Opinion on Plastic Frames & Foundation

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Onge 

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Funnily enough I just waxed my first set of plastic frames last night, 40 of them.

I'll let you all know how they perform.
 

wightbees 

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Onge
How are the plastic frames working out ?
I take it that they are in use by now.
 

Onge 

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Onge
How are the plastic frames working out ?
I take it that they are in use by now.
Yes I'm impressed so far.

No feeding to get them drawn and they are doing really well. I am using wood and wax too, they are getting drawn faster but I'm having no problems with the plastic and they are very flat and uniform.

Only used them In brood chamber so far.

Considering ordering more already :)

P.s. My poly hives are doing well too.
 

wightbees 

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Thanks for the reply, as i may order some my self. Just bought some wooden frames but i like the idea of plastic.
cheers :)
 

fincaazul 

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I have recently read that commercialy supplied foundation results in worker cell size that is fractionally larger than the bees produce with natural comb. the smaller cell size acts as a deterrent to varroa mites who cannot physically enter the cell of a full grown larvae before it is capped. SO, instead of using plastic foundation with cells already imprinted, I suggest a plain plastic sheet in the frame, coated with the freshest wax you can get and the bees can produce cells of the size that they need. In the 1980's I only ever put a triangular piece of foundation in brood frames, the bees produced wonderful comb with smaller cells, the size they needed. We need to encourage them them, not impose our ideas on them. Eddie
 
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mbc 

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I have recently read that commercialy supplied foundation results in worker cell size that is fractionally larger than the bees produce with natural comb. the smaller cell size acts as a deterrent to varroa mites who cannot physically enter the cell of a full grown larvae before it is capped. SO, instead of using plastic foundation with cells already imprinted, I suggest a plain plastic sheet in the frame, coated with the freshest wax you can get and the bees can produce cells of the size that they need. In the 1980's I only ever put a triangular piece of foundation in brood frames, the bees produced wonderful comb with smaller cells, the size they needed. We need to encourage them them, not impose our ideas on them. Eddie
I also read that hopping sunwise round a hive three times and putting toads on your nose cures the bees of varroa
 

admin 

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Anyone got a link to the latest paper that puts the small cell verroa resistance idea to bed ?
 

Black Comb 

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Can't find but it was on here last year.

The lady professor in the USA did a full scientific test and found no difference at all.

However, Michael Bush in the USA who runs lots of hives swears by it. Again been posted on here but I don't have time to find it at the moment.

I asked the RBI about this at a recent meeting and he said makes no diference.
 

tony350i 

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About five six years ago I brought 20 frames of Prema comb ready drawn out plastic,
The interest at the time for me was to regress my bees to a smaller cell and this was prefect as it was around 5.00mm in its standard form, once dip in hot wax it got me nearer to the 4.9mm that I was looking for,
Some pics for anyone that hasn’t seen it before



Forgot to say that as I had dipped them in hot wax the bees expected them as if it was foundation.
 
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brandydog 

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small bees

Hello Chaps,

I am a very simple beekeeper with two poly hives, I have been very interested in the Bee size discussion, I studied ants for my university degree, (some years ago now ) and although i realise ants are not housed in cells during development, they are all of varying sizes throughout the colony, in some cases this has resulted in extreme size difference and duties within a colony (natural selection and the societies ability to adapt to change ) like my bees, ants are controlled by a single queen who allocates the duties to different colony members, so at some point she must have realised that ants with big jaws are better for defence, ants with smaller bodies are quicker to get to food sources e.c.t

So it is possible that the bees are simply progressing by natural selection and deformities in order to adapt, hence the smaller bees may be better at some tasks and worse at others

this of course is just speculation, but who knows it may be worth keeping an eye on the warre keepers of this world, to see how things pan out
 

brandydog 

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By the way if you get a chance to watch the fat bee man, his use of ants is fabulous, and my local ones, afew years back (Lasius niger)or black ants cleaned my foundation up a treat, apart from the wax they eat everything, I would advise that that you try it a good distance from your hive, for the reasons we are all aware of, bad enough around hive without trying to attract them
 

pargyle 

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Hello Chaps,

I am a very simple beekeeper with two poly hives, I have been very interested in the Bee size discussion, I studied ants for my university degree, (some years ago now ) and although i realise ants are not housed in cells during development, they are all of varying sizes throughout the colony, in some cases this has resulted in extreme size difference and duties within a colony (natural selection and the societies ability to adapt to change ) like my bees, ants are controlled by a single queen who allocates the duties to different colony members, so at some point she must have realised that ants with big jaws are better for defence, ants with smaller bodies are quicker to get to food sources e.c.t

So it is possible that the bees are simply progressing by natural selection and deformities in order to adapt, hence the smaller bees may be better at some tasks and worse at others

this of course is just speculation, but who knows it may be worth keeping an eye on the warre keepers of this world, to see how things pan out
There have been some studies done on bees left to form their own natural comb and over a period of time they regress to generally smaller comb sizes although there is a variation in cell size throughout the hive.

There are those around who believe (rightly or wrongly - I'm not looking for an argument) that the quest, by beekeepers, for bigger cell sizes and more honey via the manipulation of foundation cell size is one of the issues which has led to problems within the bee population.
 

Little John 

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I find it interesting that the beekeeping world appears to be experiencing a bifurcation: with one group persisting with ever-increasing methods of imposing their will upon honeybees, and yet another group moving in precisely the opposite direction by relaxing their methods of control in order to allow their bees more and more free rein in deciding how best to arrange their living conditions.

My own philosophy lies more with the latter group than the former, although to be honest I tend to adopt a rather more pragmatic than idealistic stance: why on earth buy artificial comb, when the bees are more than capable of making of making the real thing - to their own exact requirements - for free ?

Pretty boxes, frames, foundation, and now man-made comb - why must beekeepers persist in tying themselves to unnecessary commercially-produced products ?

LJ
 

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