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Author Topic: Plastic Foundation in Supers  (Read 2738 times)
dp
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« on: May 25, 2010, 03:34:59 PM »

I recently added a super to a very populated two deep hive with well over 7/10 frames full.  The super, is a new super with plastic foundation.  I added it close to two weeks ago, and upon inspection, there is no drawn comb on any of it.  I've heard that spraying sugar water solution will help, or possibly painting with bees wax.  I didn't add a queen excluder, because I thought that they should get some comb built before I restricted any movement.

Am I overreacting?  Should I just give it time?  We have had a very cold wet spring, so maybe they just need more time.

I know there are a lot of opinions on plastic, duraglit and just plain bees wax.  Is there a better or worse product for a new beekeeper?
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2010, 03:49:09 PM »

If it is not wax coated, you may need to wax that sucker.   Are they on wood frames on the first box?   They will move up in time.
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slacker361
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2010, 09:01:51 PM »

mine have wax on them, and I sprayed them with sugar water also, nothing, then I intermixed the plastic and the wood, one wood then one plastic then one wood, rinse repeat.LOL one i did that they started to drawout the plastic
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riverrat
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2010, 09:17:55 PM »

unless you have a stong flow going on in your area they wont pull out plastic. i have found that my bees will pull wax foundation quicker than plastic especially if the flow is not strong
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Ollie
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2010, 10:54:31 PM »

sometimes the wax from the factory is a little thin, I grab a chunk of wax, rub it all over the foundation and then hit it with a heat gun for a few seconds..seem to help a little, spray with sugar water helps too.
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Grandpa Jim
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2010, 11:52:39 PM »

Here is an experiment I did brushing wax in 2 stripes on a frame.
http://img27.imageshack.us/i/perrcocomb001.jpg/

Checked back 1 week later and this is what I found.
 http://img227.imageshack.us/i/perrcocomb021.jpg/

I would say brushing on wax does help.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 12:04:32 AM by Grandpa Jim » Logged
AllenF
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2010, 08:49:47 AM »

That is a good pic.  Good post.   Night and day.   Yes, the wax helps out, a lot.
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greenbtree
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2010, 08:58:34 AM »

I second Allen.  Great pic.  More to the point - great experiment!  A beekeeper that actually runs an experiment and finds out.  Sign of the apocalypse for sure... grin

JC
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RZRBCK BEE
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2010, 10:06:36 AM »

I am impressed. Thanks for sharing.  Smiley
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lotsobees
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2010, 10:09:47 AM »

Awesome, Grandpa Jim. Curious, how strong (relatively) was the hive you did the experiment with? Was it in lower/upper brood chamber?
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dp
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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2010, 11:38:29 AM »

That is a great experiment.  I just added the super and I don't think I have a very good nectar flow in my area at this time.  I think I will pull it off and get some bee's wax on there.

GJ, what time of year was this experiment conducted?

Thanks for the info.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2010, 01:51:20 PM »

Well, I guess that settles that question................bees do prefer wax foundation!
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Grandpa Jim
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2010, 03:55:34 PM »

Thanks. The frame was placed in a single deep that was ready for a second hive body to be added.  It was a strong single.  It was last June when I did the experiment and there was obviously nectar coming in at the time.
Jim
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Ollie
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2010, 11:27:24 PM »

Nice!

Theory validated.
 grin
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Thymaridas
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2010, 08:43:33 AM »

I have to agree about plastic foundation. I experimented this Spring with black plastic foundation in the brood chamber in 4 hives. I alternated drawn comb with new foundation. I waxed and sprayed it, and after 4 weeks pulled the frames with plastic foundationand replaced it with Duragilt, which bees love. It took them less than a week to pull that out.

They wouldn't draw the comb out straight. I mean it was all over the place. In some they actually made the cells perpendicular to the foundation and crosscombed with the adjacent frame. Some was attached by a thin spine and then pulled out like they were paper wasps. They just hated it.

I may try again, because many of my friends say that this was atypical.

Have fun!
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wd
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« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2010, 03:14:06 AM »

May I ask, how much wax per frame, the age of the wax, smell, is it mixed with honey or?
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Thymaridas
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2010, 05:31:23 AM »

The wax was thick enough to give the foundation a strong yellow hue. The wax was from last years crop. This particular wax was from crushed comb and honey and so had a very pleasant honey smell. I sprayed with 1:1 syrup.
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wd
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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2010, 10:06:59 AM »

thanks
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D Coates
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« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2010, 03:56:38 PM »

sometimes the wax from the factory is a little thin, I grab a chunk of wax, rub it all over the foundation and then hit it with a heat gun for a few seconds..seem to help a little, spray with sugar water helps too.

Now that's a good idea!
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wd
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« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2010, 04:26:46 PM »


May I ask, how much wax per frame, the age of the wax, smell, is it mixed with honey or?

I'm thinking about buying some wax for older pierco frames since I don't have any to speak of from years past. Some frames haven't been used and the wax coating is brittle scales others I've cleaned.

I've been against buying wax for this purpose, what are thoughts?
-
aw never mind ... I was reluctant in asking to begin with. think I'll go ahead wait.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2010, 05:31:52 PM by wd » Logged
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