Plastic foundation

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elainemary 

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Appreciate advice on using plastic foundation in supers. I’m intending on trying plastic for the first time for the next heather season. I plan to use a combination of thin unwired / starter strips for cut comb and plastic for heather to jar.

Logic is plastic is sturdy and so will be less likely to get damaged when extracting or pressing heather honey. However, I have heard it can be difficult to get the bees to draw out on plastic foundation

Any tips please on colony set up or ways of arranging / treating the foundation to encourage the bees to draw it out in supers ready for the heather flow in august.

Thankyou
Elaine
 

PeaBee 

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I tried a few box if plastic this season. I was surprised at how well the bees took to it. Gave a light coating of wax and put on at the tail end of osr/early summer and had no issues either in supers, brood or nucs with it. Definatley worth a try.
 

Stiffy 

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Appreciate advice on using plastic foundation in supers. I’m intending on trying plastic for the first time for the next heather season. I plan to use a combination of thin unwired / starter strips for cut comb and plastic for heather to jar.

Logic is plastic is sturdy and so will be less likely to get damaged when extracting or pressing heather honey. However, I have heard it can be difficult to get the bees to draw out on plastic foundation

Any tips please on colony set up or ways of arranging / treating the foundation to encourage the bees to draw it out in supers ready for the heather flow in august.

Thankyou
Elaine
Not sure it would work on heather as I rarely get a good flow from it. If you are going to use, don't give them any choice in both brood box and super and they will draw it out. I tried mixing with wax foundation and they either packed the brood box, refused or at best I had patchy results, burns well on a bonfire though, which is where it all went :)
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I would definitely try and have them draw it in spring /summer before the heather.
Did you coat it with wax first Stiffy?
 

Stiffy 

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I would definitely try and have them draw it in spring /summer before the heather.
Did you coat it with wax first Stiffy?
Yep, tried coating it but bees wouldn’t draw it out. Maybe I am not patient enough or my bees are fussy but dumped the stuff in the end. I now get them to draw out lots and lots in the autumn ready for the following year.
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elainemary 

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Try thicker coating. I use 1 kg wax per 12-15 medium frames.
Thanks for the tips. Did you simply brush it on? Have you had any problems with the wax separating from the plastic?
 

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I have tried different methods, but now uses a roller, shortened to the width of the frame. I do a lot of frames on one side, on a table, the turn them all and then I roll the other side. The wax with right temperature adheres without problem. Right temperature is warm, but not to hot :)
 

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I’m not knocking it if it works for you but if you have to coat the plastic foundation in copious amounts of wax, what advantages are there over ‘normal’ wax foundation ?
S
 

Sanntos 

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For me it was mostly about some mishappenings in extraction, and I wanted to avoid them
And they contain more cells, so more brood in a frame. The wax is speeding up the process drawing them out
 

elainemary 

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I’m not knocking it if it works for you but if you have to coat the plastic foundation in copious amounts of wax, what advantages are there over ‘normal’ wax foundation ?
S
For heather crop - stronger for spinning or can scrape back to foundation without damaging it, so faster to scrape. Worth a try.
 

Wingy 

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been using plastic now for 3 seasons just had issues with one batch of 100 that was pre waxed. Once given a good coating no issues. Photos are melting pot & brush & a waxed frame
 

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hallshoney 

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I use both super and brood. Use a foam roller to apply a good thick coat. I try to use all plastic foundation on the hives that go for heather. So much easier to scrape off heather honey. Brood foundation is used in older frames after they have had wax in them once. Still use wax foundation in new frames .
 

elainemary 

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been using plastic now for 3 seasons just had issues with one batch of 100 that was pre waxed. Once given a good coating no issues. Photos are melting pot & brush & a waxed frame
Thanks - do you give a full super with plastic or do you mix with starters / thin for cut comb? Just wondering if the bees will draw wax (thin) first but will draw plastic if given no choice?
 

Wingy 

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Thanks - do you give a full super with plastic or do you mix with starters / thin for cut comb? Just wondering if the bees will draw wax (thin) first but will draw plastic if given no choice?
To be honest I have not noticed much difference. Started with a Langstroth, all plastic brood & 2 supers, put a Nuc in it and had no issues built up well and gave a bit of honey year 1.
Year 2 it was split some plastic brood frames went in with wax foundation and never noticed any issues. Bought 100 brood frames that year no issues. Now got some nationals as well but don’t use supers, I use brood boxes above a QX for honey. I don’t really use plastic in the Langstroth supers as I now have about 1000 drawn comb which I just reuse. Re brood frames it is so easy to scrape off the old wax, pop the plastic out, boil the frames, scrub the plastic and put back together
I don’t have access to heather but if I did I would use plastic pre drawn out from the OSR flow, extracted and then used for heather so it could be scraped off & pressed
 

elainemary 

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To be honest I have not noticed much difference. Started with a Langstroth, all plastic brood & 2 supers, put a Nuc in it and had no issues built up well and gave a bit of honey year 1.
Year 2 it was split some plastic brood frames went in with wax foundation and never noticed any issues. Bought 100 brood frames that year no issues. Now got some nationals as well but don’t use supers, I use brood boxes above a QX for honey. I don’t really use plastic in the Langstroth supers as I now have about 1000 drawn comb which I just reuse. Re brood frames it is so easy to scrape off the old wax, pop the plastic out, boil the frames, scrub the plastic and put back together
I don’t have access to heather but if I did I would use plastic pre drawn out from the OSR flow, extracted and then used for heather so it could be scraped off & pressed
Thankyou that’s v helpful
 

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