Checked on my hive that made it.

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by crazy8days, May 14, 2013.

  1. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yesterday I checked on my hive that made it through the winter. My plan is/was to split this spring. In the mean time I put on a non-drawn foundation deep to have them build up for the honey flow. This hive is on all pierco foundation. Both brood boxes are drawn. I decided when I added the 3rd box to use all wax foundation to see if they would draw it out quickly. It's been 3 weeks now and they have not touched it one bit. So, I decided to remove and replace with Pierco foundation. Anyone ever had this problem?

    Also, when I bought my wax foundations they did not smell like "bees wax" It had more of a chemical/bees wax smell. Every time I've bought Pierco it smells wonderful.
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If there is no flow on, they won't be inclined to draw out either.
     

  3. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    We are going through a flow. Dandilions are about done.
     
  4. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

    Messages:
    1,018
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I've noticed that my bees are slow to draw out beeswax foundation as well. With my last swarm I've put half beeswax and the other half plastic just to see which they will draw out first.
     
  5. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    When mixing beeswax frames in with plastic frames, i found they will draw the beeswax out and never touch the plastic. Ever see bees making there home or building comb in a empty milk jug? Sorry Perry, i had to say it.:lol: Jack
     
  6. Omie

    Omie New Member

    Messages:
    2,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Beeswax foundation should never smell like chemicals at all. It should smell sweet, like beeswax only. I'd complain, see what they say, and send it back if possible. Order from somewhere else.
     
  7. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

    Messages:
    3,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    crazy, not sure what the deal is with the 'smelly peirco'. like omie said, it should smell sweet, so maybe a phone call to wherever you ordered it from.

    about the drawing of foundation, the best time to get bees to draw foundation, is to put it on in the spring before a flow starts when the population is exploding and gearing up.
     
  8. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I was just wiring up some wax foundation and there is definitely a menthol or thymol scent. dont know whether it is deliberate or not. Some batches just smell like fresh wax. The bees have different notions about what smells "purty"
     
  9. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

    Messages:
    3,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    crazy8-
    "when I bought my wax foundations they did not smell like "bees wax" It had more of a chemical/bees wax smell."

    crofter-
    "I was just wiring up some wax foundation and there is definitely a menthol or thymol scent. dont know whether it is deliberate or not. Some batches just smell like fresh wax"

    my thinking on this is the wax being sold from beekeepers to suppliers/producers of foundation are from chemically treated hives. and in part, an explanation for why bees might not draw foundation......
     
  10. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    riverbee; I think you nailed why people claim to have different experience with X or Y foundation. The pierco plastic foundation I was putting in frames today smelled more authentic wax aroma than the last wax stuff I have. I dont think much in the way of purification is done on most of the wax used for foundation or waxing of the plastic stuff. You get what flavor was last added to the vat for that run. If they dont feel the need, they dont rush to draw comb. Breed of bee might affect this aspect too as some, more than others, slow brood production if there is a lull in the flow or pollen supply on hand.
     
  11. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Screw coating the plastic with wax. Coat it with syrup and they'll draw it out just fine as they are licking it clean and imparting their scent on it in the process.
     
  12. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

    Messages:
    3,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    "riverbee; I think you nailed why people claim to have different experience with X or Y foundation. The pierco plastic foundation I was putting in frames today smelled more authentic wax aroma than the last wax stuff I have. I dont think much in the way of purification is done on most of the wax used for foundation or waxing of the plastic stuff."

    not sure frank, but what i do know is if bees wax foundation is smelling like something else other than beeswax, then to me this is a problem and seems to me the bees would ignore it, especially if it smelled like something used to treat hives with. (i do use pierco now).

    Bens-Bees-
    "Screw coating the plastic with wax. Coat it with syrup and they'll draw it out just fine as they are licking it clean and imparting their scent on it in the process."

    screw coating the plastic wax foundation? let's say for example, it has been stored for awhile and there is no fresh beeswax smell, or maybe the wax coating was a little thin on it? 2nd scenario, when you coat it with syrup, and the bees go up and lick it clean and continue to ignore it and not draw it out?........you can continue to coat it, and the little buggers will do the same thing; lick it clean and ignore it.

    imho, if bees are not drawing foundation, there is a specific reason as to why they are not drawing foundation, many reasons, many variables.
     
  13. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    There's not a wax coating on the unwaxed plasticell foundation that I've been using for years now, and my girls have never had problems drawing it out. I have far more trouble out of the wax sheet foundation that I have in a few frames that I use for chunk-comb honey, they don't seem to want to pull it out evenly and once it's screwed up there's no fixing it.

    Haven't had that happen yet with unwaxed plasticell, but if that were the case I would assume that there's so little food in the area and that the bees are using so much food that I need to put a feeder on the hive ASAP before they starve to death. If they have enough food, they'll draw it out.

    With fresh unwaxed plasticell I can drop extra supers on a hive at the beginning of the year and as they need the space they'll draw it out. Since there's nothing for beetles or moths up there I don't have to worry about not having enough bees to patrol all of it and I never lose a drop of nectar due to the bees not having space to store it.
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    over the past couple of years I have use some plastic based foundation and it seems to me that the insignificant coating of wax is part of the problem (almost by definition you will need lots of less than two week old bees to make the extra wax) and the other variable (which I suspect is not totally independent of the first variable) is the timing at which you set this on the hive.

    I will tell you in a totally uncontrolled test with frames with plastic foundation (and wax added at the factory and not by me... that is a couple here and there given to me by other hobby beekeepers) that it takes a significant honey flow to get these pulled into comb and that these will be largely ignored if a hive does not desperately need the extra space. set into upper hive bodies with plain wax foundation or plastic foundation where I added my own wax everything else in that box will get pulled prior to these factory coated plastic based foundation type frames.
     
  15. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

    Messages:
    3,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    what tecumseh said:
    "it seems to me that the insignificant coating of wax is part of the problem (almost by definition you will need lots of less than two week old bees to make the extra wax) and the other variable (which I suspect is not totally independent of the first variable) is the timing at which you set this on the hive."

    "it takes a significant honey flow to get these pulled into comb and that these will be largely ignored if a hive does not desperately need the extra space."
     
  16. crazy8days

    crazy8days New Member

    Messages:
    711
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Checked on the hive today. Wanted to see if the pierco foundation was being drawn. Sure enough it is being drawn quite nicely.
     
  17. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

    Messages:
    3,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    ..........:clap:
    :grin:
     
  18. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

    Messages:
    1,249
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    :thumbsup: Whoo Hooo! That's good news.