawn frames.  What should I expect? Should they be drawing these out?  It's been 1 month now. Or will they only draw out the frames when there is no other place to store the nectar?

Thanks.

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JP
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2009, 05:38:46 PM »

Bees will naturally utilize drawn before undrawn, once this is done they should begin building out the undrawn, not to worry.


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fermentedhiker
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2009, 05:40:02 PM »

I wouldn't say it's unusual.  They will use the drawn first because it uses less resources and obviously takes less time.  The cooler temperatures probably slow wax production as well.  They'll draw out the foundation as they need it.  

The only thing I would've done different is to not alternate the drawn with the undrawn frames.  Sometimes they will just keep extended the drawn cells out farther until they make it difficult to pull a frame, ignored the foundation that's adjacent to it.  Usually it's best to only abut undrawn foundation or foundationless frames beside frames of capped honey/pollen.  That way they can't make them longer since they are already capped and hopefully will start to draw your foundation out properly.
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sean
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2009, 08:00:08 PM »

you could also try putting all the drawn out frames together save one, place an undrawn frame then the last drawn out. I am not sure if its different for you guys up north but for us its not advisable to have so many undrawn frames in your super. i usually have no more than 2 and just keep adding as necessary
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2009, 10:25:26 PM »

My question is what type of frames are being used in the hive?  Bees will work wooden frames and ignore plastic every time.  They will often only start working plastic frames if given no other options.  I've seen hives go most of the summer with 1 broodchamber and a super with mixed wood and plastic where the wood frames were drawn out and used and the plastic kept being ignored.  The hive eventually swarmed rather than work the plastic frames. 
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EasternShore
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2009, 06:14:04 AM »

I put a swarm into plastic slathered with old wax from last year, they are going to town on it. The new Beeks are havig a BLAST with these girls..I'm so proud of both of them....the new parents and the Bees...
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c10250
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2009, 09:16:34 AM »

The frames are wax-coated plastic.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2009, 10:41:09 PM »

The frames are wax-coated plastic.

Plastic frames need to be prepped in the following way.

1. Open package and air them out asap after arrival, the longer the airing out period the better.  Buy in the fall for spring use.
2. Coat wax foundation sheets will an additional layer or 2 of bess wax, they manufacturers are cheap with the wax and it inhibits the bees to the point of refusing to use the plastic foundation.
3. Spray the plastic foundation with syrup when installing the bees in the hive.  This will cause the bees to consume the syrup off the wax and they will be more willing to immediately use the syrup to build comb.
4. If unable to do #1 then use a masking agent to cover the plastic smell, vanilla is one of the best masking agents I've found.  It works when combining bees and installing queens too.
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c10250
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2009, 10:40:31 AM »

What's the procedure for coating the frames with wax?
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Keith13
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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2009, 10:48:57 AM »

What's the procedure for coating the frames with wax?

I use a paint brush to paint the wax on. I heat the wax on the stove in a pot of boiling water with a pot inside that one. I did not do it this year and am having trouble getting the bees to draw out the plastic

Keith
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