Plastic foundation

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Bens-Bees, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    What do the bees do for drones when they're on 100% plastic foundation that doesn't have any drone-cells? The thought occurred to me that I had never seen a drone cell on any of my plastic foundation frames, but I've never had a hive that was 100% plastic foundation either.
     
  2. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    Bees will still make drone cells on regular cell plastic foundation when needed. They will also use areas between the frames and any other area where cells could be placed.

    For those doing 2 queen towers systems, and hives with drone comb trapping, plastic foundation can really enhance your IPM strategy. It allows you to control the place where drones are placed. As you suggested and said, I also get little drone cells on the plastic foundation, making where and when I do drone trapping that much more effective. I don't do drone trapping other than in my educational hives and for testing, but it is something for others to consider.
     

  3. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Ok, well that makes me feel a little better then...

    Another thing about plastic foundation is when pests like SHB lay their eggs, provided they are not out of control, the eggs will be laid on one side of the frame as the adult is running for cover from the bees, then the SHB larva hatch and start eating their way through the comb, honey, and bee larva... and normally they'll damage the whole frame, but with plastic foundation, the damage is limited to that one side of the frame since the larva can't bore through the plastic. If they get really bad on just one side of the comb, you can simply scrape that side of the foundation clean without hurting the other side... so it's got that advantage as well.

    Another thing about them is that they are so much stronger than normal wax foundation that you don't have to worry so much about spinning them too fast in the extractor if you have a manually operated one.

    Just a couple other things to think about.
     
  4. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    I agree.

    I try to keep a natural approach. No chems, etc.

    But I do use much plastic in my nuc business. I can pop in 100 sheets of plastic in grooved frames, before I could get 10 sheets of wax properly wired in. When it comes to doing thousands of frames every winter, I would go nuts doing that much wiring.

    I actually looked into doing more plastic, a few years when everyone was woried about SHB, just as you indicated. Scraping off the comb, and wax moth caccoons, and not having to rewire wax foundation is a real money saver.

    I however have never used plastic frames. Pure crap to me.

    Since SHB's are not even a problem around here, I am doing more natural comb. And that means I still do not need to wire.... :yahoo: